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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 20 ... 25 > >     
Google Launches Update Targeting Spam... Again? Penguin Update
netmeg




msg:4444832
 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."


[insidesearch.blogspot.com...]

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]

 

Whitey




msg:4446710
 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.

tictoc




msg:4446712
 11:01 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)


Did Google buy too many links to themselves? They don't rank in the top 40 for 'search engines'.
Google needs to get their act together or their stock will take a dive after the Facebook IPO. The search results in Google have been going downhill since last Fall if you ask me. Google Plus is nothing to get excited about and the results in the iPhone APP is horrible when you want somewhere local. Maybe the engineers need to start doing something more productive for the health of the company?
Robert Charlton




msg:4446724
 11:21 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Whitey - Could you post some clues here about where we can find CainIV's post amidst all the complaints... clues like message number#, search string, etc might help. Time and date don't quite work because of different time zones.

Less noise of course would help a lot.

Leosghost




msg:4446727
 11:37 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

msg:4446294
if you are using 30 posts per page it is the first post after the OP netmeg's ( pink ) post on page 9..

HTH:)

search string "The only definitive correlation I see in rankings and this update is the effect of branding and inbound links to brands."

posted in case whitey isn't back into the thread in a while, and someone needs a "clue" or 3 :)

Whitey




msg:4446729
 11:57 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Leosghost - thanks, you beat me to it :)

outland88




msg:4446745
 1:34 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I definitely don’t concur with that. There are more factors in play. Branding certainly didn’t save you if your link profile was way out of whack with other brands in a category or even age of site as to what I'm seeing. Brands can help if you're not up to hanky panky to drive traffic though.

ErnestHemingway




msg:4446764
 6:22 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

2:20 AM EST and I performed some random queries the search results are indeed very amusing. Exact match has taken some really heavy hit unless you were few top EMD else you are gone.

Interesting part is that results are still a mess. Google revenue should hopefully grow exponentially this year. Amen

superclown2




msg:4446783
 7:43 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sadly, Google is using false logic with this update. An assumption has been made that because a website is heavily optimised for a particular search term then it isn't worthy of occupying a high position but this is not necessarily the case. The majority of highly professional sites have been subjected to highly professional SEO in the past, and are now facing possible demotion because of this. A lot of sites (including some of mine) which have had little or no optimisation have risen but there is a good reason why many of these sites were never promoted - they are simply not good enough to justify it. Nevertheless they now occupy higher positions than their quality justifies.

A classic case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

fred9989




msg:4446787
 8:16 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I recall in the good old days, GoogleGuy use to visit us here on WebmasterWorld and contribute on threads discussing Google updates. I wish to see Matt Cutts doing the same.


It was my impression he stopped coming here when the abuse he got exceeded the value of any discussion which took place.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose....

fred9989




msg:4446788
 8:18 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@fred9989

(apart from those with 1000s of obvious spammy links from Chinese government websites, which Google seems to have missed. Oh dear. What a successful algorithm that must be.)

If you know of spam sites I would strongly suggest you report them to Google via the link which Matt Cutts tweeted today [goo.gl...]

Matt Cutts also tweeted today: "we're definitely interested [in spam reports] and we'll be reading the feedback from the forms."


Spent all day yesterday doing it....and whether or not it makes any difference it made me feel better.

jaffstar




msg:4446789
 8:22 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am amazed to see sites ranking for very competitive keywords that do not contain or mention the keyword at all on the site and have nothing to do with the subject.

Usually topic + reputation = relevance... not now.

If you have a keyword rich domain, the majority of your links contain your keyword. These type of exact match domains are taking major strain.

If a certain type of link has been abused in the part, Google always devalued it and therefore it was a waste of time to pursue low quality links. I am wondering if this has more to do with onsite than offsite. What are your thoughts?

serenoo




msg:4446790
 8:29 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have been hit on 2 websites of mine. Google penalized some of my pages and it guessed right because I purchased some backlink included in articles for those pages. I did not purchase many backlinks. Let's say 7 backlinks for website 1 and 4 backlinks for website 2.
There is a page of mine where I have purchased a backlink with anchor red widget, because I was 11 and wanted the top. Now if I search for red widget I am 26, but that page still rank first for blue widget. So I think Google hit specific pages with specific words. Due to the fact that I purchased a few backlinks I could try to escape from such update. What do you think is the best strategy? Erase the page I purchased with the red widget backlink or pointing the same link against a competitor?

fred9989




msg:4446795
 8:54 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

To recap Cain's post:

The only definitive correlation I see in rankings and this update is the effect of branding and inbound links to brands.

