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This 743 message thread spans 25 pages: < < 743 ( 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 [14] 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ... 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]



 4:14 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, as I said above, there was "quality editorial discussion of the content at the other links." I didn't even post quotes from the other sites - just the links with my own editorial comments and intro paragraphs.

[edited by: tedster at 12:58 am (utc) on May 10, 2012]


 4:25 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sorry to double post, but I'm checking some pages that did NOT get dropped in rankings, and one of them is a pure link list, with just a short intro paragraph of original text, written ages ago when I didn't know better. Another, which has far more and better editorial content on each link (lots of original content) has never ranked well despite being popular with visitors.

The pattern I'm now wondering about is whether the dropped/never ranked pages have "too many" outbound links. The pure link list page has 15 links. Several others that are still doing okay have under 20.

The ones that got dropped in rankings had over 40 and over 150 resource links, respectively. These had ranked in the top 3 for years, and now they're on the second or third page. (Although I just saw one of them on the bottom of the first page, so things are still shifting.)

Thing is, I wouldn't know how to fix this with Google if I wanted to. My first thought was that there must be a ratio of original text to links that I'm not hitting, but the pure link list page seemed to disprove that. If Google has decided you can't have more than, say, 20 outbound links on a page, that's absurdly draconian.

[edited by: tedster at 12:58 am (utc) on May 10, 2012]


 5:40 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Keep in mind folks that this is the over optimization update they were talking about. They just simply changed the name. They clearly see over optimization as spam. This makes sense since calling it over optimization would give the impression they are punishing sites for doing a good thing.

If you have not checked out my thread yet, feel free to check out the list of factors on the first post. The algo update that was previous to this one was just a new panda update which a lot of people thought was the over optimization.


 5:50 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hey Brinked,

The term "over optimization" is highly subjective.

I am an American born and raised. Been doing my own SEO for 8 years. I had an affiliate page get wiped off the face of the map.

I had exactly: 6 affiliate links (all relevant)

2000 words of content that was over 5 years old

and 6 instances of my keyword in that entire page.

My site did not get wiped, however the individual page did.

I have seen these spammy foreign websites and thought that my site was nowhere near such a thing.


 5:54 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

baseballguy, I completely agree. I am just pointing out that google simply renamed the update, they didnt change what it does.

That is exactly what google should do. Treat the web on a page by page basis. There are so many websites that have truly great content and then have a bunch of pages that are crap. Google should focus on removing those pages and focusing on the good content the site has to offer.


 6:39 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I didn't optimize my site at all, though. Haven't don't anything with it in a year. I built it for visitors and even started unlearning everything I ever learned about SEO about a year ago, so I'd be more focused on visitors and organic traffic.

Why did I get dumped for my most lucrative keywords on April 25?

[edited by: tedster at 12:59 am (utc) on May 10, 2012]


 6:45 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I expect it might be something to do with this:

"13 resources for widget info" with quality editorial discussion of the content at the other links and some nice photos.

I think Google is becoming less tolerant of these as they are becoming more and more common. Yours might be fantastic, but unless an algorithm can pick that up somehow, it might be taken for one of the spammier ones. (And there are plenty of spammy ones)


 6:53 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have had a similar experience: good content, but with many - entirely unpaid relevance-based - outward links ("if you want to know more about these widgets, look here").

A few pages have escaped the worst of it, but it is pretty much site-wide.

I removed all outward links today, and will wait and see what happens.


 6:56 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

A common test search that I do has a old yellow page type of listing at number one. Above the fold is filled with unrelated local listings, sponsored stuff. Only one organic on the first page is at least industry related. All the good relevant sites are gone. Second page has a lot of big companies and social stuff that isn't relevant at all. You have to go to page three to start finding things that could be useful to someone entering that phrase. I am surprised I can even be this surprised!

The door is wide open for a real search engine now. I never thought that would happen again.


 8:57 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

The way I am approaching Panda and Penguin (not noticeaby affected by either) is summarised by the song words:

"You must remember this,
A kiss is still a kiss,
a sigh is just a sigh,
The fundamental things apply,
As time goes by."

In a google world of using their SERPS for their own ends, go with the flow. Concentrate on niches and make your content compelling.


 9:36 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Very interesting readings!

