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This 743 message thread spans 25 pages: < < 743 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 ... 25 > >     
Google Launches Update Targeting Spam... Again? Penguin Update

 9:50 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts "In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can't divulge specific signals because we don't want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics."


Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise, but the common thread is that these sites are doing much more than white hat SEO; we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 4:31 pm (utc) on Apr 25, 2012]
[edit reason] added quotes - updated link [/edit]



 2:25 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I saw these no content, no page sites working to the top last fall. Then I noticed a return to normal around Feb. Now these sites are returning and sticking.
I have made no changes.
How long do wait?

I'm not making any changes until the next panda roll out - if G has its head screwed on will be soon


 2:34 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Panda rolled out on the 19th April. Highly unlikely there will be another much before the end of May.


 2:36 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Brett what is your thinking on this?


 2:46 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

arikgub - I also just do it, be cause then you really will focus on your site and Bing, if allow google you will always have a eye on that, also making changes, but when you know you have blocked them, you just dont care and focus on the real things.


 2:47 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think it's time to give up on Google, every since Panda it has been a nightmare.

I certainly won't be filling in any forms , I hate companies that make their problems my problem.

Dance to their tune if you want with nofollows, directory blocking, canonical links, google bot nofollows, advert placement, and all the other suggestions they throw out, especially over the last 18 months.

It used to be we supply the content and Google can build a search engine, now it's a just a joke.

When I type in the search box, thats what I am looking for. What I get is what Google THINKS I want.

I have site visitors to please, and I'd rather please them and hope they come back.


 3:15 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have read all this thread because my sites were badly hit and I wanted some analysis to help me, unfortunately because of the endless plethora of anti google ranting - and the above few posts are good examples I find this thread useless to me - I can hardly find a useful piece of analysis in this entire thread because of this problem.

When that is coupled with WebmasterWorld's phobia about posting example links there is simply no analysis going on.

This is not a hard one to crack - not as hard as Panda, it is just backlinks and some onpage factors but without examples to discuss and with the antigoogle soapbox crowd in full on mode this thread is useless.

I have just visited searchengineland and they have at least some examples and in 10 minutes I have learnt more than the 2 days I have wasted with this thread - if anyone else knows some addresses where some proper Penguin analysis is going on then please PM me.

So I am gone from here to pastures greener to hopefully solve my problem - bye

[edited by: driller41 at 3:19 pm (utc) on Apr 27, 2012]


 3:15 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Google declares war webspam"
I did my good job today, reporting a few dozens of link spammers (link networks, link schemes).
I recommend you to do the same, lets clear the web guys.


 3:32 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've been away from WebmasterWorld for a while...I was concentrating on building a site with very good content (a resource for visitors/customers) and I wasn't worrying about the latest anchor text theory. All of sudden my business is zero (after about a week of it picking up nicely).

Here's the weird thing, when I do a search for my products, I'm at or near the top, but nobody is coming to my site. Q: Does Google present different results to site owners based on IP or something? I can't figure out why a product I sold 5 times a week, is still at the top of SERP, but no one is coming to my site and I aint' sellin' squat!


 3:43 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I lost about 40% of traffic on the 24th and 25th, have never bought or sold links, all 100% original content, only one ad above the fold, seems like my website should be the poster child for the big G. No drop in position for most of my top keywords so I'm thinking that some of the sites sending me traffic may have been hit. Looking in Analytics I see people searching for my website name a lot more than before.
Yesterday traffic came back about 10% and today its improving again so hoping for a recovery by the end of the month.


 4:05 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think this has more to do with Larry Page and his almost fanatical quest to over take Facebook.
I'm surprised that Dear Leader Larry, who just wants Google to be loved, hasn't rebranded the Google +1 button as a "Love it" button. :)



 4:18 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I did my good job today, reporting a few dozens of link spammers (link networks, link schemes).
I recommend you to do the same, lets clear the web guys.

This is supposed to be funny right?

When Google sends me a monthly check, I'll do their job for them.


 4:38 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'd encourage you all to put action in place and report pages which clearly don't match up to Google's aspirations using the form above. If the results are as bad as the opinion here suggests, then do something about it.

Lat night I sent 438 spam links to google that point to the #1 site in my niche.

Since you can only submit 90 at a time (as far as I can tell), had to make five separate submissions.

I hand verified each of the first 80 URLs to make sure they were still up and that they were pointing to that site. (I figured if you want to report paid links, best to make sure they are still up and running before sending them to google).

Maybe google WON'T consider them "Paid Links," but they were (primarily) in paid "SEO Directories" where the owner of the directory states rather clearly that buying a listing will help your SEO.

Maybe it was a waste of time.

On the other hand, if google does nothing to that site, then I will at least have a list of directories that I MYSELF can start submitting to.


 4:39 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

When Google sends me a monthly check, I'll do their job for them.