-Exact match domains are not all penalized
-Affiliate websites are not all penalized
-Lots of sites with poor links are penalized, yet some are not

Most brands have:

- A higher value proposition
- Well written content
- Social and community stickiness
- Signals which support a logical company
- Naturally built inbound links

Eventually there will easily be enough non-generic brands to cover page one Google for almost any known vertical. I believe that is the direction we are headed.


And even if this is true, the results are a disaster, at least in my field. For a query, "how to prevent x" (where x is a personal health type problem) the disaster looks like this:

Disaster =
1) Amazon - a book on the subject
2) E-M-D.net with hyphens (66 links from 12 blogs, mostly comment spam)
3) WebMD (a big brand of the kind G loves, but arguably providing superficial, not authoritative information)
4) Yahoo answers (well, it is a brand...of a sort)
5) EMD1.com (31 backlinks from 15 domains - blog spam)
6) Menshealth.us (glib, superficial magazine type coverage of the subject)
7) A hacked .edu domain selling
8) You Tube - I didn't bother to watch it
9) books.google.com › Health & Fitness › General (well, it is a brand!)
10) spammy domain with thousands of backlinks from (hacked? sold?) Chinese government domain

There's quality, eh?

[edited by: goodroi at 3:28 pm (utc) on Apr 30, 2012]

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4446802
 9:13 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Two days later I am seeing

- a stronger bias towards bigger brands
- a stronger bias towards sites backed by real companies with a business street address.

That second part is interesting, I doubt many spam sites have a real street address attached to their spam content. There are still some big wall st backed companies who publish gibberish in bulk on every keyword combination ever searched for that didn't lose rank so this change is not all content based, no doubt.

danijelzi




msg:4446815
 10:05 am on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

They said on 24th, the algo will hit the search engine in the next a couple of days. Is that "anti-spam" algo now active? I'm seeing a massive increase in Google crawling in the last day or two. I assume the new rankings will follow after (not before) the big crawl.

crobb305




msg:4446885
 2:21 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

They said on 24th, the algo will hit the search engine in the next a couple of days. Is that "anti-spam" algo now active


Yes it's active. It actually hit the same day (24th) and continued spreading into the longtail for a few days.

Marshall




msg:4446890
 2:35 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Based on some tests I have been running, I believe Google might be taking two more factors into consideration: Rich Snippets and Open Graph Protocol tags.

I have noticed is past SERPS that many snippets seemed misleading which leads me to believe people were spamming/gaming results with them. Lately I have noticed fewer snippets being displayed in SERPS.

I also put some erroneous information in a OGP tag referencing another site and WMT now shows a link to that site where none exists within the page. This makes me believe they are reading the OGP tags and are treating them as sources of spam/gaming results if the information is not an exact match to the page content.

Marshall

snickles121




msg:4446893
 2:51 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Im searching for topics for my research and getting back results from facebook pages, myspace pages, and youtube pages with no relevance to what im looking for. I actually had to use bing to locate what I needed.

What a joke!

mhansen




msg:4446915
 3:58 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Three days after getting walked on by the Penguin, we are slowly recovering. We had one site that was hit pretty hard, out of the 25-30 we manage for ourselves and others. I will not explain the exact, step-by-step things we are doing to recover, but we have not asked Google for any help. (no re-inclusion request, and no "you got it wrong" form submission, etc)

As quickly as the loss happened we started searching for the answer, which turned out to right in front of us. We chose to address EXACTLY what MC said it was about. Aggressive optimization (keyword stuffing, overuse of meta, alt-img, text links, etc) and offsite link schemes.

- If you are penalized by bad inlinks, you have two choices, remove the links, or remove the pages they are linked to. (pick one of those and run with it)

- If your onsite pages were highly optimized, scale it back.

We focused on the search generated traffic that delivered the highest conversion rate. Chose the pages those visitors liked the most, and worked on fixing those first. We defined success as getting our pages back into the serps first, not reclaiming the exact ranking. If a phrase that used to rank 3rd, was no longer in the top 50 due to Penguin, we accepted a lower placement as long as it was in the results. From here, we can work to get it ranked better going forward.

Example Results -

Old page1 ranked 1st on Apr 23rd.
Old page1 ranked 110th on 24th
Fixed page1 ranks 8th today.

Old page2 ranked 3rd on Apr 23rd
Old page2 ranked 200th on 24th
Fixed page2 ranks 16th today.