Google Penguin Update Gets Fresh Losers List From Searchmetrics [webpronews.com...]


 11:15 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@netmeg, I think you're right, and that's my whole issue with this update: it is NOT targeting spam, it's targeting styles. I realize styles can indicate spam, but if Google isn't equipped to notice when reader response suggests humans don't see it as spam, then this update is not going to produce better SERPs.

And just to be clear, I'm not arguing that all my pages are glorious. I do think the ones Google tanked are far from spammy, going by reader response. What I find much more troubling is that I have some far more spam-like pages that readers do NOT respond to, and those are still ranking.

Whatever this update is about, it ain't about canning the spam.

[edited by: tedster at 12:59 am (utc) on May 10, 2012]


 11:31 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

No one seems to have considered duplicate content which seems to have been pretty much overlooked by Google recently. A few of those websites on the list, that have been badly affected, have, as a matter of course, got lots of duplicated content including song lyrics, legal cases etc that have been well published elsewhere on numerous occasions. One of my websites which has been around and ranking well for 10 years or more contained a lot of content that had been copied from Government websites (10 years ago) giving guidance on certain issues. No problem till today and thats about the only thing that I can find that would attract penguins attention. Anyone else got duplication issues?


 11:33 pm on Apr 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have been keeping quiet for a while now and just observing the mess. The whole thing looks like Panda and less like IBL penalties . I was hit by the panda and recovered about 6 months ago IMO by the same filter everyone else got hit now, it just seems like they made it more sensitive , its very simple : Less is More ! Follow this advice and you will recover eventually or at least a little bit .


 12:01 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Donna - well i do agree that it can be perceived this way. There are numerous mentions out there of folks who escaped Panda and then got hit with Penguin or something around the dates of the last Panda update. Panda recover @Gyppo recently remarked on a backward step, which I'm sorry to hear.

But what I'd like to propose is that the quality thresholds for Panda are increasing, as they always will, and the depracation tools involving Penguin compensated.

So this last year has been a watershed or turning point where the tools Google is using have been well and truly sharpened, to balance an emphasis towards "quality" versus "over optimization"

I must sound like a broken record, but i can't help repeating CainIV's earlier posts as guidance:

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


“If I were a search engine, other than inbound links I would be looking at signals like domain and whois, business ownership, memberships, associations, brand mentions, stickiness / bounce rate, community, social media, site security, transparency, authorship and likely a wide range of factors.”

If folks break these down [ and perhaps add a few themselves], plus add things to their sites that can bring about these points, i think folks will generally be moving towards positive outcomes.

While you dial one up, dial the over optmization down. Any unnatural occurance of ranking a site could be considered over optimization - and let's face it, it can only be content , links, EDM's etc - folks know what they are. The more competitive you are in your ranking techniques for common kw's, the chances are the more likely you are in pushing that edge too far.

So if you're out of Panda, don't sit back, because the duo partnership of Panda / Penguin is going to be busy.


 1:08 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

How do we get Google to start listening, and stop f'n around ?

This latest update has affected a ton of innocent victims (just from this thread alone) including myself.

I guess they frankly just don't give a sh*t and are probably already concentrating on their next so-called 'spam' update, to knock out more innocent sites.


 1:22 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

(Just to be clear, in above post I meant "writing styles" not styles as in CSS. Sorry!)

[edited by: tedster at 1:00 am (utc) on May 10, 2012]


 1:23 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

mike2010. remember this thread when you talked about

"20,000 permanent backlinks for $40" or whatever...

That's the thread you were talking about buying SEONuke (which I never heard of before I read your posts...) Maybe that's part of the problem?


 1:36 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google's not going to listen, and they're not going to roll back. They never have, and they never will.

If Google decides your business model doesn't fit in with theirs, it doesn't mean your site doesn't have value. But if you need to earn a living, then at some point you have to stop waiting for Google to change (because it's not happening) and figure out if you still want to play this game.


 1:42 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

They basically have your Link appear on hundreds or thousands of different forums...all they do is create a forum profile with a link on that member's member profile. (that links to your site) [webmasterworld.com...]

These types of things are easily detectable. Folks who engage in this have to shift their thinking and be more creative. This type of thing will give you 5 minutes of wonder, if you're lucky.