On the other hand, if google clears out my competitors, and my rankings improve, which leads to an improvement in my revenue, I would consider it time well spent on my part.


 4:51 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

@mrguy This is supposed to be funny right?
Not at all, and BTW when Google sends me a monthly check, I'll do their job for them.
Fun is over for web barons.


 5:05 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

there's a good example of how rubbish the serps are in the google blog comments.
search for "something".

the site at No.1 is an exact match for the domain, and contains just one solitary word -- "something". that is it. that is the entire site. it's a one page site containing just one word. there's not even a link, an image, a video,a page 2, or anything -- just one word!

is it really that easy to rank for a word now? lol


 5:06 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Love the analogy to the birthday party - spot on!


 5:10 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hopefully Google will be more responsive to web spam reporting now than they have in the past. The few times I've reported spam nothing happened that I could see. The spam sites sat at the top of the SERPs for months. It's been many years since I've reported a site for spam, as it seemed like a waste of time to me. Perhaps it isn't now.


 5:18 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's exactly what Google Plus reminds me of. The rich bully forcing me to attend his crappy birthday party.

Don't let them force you - it's your choice. I haven't heard of anyone reporting better SERPS because they have G+ on their site.


 5:31 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sorry, but I've got better things to do than help Google police their so called "smart search engine".

That's just me though.


 5:46 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google is going to do what Google is going to do ..

I posted in my blog yesterday that
"every once in a while, Google jumps up and says, "Look at me, look at me .. I've a 5 year old that does that"

Somehow, maybe by the luck of the Irish, I don't know, we've managed to stay above it all ..

We've made it thru Florida, Caffeine, MayDay, and several other little nuisance updates along the way, and all the while never dropping to anything lower than page 3 in the serp's. (on our own internet properties)

Some of our clients want the whole ball of wax from us by way of services, and some others don't.

One of the things that I've discovered here shortly is that the clients we have that only want, or otherwise pay for partial services, are starting to get calls, supposedly from Google, wanting them to buy adwords or some such thing .. whereas, our full service clients aren't getting those kinds of calls at all.

A rather interesting development I think, when you stop to consider the possible sorts of services our partially served clients might be going out to get on their own .. and how those presumed 3rd party services might have affected their listings in the serp's overall.

(my unofficial guess here would be that there are those cruising the net, looking for those who have dropped in the serp's, and then calling them, in order to sell "services")

At any rate, it's been a "so far so good" kind of deal around here. Our overall traffic fluctuations are within reasonable parameters and our index listings aren't bouncing around nearly as much as before, during other updates.


 5:56 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

All I am saying is that just because you are a brand, and the signals are "obvious," google still might not care.

Planet13, I respect where you are coming from. Alot of businesses believe they are brands, but do NOT convey those signals to Google.

Any brand I have ever worked with, or work with, have what I would deem as relatively good results, that rarely fluctuate over time, so my assessment might be biased.

However, I am also privy to talking to alot of brands and business owners and the only hypothesis I can deduce from the signals we, as webmasters, are getting is that brands that have true brand identity in Google are much more immune to updates of this nature for all the reasons previously mentioned.

It's important to note that a writeup at Huff is great, but that's a very small piece of the citation puzzle. Brands get write ups all the time, in a wide range of places, and from a diverse sub section of links.

Hope this helps.


 6:13 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

it seems there is rage against Google EVERYWHERE over this

It's no good quoting forums as proof of "rage". They are only half the story. Remember that for every site that went down another site went up, and gainers don't want to do a Dan Thies and gloat all over those who got dinged. So they are maintaining a dignified silence. Just saying.


 6:49 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Baseball Guy - Google is more like the serf and I'm the peasant that lives on their land....I have no other choice but to follow their rules because ultimately I depend on them and they don't depend on me.

I've made more money than I could ever ask for thanks to Google. I created quality content on my sites, but obviously this is not enough anymore.

I must start promoting my business online in ways other than anchor-text links from spammy sites because Google finally caught on. I can't be mad about it.


 7:04 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

They should call this the "Anti-Mom and Pop" Update. The boutique sites are the ones getting hammered. There was a new filter that appears to go after exact match keyword domains in the last 10 hours.

I think the thing is Mom and Pop's just don't have the link buying funds like the big guys who are just as spammy but on a much larger scale. I remember seeing big brands buy links in the same positions but the Mom and Pop always got whacked first.


 7:32 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

There was a new filter that appears to go after exact match keyword domains in the last 10 hours.

I'm not seeing evidence of it here in Los Angeles.

However, I do concur: Mom and pop small businesses are always the first to get unfairly targeted because they do not have the millions of dollars that major corporations do, in order to purchase Google Adwords advertising.

The more you look at the facts, the more it feels like this "house cleaning" is a direct order from Dear Leader Larry. Coupled with Google's forced adoption of Google Plus with every new Google account created.....we're all getting screwed because Google is out for more profits, which in and of itself is understandable....