Site Info:

I have 10+ years experience selling these products to consumers. They are not, or very rarely, sold online.

- US based consumer product reviews and expert buying guides.
- Subject matter expert written content, 2500+ word pages.
- Affiliate and Adsense (1 affiliate banner, 1 adsense block)
- 3+ years old
- Moderate brand signals, office address (not in google places), LLC, VPS server, SSL on personal info forms, 800 number, etc.
- Site still ranks #1 for brand name.
- WordPress backend

Good luck.

nickutis




msg:4446916
 4:06 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

To oppose mhansen and just to show different situation:

Site that haven't been edited since late March:


Example Results -

Old page1 ranked 1st on Apr 23rd.
Old page1 ranked 100ish on 24th
Old page1 ranked 6th on 25th.
old page1 ranked 8-10 on 25-27th
Old page1 ranks 100+ today


In my opinion, if it's not broken - don't fix it. It was alright for 5 years to rank in top1, I don't believe site just become bad overnight.

I guess we just have to wait until serps settle down..

crobb305




msg:4446919
 4:13 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

To oppose mhansen and just to show different situation:

Site that haven't been edited since late March:


Example Results -

Old page1 ranked 1st on Apr 23rd.
Old page1 ranked 100ish on 24th
Old page1 ranked 6th on 25th.
old page1 ranked 8-10 on 25-27th
Old page1 ranks 100+ today


In my opinion, if it's not broken - don't fix it. It was alright for 5 years to rank in top1, I don't believe site just become bad overnight.

I guess we just have to wait until serps settle down..


I've seen the same thing. Unchanged pages, ranking fluctuations.

nippi




msg:4446935
 5:30 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

All my competitors who were using

a. links in spun articles.
b. links on junking #*$! made for PR sites.

have been smashed. In some niches, its most of the top 30.

I'm loving this update - i am unscathed and up everywhere.

fred9989




msg:4446941
 5:50 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Totally accept the results quoted above, but it's not the whole story. There is the more fundamental question of quality.

I have posted this on the Google update thread, but it is worth mentioning here as well.

[edited by: goodroi at 3:26 pm (utc) on Apr 30, 2012]
[edit reason] No Specific Keywords [/edit]

ecmedia




msg:4446953
 6:24 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Fred, definitely the results are hilarious but so are for many other keywords that I monitor. My hypothesis is that this weekend too we are in the midst of a major data push because traffic and rankings are all over the place. I plan to keep an eye on Google this weekend but will wait to judge till it is over. Weekends are favorite times to push new data.

Planet13




msg:4446954
 6:26 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

All my competitors who were using

a. links in spun articles.
b. links on junking #*$! made for PR sites.

have been smashed. In some niches, its most of the top 30.


Must be a niche-by-niche phenomenon, because i am NOT seeing that in my niche.

flatfile




msg:4446964
 6:55 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I see a lot of SERP fluctuations in my niche, but overall this update has been great in my niche. All those EMDs with shady backlinks have disappeared completely. I've also seen some totally irrelevant pages(irrelevant title and content) and some with very little content rank very high for some queries. LOL, EHow seems to have snuck back in for some terms.

mcneely




msg:4446965
 6:57 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@flatfile .. yeah .. Ehow and that pesky ServiceMagic

mhansen




msg:4446981
 8:09 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

In our case, we had created a functional tool that other website owners could put onto their website to perform a specific complex calculation. Along with that tool, we have a link back to a specific section of our website, for further information. (Powered By: OurBrandName)

The result was many targeted-keyword-domain.tld's using the tool and resulting in tons of questionable quality backlinks. (Many were great, edu's, gov's, etc as well)

I considered waiting for the dust to settle... due to the wide variation of effect on our site (many pages were not affected at all), decided to act and learn why it happened. In the end, I feel we learned our branding is not as strong as we thought it is. Time to get back to work on it...

MHansen

nippi




msg:4446985
 8:21 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Must be a niche-by-niche phenomenon, because i am NOT seeing that in my niche. "

I have 15 sites of my own, I manage seo for 50 at the office.

I'm seeing this pattern across the board.

crobb305




msg:4447028
 9:37 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

anyone finding any correlation to internal linking (i.e., contextual links pointing back to the homepage using penalized anchor phrases)?

jmccormac




msg:4447044
 10:12 pm on Apr 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just watching the movie 'Terminator Salvation'. Somehow I can't help considering Google as being Skynet.

Regards...jmcc

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