Build sites that grow your brand around your business proposition, not site's that exploit Google's weakness'. That's a challenge versus temporary temptation. Take control and avoid wasted effort and emotions complaining about Google by channeling your attention into the myriad of other long term opportunities out there on the web. I'm sure you and others have the ability.


 2:13 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

they're not going to roll back. They never have, and they never will.

Netmeg, I was going to say the same thing earlier. I honestly can't ever remember a rollback. That's a big buzzword after these updates. I'm sure others have a better memory than I do, but I can't think of a single instance where a significant algorithm update was abandoned. Google will tweak the algorithm before they roll back.


 2:32 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google's not going to listen, and they're not going to roll back. They never have, and they never will.

Agreed... Not going to happen.

I don't depend on Google for anything, and don't use any of their services unless I have to check a rank for somebody.

That's how I tell Google I don't like what they are up to.


 2:55 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

If Google decides your business model doesn't fit in with theirs...
What IS their business model?

 2:57 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

The frustrating part, is not having a voice. Having no way to air our concerns, views, problems, to point out the f'ked-up-ness of some of the results.

Although TBH this POS hasn;t hit me, yet at least. But I am still struggling and fighting for my bloody life, due to the lame ass above the fold update, despite having less ads than ANY of my competitors.


 3:04 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's the thread you were talking about buying SEONuke (which I never heard of before I read your posts...) Maybe that's part of the problem?

Inquiring about something doesn't mean it was used. I was surprised that such a program was available this day in age when similar automated programs were detectable and penalized even 10 years ago.

A 'roll back' is what should be done, but they don't listen to anybody anyway.

As usual, webmasters aren't given a voice & end up being the silent victims.

you work years on something, and then with the touch of a button...Google makes everything go poof.

If Google ever decides to give Webmasters any type of voice in the future, ATLEAST let us know SPECIFICALLY what is whitehat , what is borderline whitehat, and what is a 100% blackhat...before pulling another stunt like this & sending so many sites off to oblivion.


 3:48 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure if this has been posted or not, but you can tell Google if your website has been unfairly targeted via Penguin:



 3:56 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'd love to hear if anyone has recovered from penguin since even this past Friday. There was another update which seemed semi-major which got pushed out around that time.


 4:12 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bottomed out but no recovery. Steady 50% less traffic for last four days, although still ranking well for some search queries in Google. Bing, Yahoo traffic unchanged.


 4:17 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree that Google has never rolled anything back (in my memory) and I don't expect they ever will.

That's why I quit playing their game and haven't looked back - even now. I'm focused on visitors, and that's led me to focus more on social media, because my visitors use it and rely on it to find interesting pages/sites - more than they rely on Google, in many cases. And there's no gaming, no penalties, no stress - you just write stuff people would want to share with friends, make it as easy as possible technically for them to do so, and watch the benefits roll in.

[edited by: tedster at 1:00 am (utc) on May 10, 2012]


 7:45 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Talking of roll backs got me thinking of the Big Daddy update of 2006, this update sounds pretty similiar. Then I had a good hobby/info site drop out for no reason, decided to put it on the shelf and then one day a few months later it was back with all positions as before.

Go back in time [webmasterworld.com...] sound familiar?


 9:46 am on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

This latest update has affected a ton of innocent victims

I lost about 50% to 60% of Google referrals starting the night from the 24th to the 25th. It is a non-commercial site I run purely as a hobby. It's a forum focused on a very narrow niche topic. It talks about a handful of software and hardware products. Members exchange experiences, and help each other to ID technical issues. Some product developers contribute to discussions, too.

There is no affiliate selling, no selling of any sort. A single unit of AdSense per page is present on most pages (AdSense is excluded from the home page and other most-trafficked pages such as product reviews).

The site's name is:

Keyword1 keyword2 someotherword . com

For the search term "Keyword1 Keywod2" (w/out the quotes) the site was #1 for the past few years. Now it ranks #4 below sites which do not focus on the topic to the depth mine does.

Deeper pages suffered much worse though.Some URLs that used to be on page one are now several pages deep, or nowhere to be found.

Luckily, the site is just a hobby, and my livelihood doesn't depend on it. But it's been a passion of mine, so it hurts a bit.

Good luck to all!

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