However being that Google is really the only medium through which internet traffic is gained, I feel that they have a moral and ethical responsibility to "mom and pop" webmasters.

If Google is just out for profits, then that's fine by me.....however, they have a moral and ethical responsibility to let the general public know that....because now they are riding upon the goodwill that they have created over the years, and people are starting to realize just how #*$!ty the search results are getting.

I actually had to use Bing the other day after 2 Google searches failed to produce relevant websites on the 1st and 2nd page (this is the first time I have EVER had to go to page 2 in Google to find something).

The website that I was looking for was #1 in Bing.

<<edit>> I have a contact who works for Google and they are reporting that employee morale is at the lowest it has ever been. What once was a promising company, devoted to helping make better search results has now turned into an evil money-grabbing corporation.

I predict a downfall for Google because this will only stifle innovation and drive away intelligent minds from even thinking about applying for a job over there, due to the fact that it's quickly becoming more and more clear Google has lost focus of the primary reason they got so popular.


 7:53 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Perhaps this update should be renamed the Rosebud update.



 10:09 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Planet13, I respect where you are coming from. Alot of businesses believe they are brands, but do NOT convey those signals to Google.

Brand = reputation. Reputation needs to be entrenched in the minds of people. That social fit needs to translate into signals that Google picks up and attributes to your website.

Most online e-commerce activity yields around a 1% conversion factor. If you convert higher it's likely that you've built reputation offline [ there are exceptions i know].

Just as an aside, I know of a business that converts 40k transactions on regular peak days. They claim their brand retention with the public is almost zero - and they've been a market leader for over 14 years. Their brand exists in intermediary strategies - not on Google.

Put that another way, 99% of people don't even know who you are, they have gone to Google and found your result.

Now if links, or keyword stuffing , or an EDM are the reason why 99% of folks have got to you, you can hardly call that brand.

If folks put their heart and soul into producing an exceptional user experience, and give outstanding value for what it is they offer, the chances are they will build brand.

So let's differentiate between a brand enabled, and an online business given visibility. All marketers should build towards the former.

But given technology interference and speed, that's an easier statement than done.

A single link from Huffington Post may lead to brand, but not in the context of a temporary benefit in the SERP's.

Penguin, as a consequence of this, is deprecating the influence of unnatural signals in favour of it's distant cousin Panda IMO and we should be focued on this thread on all the things that don't work and get you into trouble, and adding a thread elsewhere on all the things that can make you a success.

@CainIV has done an excellent job of outlining the signals required earlier in this thread.

To be honest, i think it is so good that it should be spliced out and built around as the road to future success. It beats anything I've read in Google's webmaster guidelines.

[edited by: Whitey at 10:35 pm (utc) on Apr 27, 2012]


 10:13 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

First update I have not survived unscathed. Still have rankings for some longer tail terms, but have lost my two biggest, single word terms for which I have been top 20 (usually top 10) for well on a decade.

Interesting. First suspicions are a couple of old 301'd domains (legit, but perhaps suspect in G's eyes) and a whole-lot-of-optimized-file-names.htm, both of which could flag the kind of spam they say they are after.

On the other hand, the serps are even more sucky than they were with the re-emergence of sites that had been heavily seo'd and promoted that were wiped a year or more ago.


 10:32 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

<I agree> that Google needs to be more gentle and responsible in it's transitions of algorithmic change to which business' depends, with better transparency and more specific guidelines. aka Panda

But, Penguin is hard to complain about. Everyone knows that the weakness' to Google's algorithmn were/are in links and EMD's etc. The fact that many of us have had a good run and neglected quality isn't really Google's fault, notwithstanding the former paragraph.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 11:13 pm (utc) on Apr 27, 2012]
[edit reason] context - deleted previous post because of specifics [/edit]


 10:44 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

But, Penguin is hard to complain about. Everyone knows that the weakness' to Google's algorithmn were/are in links and EMD's etc. The fact that many of us have had a good run and neglected quality isn't really Google's fault, notwithstanding the former paragraph.

Did Google buy too many links to themselves? They don't rank in the top 40 for 'search engines'. As someone pointed out on another forum, websites about fungus are showing up in the financial serps (with hidden links in the footer). These are unbelievable results. I even see data collection forms hosted on FB pages that appear to be scams, ranking in the top 20. This is dangerous to consumers. Lost to this update are established websites, with 3rd party trust/verification, well established backlinks (some possibly paid, the majority may be unsolicited), replaced by new pages with new/few backlinks, untrusted. These are my observations.

[edited by: crobb305 at 10:55 pm (utc) on Apr 27, 2012]


 10:54 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

These are my observations.

Indeed, these are weakness' in Google and it's algo. It's not perfect by any stretch.

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