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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]

 

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.

bsand715




msg:4447920
 12:13 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has anybody here achieved anything (meaning an income to support a family) with an honest to G*d web site?

Uh Yes, that why this update hurts. I know you should not depend on a web site, but after 8 years I developed a sense of false security. Fortunately I can survive, but this is challenging and I love a challenge, besides I have future generations in the bussiness.

netmeg




msg:4447921
 12:20 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Re something back there - both Panda and Penguin are algorithmic, so there's no point requesting reinclusion. Danny specifically asked and reported this on searchengineland.

Jez123




msg:4447926
 12:49 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

So, being algorthmic, when problem is removed, SERPs will return? Or does it mean that the domain is algorithmically penalised and we are in the lap of the gods?

Planet13




msg:4447931
 1:07 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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.


It's THEIR search engine. Why would they want to do anything else than that?

EVERYBODY on this forum is trying to make a buck. You, me, everyone.

It's just that google is so much better at it than we are.

Planet13




msg:4447936
 1:10 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

So, being algorthmic, when problem is removed, SERPs will return?


eHow and hubpages, for example, both returned from Panda.

If they can do it, why can't you?

SnowMan68




msg:4447938
 1:17 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

eHow and hubpages, for example, both returned from Panda.


SearchMetrics shows eHow continuing to drop. I don't believe they recovered from Panda.

Jez123




msg:4447940
 1:20 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

If they can do it, why can't you?


So many have not though :(

I truly hope so Planet13. As I expect a lot of people here do, I have everything relying on my site. House, family, car, everything. My own fault, I know - I don't need to hear it.

fred9989




msg:4447950
 1:29 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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.


Ah yes...I do agree with that.

And it's sad for me too. I started in 1999 and have lived exclsuively off my websites since then, giving me a life and lifestyle I could never have imagined in the 9 to 5 routine I had before.

fred9989




msg:4447952
 1:33 pm 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.


I'd be very interested to know how this pans out - will you let us know?

Jez123




msg:4447953
 1:34 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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.


Just about every site in my niche are all gaming google in some way. Why they haven't been pecked by penguin I do not know.

SnowMan68




msg:4447965
 1:52 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just about every site in my niche are all gaming google in some way. Why they haven't been pecked by penguin I do not know.


IMO...there are very few Ecom sites succeeding through Google organic rankings without gaming it in some form or fashion. I get it, there are a few in every niche that don't, but for the most part you have to continue to build links in order to grow your business organically in the ranks. There is a big difference between being in the bottom half of the first page and being number 1. In order to get to number 1 you have to have links. Most of the ecom business's are just too boring and/or sell to people who do not own websites/blogs that have the ability to link out to you. At the end of the day, links matter on Google and will continue to matter. If they didn't Google wouldn't be targeting the hell out of sites buying/selling/trading them.

adder




msg:4447977
 2:10 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Still not sure its a recovery


@Ummon - at last (no offence, other posters) a constructive clue amidst moaning and speculation. I'll do a small test and will report back regarding the results.

netmeg




msg:4447983
 2:22 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

IMO...there are very few Ecom sites succeeding through Google organic rankings without gaming it in some form or fashion


Most of the genuine small business ecommerce sites a) wouldn't know how to game it and b) wouldn't have the time required, and c) couldn't afford to buy their way into gaming it if they wanted to.

lufc1955




msg:4447989
 2:38 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lost at least 30% of traffic in last few days. Have never bought a link, in fact I haven't asked for a link in at least 5 years as I just rely on natural links. I just build good well researched content. We even send a TV presenter abroad to film and research our products. Despite unique product information pages and exclusive professional video content we can't get those pages to rank. They are out ranked by other huge sites that have copied content from elsewhere and have bought thousands of links and have boring websites.

Makes we wonder why I bother.

Shaddows




msg:4447991
 2:40 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Most of the genuine small business ecommerce sites...

d) Make an ROI calculation indicating customer engagment pays more

No, really. It does.

HuskyPup




msg:4447992
 2:41 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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?


It's off-topic for this thread however many businesses in my industry, global construction and with many wholesale customers distributing nationally within their own countries, door-knocking and then in the last 50 years, specialised fairs/exhibitions.

And you're correct, many are returning to those methods since many experienced buyers want to meet face-to-face with their suppliers. It's serious money, not the speculative kind of products, it's either right or wrong and getting it wrong can be very expensive.

