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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]

 

Panthro




msg:4447674
 8:45 pm on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anybody noticing any difference between sites you have in GWT vs those that are not managed there?

diberry




msg:4447678
 8:57 pm on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

@HuskyPup, you're right, I haven't, but I'm a little confused at the comparison. I was primarily talking about providing free content with ads for monetization - because that exact model never existed before the web, it's been tricky figuring out a way OTHER than Google to find visitors/customers/traffic.

But manufacturing has been around for decades. How did people get customers before the net or Google existed? Why not return to those business fundamentals?

I think part of the problem here is that SEs are basically a lottery. When you're on top, and they are sending you the right traffic, that can build more and better business for you than any of the old methods (sending fliers, calling up leads, TV ads, etc.). But when it's not going your way, it can be worse than those methods. And Google is never going to be a reliable way to get customers or traffic.

So take where I said "social media" (which is really just old-fashioned word of mouth/referral advertising on steroids) and replace it with other business fundamentals: fliers, cold calls, buying leads, traditional advertising, etc.

Google can't be the only game in town for business sectors that existed long before it.

[edited by: tedster at 1:41 am (utc) on May 10, 2012]

Planet13




msg:4447692
 9:48 pm on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

They never look into the human aspect...


Actually, they do. I think they are rather focused on it.

They look at what they think google users - whom last time I checked were all too human - want from a search engine.

They also look at what is in the best interest of their stockholders (humans) and their employees (rumored to be humans, although still unconfirmed).

Their stock holders, I am sure, would prefer to get as much revenue as possible (an entirely human desire), and their employees, I am sure, would prefer to avoid being laid off as much as possible. That is human nature 101 right there for ya.

So google definitely has human interests at heart. We just sometimes need to be reminded about WHICH humans google is most concerned.

Northstar




msg:4447693
 9:51 pm on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Would it be at all productive to start thinning keywords from our sites at this point? Looking at my site the highest keyword density I have per page is only 3%. Maybe reducing that would help?

mike2010




msg:4447715
 10:31 pm on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Planet13, well said. ^

Never thought about that...the stock market having their own allegiance of sites preferred.


I would like to add that if you DO go to the Google Doc and complete the feedback form, don't focus on yourself and how badly the ranking change hurt you. Focus on the reasons your site is useful to their customers. Imagine if you will that you are emailing a webmaster of another website, asking them to share your site with their visitors... you are.

Don't say: I used to rank for "this money making term" for 10 years, and now its gone. My family is going to starve and we'll be firing staff.

Instead, Say: Our family run site offers your customers the ability to "solve this problem" or "buy this product" and we have a fully staffed warehouse in "this location", with experts in the field for "this many years" waiting to answer their questions.

you make it seem like you're the one receiving all these submissions. hmmmm. :-/

Planet13




msg:4447745
 12:39 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Planet13, well said.


thanks.

We webmasters are humans, too... just the WRONG KIND of humans... ;)

Web_speed




msg:4447759
 1:50 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I was trying a search term yesterday to check rank for one of my clients.

"TRADE_PERSON Knoxfielld"

Google *insisted* on presenting me with nothing but results for:
"TRADE_PERSON KnoxVILLE" .... WTF!


I've tried the same search 12 hours later and now i do get what i was actually trying to search for, "TRADE_PERSON Knoxfielld". Obviously different servers, constant flux...

Zombie traffic anyone? ....well heres one of the main reasons. Google trying unsuccessfully to second guess its users and present them with wrong results. User ("used to" getting the best results from Google) automatically click the SERP link, but oopes...it is not what he/she was looking for. Click back.

p.s.
TRADE_PERSON = insert "doctor", "painter"...etc

reseller




msg:4447826
 6:49 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

An interesting article related to Penguin Update!

Google Penguin Update: Petition Calls For Google To Kill It - Another Google update costing businesses [webpronews.com...]

Shaddows




msg:4447832
 7:35 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Search is a zero-sum game. It isn't costing "business" in general. It's just redistributing cashflow to different businesses.

In other words another artical, just as biased, could be written about how this is GREAT for business.

cabbie




msg:4447837
 7:49 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Search is a zero-sum game."
An oldie but a baddie.
Search is an ever increasing sum game which makes it a cut throat business.
What this Penguin update might be doing is taking from the small business and putting the sums into the hands of Big Business. The rich become richer, the poor ...

flatfile




msg:4447839
 7:50 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just read the comments on that petition. Most of the comments are so self-centered it's just funny.

Jez123




msg:4447842
 8:07 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has anyone seen any reprieve after being affected by penguin?

indyank




msg:4447848
 8:22 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Most guys here continue to believe that they are affected by the penguin update while there was a panda update at the same time. Since penguin targets webspam, the affected sites should have been penalized and not pandalized (algorithmic).So, why don't you guys check whether you have been penguined or pandalized by raising a reconsideration request. You might want to try it, if nothing is helping you recover.

n00b1




msg:4447858
 9:03 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

But the Penguin update is algorithmic so how would a reconsideration request help? I postulated earlier that it may automatically put you in a penalty box if it targets you and only reconsideration can have that removed.

indyank




msg:4447861
 9:13 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

But I still believe it is a penalty unlike panda which is simply a change in the way they rank pages.I am sure reconsideration requests won't help if you have been hit by panda updates, but is it the same for the penguin update?

onebuyone




msg:4447865
 9:13 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is Penguin world wide already?

chrisv1963




msg:4447879
 9:56 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is Penguin world wide already?


I think so. Traffic to my foreign language websites increased a lot on the day Penguin was released.

BillyS




msg:4447887
 10:33 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's ironic the petition is about penguin and not panda since one is about quality and the other about gaming the system. I think quality is much harder for a machine to judge than link building.

I also think there is more pain to come. Just like penguin, they'll be tweaking this penguiun over time.

heisje




msg:4447893
 10:57 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Penguined", "Pandalized" - a totally moronic and unprofessional environment created by Google, devoid of transparent rules, or by any kind of rule for this purpose, within which we are called to operate, unlike fields like industry and trade where logic, common sense, rules and open competition are prevalent.

How low has our webmaster lot fallen because of the total dominance of an unchallenged corporation fueled purely by extreme greed.

It always boils down to this eventually.

.

Shaddows




msg:4447894
 10:59 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's ironic the petition is about penguin and not panda since one is about quality and the other about gaming the system. I think quality is much harder for a machine to judge than link building.


"Quality" is subjective. There's no point getting feedback for it.

"Gaming" is a more discrete issue. It's perfectly possible that the include/exclude "footprint" you are using is missing sites one way or the other. Feedback allows you to look in aggregate, to see if additional refinements can be made.

bsand715




msg:4447895
 11:02 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Donna wrote: "Less is More ! Follow this advice and you will recover eventually or at least a little bit."

This is what I am seeing on top. Sites with few pages, 5 or less and very little content. One site sitting @ #1 and #2 in SERPS has NO content.

fred9989




msg:4447896
 11:03 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Penguined", "Pandalized" - a totally moronic and unprofessional environment created by Google, devoid of transparent rules, or by any kind of rule for this purpose, within which we are called to operate, unlike fields like industry and trade where logic, common sense, rules and open competition are prevalent.

How low has our webmaster lot fallen because of the total dominance of an unchallenged corporation fueled purely by extreme greed.

It always boils down to this eventually.


"Penguined", "Pandalized" - a totally moronic and unprofessional environment created by webmasters gaming the system, devoid of any ethics, honesty or respect for other webmasters, or by any kind of rule for this purpose, within which we are called to operate, unlike fields like industry and trade where logic, common sense, rules and open competition are prevalent.

How low has our webmaster lot fallen because of the total dominance of unscrupulous webmasters fueled purely by extreme greed.It always boils down to this eventually.

I'm just saying....

coachm




msg:4447897
 11:09 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Search is a zero-sum game. It isn't costing "business" in general. It's just redistributing cashflow to different businesses.

In other words another artical, just as biased, could be written about how this is GREAT for business.


Ummm...not really. It's counter-intuitive, because "search" IS a zero sum game, but business results are not necessarily a zero sum game. For example, if I can't find the information I need online I may decide to delay or even not make a purchase.

Also, because of the various types of sites, it really depends on how Google shapes the traffic. For example, if I am shopping for something, and search and receive mostly parked domains, I may never actually get to sales sites, particularly if I get fed up.

It's not quite so simple. Business is NOT a zero sum game, and neither, then is anything attached to it, including the impact on commerce of Google twiddling.

fred9989




msg:4447898
 11:13 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

EMDs are tricky, I have a few winners and a few loosers, the ones that have come out on top for myself, I have not linked the keyword for the EMD more than a couple of times, the EMDs I have that have been hit I have linked the keyword associated with the EMD more frequent.