As a company we actually stopped exhibiting for a couple of years in the early 2000s, in the next two years we shall actually do more than we have for more than 25 years and I am really looking forward to it....Back To The Future?

Writing as a very specialist trade industry supplier for 40+ years, and as a family business 170 years, Google's now failed my entire industry, their results are are so unbelievably bad that very few take any notice of them...sad but true.

Jez123




msg:4447994
 2:46 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Most of the genuine small business ecommerce sites a) wouldn't know how to game it and b) wouldn't have the time required, and c) couldn't afford to buy their way into gaming it if they wanted to.


Why would you say that? Everyone has right or wrong ideas on SEO. I see lots of examples in my SERP. All are small business as far as I know. Seems a bit of a sweeping statement. Gaming SE's does not have to be expensive - another domain or two, specifically for linking to main site, etc, etc. I see lots of that.

Ummon




msg:4447995
 2:48 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'll keep everyone informed. My longtails still look hosed. I am going to leave the site alone for a couple of days before I do anything

HuskyPup




msg:4448005
 3:14 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am going to leave the site alone for a couple of days before I do anything


IMHO I would wouldn't do anything yet, I'm still seeing flux and I'm also not seeing new/recent stuff indexed. Making any changes may confuse you even more.

SnowMan68




msg:4448011
 3:30 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Most of the genuine small business ecommerce sites a) wouldn't know how to game it and b) wouldn't have the time required, and c) couldn't afford to buy their way into gaming it if they wanted to.


Again, there are some small business's growing without gaming. There is always going to be a few outliers. But for the most part in order to grow your business organically you have to game the system in some sort or fashion. This is why I said there is a difference in being #1 and being in the bottom half of the first page. These "genuine" small business's are the same sites that have been "on the first page for the past 8-10 years" and now find their sites being pushed onto page 2. They are not buying or obtaining (naturally) enough links to stay competitive. There is a HUGE difference being #1 and being number 6,7,8,9 and 10. Even more now with all of the Google images, Google Shopping and PPC stuff taking up most of the above the fold space. As the internet becomes more competitive, especially Google's serps, the game continues to get harder.

netmeg




msg:4448028
 3:58 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Got any idea how many small business ecommerce sites there are?

Yea.

Shaddows




msg:4448029
 3:58 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Semantically, I think it might be useful to distinguish:
"Small business" from "one man show"
"Sell something, then get G to rank it" from "Rank first, monetise later"
"Build intra-industry partnerships" from "Link exchanges"

If Google ranking was never your primary concern (even if it eventually becomes your biggest referrer), you are unlikely to have ever gamed the system, and you are unlikely to have unstable rankings. Also, you are unlikely to be one of the louder voices on this board, who have mostly come in from the other direction.

SnowMan68




msg:4448061
 4:48 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Got any idea how many small business ecommerce sites there are?

Yea.


Got any idea how many in 2012 are #1 on Google for "many" semi competitive terms and/or long tail terms without gaming in some form?

Exactly.

heisje




msg:4448067
 5:29 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Got any idea how many in 2012 are #1 on Google for "many" semi competitive terms and/or long tail terms without gaming in some form?


Good to know you can see so "many" -- pity I cannot see any, but then I am probably getting blind . . . .

.

Dan01




msg:4448073
 5:42 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would like to know the definition of spammy - at least for this new iteration.

1) Poorly written without much substance.

2) The same article seen all over the Internet.

We accepted guest-host articles over the years. The guest host will sometimes post the same article elsewhere.

We have been deleting articles that did not have any links to them and did not receive any traffic over the last year and a half. I noticed that the number of pages seen (not the page-veiws) has gone up over the last week or two. Apparently we are ranking better on some of the long-tail queries. The earnings have been pathetic though and traffic is not the greatest.

We are getting ready for another round of purging the lower-quality articles.

SnowMan68




msg:4448074
 5:43 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ heisje

I'd love to know what vertical markets you're seeing so "many" of these ecom sites ranking #1 in the Google serps without gaming of some sort. Any good examples of these verticals?

diberry




msg:4448075
 5:44 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just don't believe Penguin is about SEO/gaming. Mainly because I run all my sites the same way in terms of anything that could possibly be considered SEO, and only one site got dinged.