Age of sites are similiar and the sites are built in a similiar fashion, so this has been the only diference.

On a further note about links, sites I that have got low quality blog links for have been pushed down, same penality EMD or other, it has not made a diference.

Sites I have with links from ordinary non blog type sites seem not to have dropped.

On a diferent note, the sites I still have that were either promoted or not dropped produced the best sales yesterday that I have had in almost 2 years. Traffic was increased slightly, but users must have been unable to find any other sites to compare in the results. A bonus for myself, but I would be the first to admit if I was a purchaser I would not like the results.


Agree with the above, especially the bolded part, fits my experience exactly (while I also acknowledge other's expereinces were different)

Brings me to ask - how much of this is a reassessment of BLOG-BASED SITES rather than LINKS?

bsand715




msg:4447905
 11:26 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bigest losers: exact-match domains.

Have to disagree also, the #1-2 site with no content is an EMD.com

Shaddows




msg:4447907
 11:33 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Business is NOT a zero sum game, and neither, then is anything attached to it, including the impact on commerce of Google twiddling.


True, of course. And then there is the conversion rate to consider.

Now I happen to think that the big brands convert better than small webmasters. If you accept the premise of the petition (I don't) that it is "nearly impossible for small content based websites to stay competitive with large publishers" it does not follow that it is bad for Business or The Economy.

Any search I've made with implied purchase intent (containing "buy" or other money terms like "cheap") brings multiple ecom sites. Anything non-niche includes one of the big boys, like Amazon or, increasingly, Argos*

In any case, the effect on Business is not fairly assessed by saying "small sites down = tanking economy"

*Argos is a UK shop with a weird traditional business model of print catalogue, but you collect from a shop. The shop itself is weird. Small shop floor and you collect from a service desk served by a huge warehouse.

bsand715




msg:4447908
 11:36 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Have not found where google gets the description of top serp EMD.com maybe an incomimg link?

adder




msg:4447909
 11:39 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anybody noticing any difference between sites you have in GWT vs those that are not managed there?


Yes. Two very similar sites, in the same niche. One been hit by the Penguin, the other one has not. The difference? One been linked to GWT and Analytics, the other one maintains full privacy, including Whois.

Have to disagree - I have 8 EMDs all are number 1

I would have to disagree with EMDs comment

Honestly, you agreeing or disagreeing won't bring my sites back, however, I'm glad that you haven't been hit.

Social media is SUCH a powerful influencing tool.

I agree. Relying upon Google was the stupidest thing I could've done. Content is King? Oh, come on!

bsand715




msg:4447914
 11:51 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Content is King? Oh, come on!

I feel ya and agree.
I was not being critical.
Just my observation on the EMD.com - no content sites that are ranking above original good content sites.

Ummon




msg:4447917
 11:58 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok this is interesting

Been playing with one of my sites that got hit. Was #1 for about 9 months on its main term and to be quite honest it never deserved to be.

The site Term1Term2Online.com got hit by penquin. Mainly for term1 and term2. went from #1 to #150 As of this morning its #8 Here is what I did.

1) Its a blog. 3 or 4 days ago I pulled any mention of term1 and term2 from the titles of the posts along with the tags.

2) Yesterday I yanked two sitewide links from sites I own. (One that got hit hard by penguin). Both linked to the site in question as term1term2online.com

Still not sure its a recovery. If it is I might try re-linking the sites to see what happens.

heisje




msg:4447918
 11:59 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@fred9989 : while I disagree with your implied position, I could not avoid smiling with the way you crafted your response.

Webmasters have a duty to themselves to "game" search results in order to compete, "float", and survive : "gaming" is within the realm of open competition, a necessity, not a crime really.

On the other hand, Google persistently, extensively and shamelessly intervenes to skew search results in favour of their own online interests and properties, as well as large corporations - all in the name of user experience.

As much as Google's "user experience" spin is sophisticated and effective, it is equally false and dishonest. Unfortunately, some people "buy it".

Talking like this is a level field open to honest competition is erroneous, a mere fantasy, to say the least. Has anybody here achieved anything (meaning an income to support a family) with an honest to G*d web site? You have to fight to "float". Otherwise you'll sink & drown.

Naivety and wishful thinking do not fill empty stomachs. Eventually, it always boils down to that.

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