I actually don't have an issue with this site getting dinged - it's got some problems, and I've got some work ahead of me on it. But none of its problems anything to do with gaming. I don't even see how the algo could get confused and think that site is gaming the SERPs (without thinking my others, which it still loves, are doing the same).

Bottom line: my site that got dinged does have some problems, and I wouldn't blame Google one bit for dinging it for those reasons. But it's supposedly been dinged for SEO manipulation instead, and I just can't see anything to support that.

Either Penguin is not about SEO as we've been told, or Google has a very odd idea of what constitutes SEO manipulation.

ETA: I have to add something else that's been bugging me. I'm only dinged on certain keyphrases (my best ones). The pages those keyphrases link to are of decent to high quality, I would say as a reader. I actually have some pages I would rate much closer to "spam" which are still ranking high. So was it just the popular keyphrases that got examined? I can't figure this out.

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

Jez123




msg:4448079
 5:57 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Got any idea how many small business ecommerce sites there are?

Yea.


What has that got to do with anything? I don't understand why you are so spiky. Have I said something offensive? Perhaps you have pre judged me as a spammer as my site has been affected? If so, I resent it.

I know what I see in my SERPs, OK? Ever since I set my site up in 2001 I have seen some of my competitors using some really low tricks. I see one (honest) site having a really nasty battle with one that has virtually no scruples.

randle




msg:4448081
 6:01 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Either Penguin is not about SEO as we've been told, or Google has a very odd idea of what constitutes SEO manipulation.


For some time now the algorithmic changes have been more about attempts by Google at identifying web sites it considers as presenting with false positives and demoting them, and much less about identifying positive signals of quality and rewarding them.

Remove all the bad sites, and the “quality” sites should dominate the results; this is the “punitive” approach Google has been on for some time now. Panda tried to run all the sites it thought had shallow content out of the jungle, and now the Penguin is chasing sites off the beach due to back link profiles it doesn't like. This is where the mystery of the power of brand comes in, its not so much that “brand” has a positive signal of quality in Googles eyes, but more a function of these sites not presenting any of the negative features de jour.

If you see a site rise after a change like Penguin, don't assume its doing something good, its more a function of presenting with absolutely nothing bad. This approach can result in some collateral damage and strange looking results. If you have been hit, don't take it personally but theres just something about your site that presents with the negative these changes are trying to sniff out.

Despite lots of good sites getting whacked (got a few of those myself), and some poor looking sites rising, what I see at the core of Penguin is radical demotion for manufactured back link profiles. Google really is intent on trying to identify, and demote, sites where there has been a concerted effort to get them to rank higher through back link manipulation.

Before you you claim total innocence to this brutal persecution, ask your self if the phrase “anchor text” has rolled off the tip of your tongue in the past year. If it has, then your trying to manufacture a way to get Google to think something about the worth of your site, as it relates to a particular query.

Now, you may feel with complete confidence, and you may be right, that your only helping Google understand that your site really is a great resource for “red widgets” by finding a way for another site to link to you with <p><a href="http://www.widgetworld.com/red-widgets.php">Red Widgets</a>

Google doesn't see it that way.

If you optimize your own sites, or you do this for clients, take notice Google is intent on pounding us all into submission over what it considers efforts outside the boundaries of what they want relative to SEO. Generating content mainly for the sake of having crawlable, relevant text on a page, and obtaining back links to your site that you had some kind of role in, are not going to be the back bone to the symbiotic relationship we all seek with Google.

netmeg




msg:4448092
 6:20 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

What has that got to do with anything? I don't understand why you are so spiky. Have I said something offensive? Perhaps you have pre judged me as a spammer as my site has been affected? If so, I resent it.


No, I object to sweeping statements about how all or most ecommerce sites must be actively pursuing links, or even know what SEO *is*. The fact that you see a lot of it in your niche does not mean that "everyone is doing it" by any means.

What you see in your SERPs is not necessarily representative the the update, the web, ecommerce, or anything but what you see in your SERPs. Even if you were monitoring a hundred niches, it's still drop in the bucket of the total. I get calls every week from small business owners who have no idea what SEO is about or even that they need to found in Google. There's still a huge Field of Dreams "if you build it they will come" mentality amongst people who are not in our industry.

We all *must* think outside of our immediate circumstances, be they good or bad, if we want to continue to keep our sites and businesses as going concerns on the web.

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