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This 743 message thread spans 25 pages: < < 743 ( 1 ... 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 [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]

 

n00b1




msg:4451411
 5:02 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Same here. Is this a revelation?

Edit: Well that would suggest an overoptimisation of the title tag surely. I don't think it points at any broader issues with the website but I could be wrong. And everything I am reading that makes sense suggests that Penguin, which this thread is about, has a lot to do with external factors rather than on-site factors. Several other updates were launched around the same time which confuses matters.

BaseballGuy




msg:4451413
 5:06 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

For those of you who have successfully resuscitated a page on a website that has been hit by an "over optimization penalty", how long does it usually take?

Once you are penalized, if you fix what's wrong, is it a sure fire bet you will get back to the rankings you had prior?

Or is this kinda like having the wife catch you in bed with a couple of strippers....she might forgive you, but she will always remind you of it?

foxtunes




msg:4451414
 5:08 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I had a few sites hit by Penguin and some that didn't.

However on 1 of them I decided to make some changes and I can report this site finally came back after two weeks, a little lower than before but am happy to be back in the top 10 again for most of my phrases.

Things I changed:

1) Using copyscape, I found two pages had been copied so I re wrote them to avoid duplicate content.

2) I ran a keyword density check and noticed I had a lot repeat keywords in the urls and some alt tags with a lot of keywords.

For example my domain is blackwidgets.com, but I had images with filenames like blackwidgets.com/red-widgets.php, green-widgets.php blue-widgets.php etc

I changed these to red.php/green.php/blue.php etc

3) I added some synonyms on the pages and lowered the instances of the main keyword phrase so that the density was below 2%

I added some fresh content, and refreshed many of the other articles on the site with a few lines of fresh content.

4) I built a few quality links from sites within the same niche.

I'm not saying this will work for you, but thought I'd share this info to see if it helps.

The sites I didn't change are still nowhere in the serps.

Jez123




msg:4451424
 5:29 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

How likely is it that this could be due to duplicate text on other sites? There is a site that has almost completely copied my site and images. Some of the images (only 2 or 3 I think) still have my code on them so in effect they link back to me. I have never pursued getting any of it taken down as I get traffic from it that actually converts. But as I said, it's virtually the whole site's text.

BaseballGuy




msg:4451437
 5:41 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Taking Foxtunes example one step further....

With regards to "old" content on a web page....content that has been around for almost 5 years.....what risks do I run by deleting it completely and adding new content?

Was my webpage ranking because of that content (but now it's not?)


I'm curious as to the SEO attributes of content that is very old....assuming that it's a Panda issue (Panda = on site?)


thanks

diberry




msg:4451439
 5:44 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

@netmeg "But it's not geometrical, and if X is wrong, that doesn't necessarily mean the opposite of X is right. It stopped being that black and white some time ago. "

So what is the alternate behavior you think Google wants from us? They punish keyword stuffing, but recently they've begun punishing natural writing (by mistake or by design). They punish paid links, but now they're also punishing unpaid ones (by mistake or by design). They punish having spammy pages about popular topics, but now they also punish having quality pages about popular topics (by mistake or by design). Anyone who believes the algo is working as intended (by design) should be able to tell me clearly what sort of behaviors Google does not consider spammy, because Penguin and Panda are catching a little of everything and letting a lot of spam through.

And the point of my argument is also simple: it's that these more recent algos are just not up to the task of distinguishing spam very accurately, and they need another re-think. Maybe the algo is looking for signs of a webmaster's intent, and that's the wrong approach. I'm thinking they probably need to focus more on visitor response, and they know that, but since we didn't all helpfully sign up for +1 and use it, they're kind of stuck.

Some people I know don't even go to search primarily at all. They start by asking friends via email, FB, whatever first. If their friends have no answer, then they reluctantly venture into whatever search engine is built into the browser that came on their computer.

How people navigate the web is changing; search is changing. What we're seeing are either growing pains or death throes, or maybe some of each. But I seriously doubt Google would've put up the appeals form for Penguin if they didn't have their own doubts about its accuracy.

diberry




msg:4451443
 5:49 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

@foxtunes "For example my domain is blackwidgets.com, but I had images with filenames like blackwidgets.com/red-widgets.php, green-widgets.php blue-widgets.php etc "

Good grief, I hope that's not an issue, because that's how I organize my photos to upload. It's a totally natural behavior to name them that way, if you're working with lots of photos for lots of articles at the same time.

@Jez123 "I have never pursued getting any of it taken down as I get traffic from it that actually converts. But as I said, it's virtually the whole site's text. "

I don't know how much copied text hurts you (speculation varies), but it's super easy to file a DCMA complaint with Google, and they usually remove it within days. Very quick and easy, and you can do several pages at a time. I have a few popular pages that get scraped a lot, and I go through the top Google results for my keyphrases every few months, submit them, and watch them go up in smoke. Literally, it's like maybe 4 hours a year altogether to do this.

Leosghost




msg:4451446
 6:04 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's geometrical: if you say X is wrong, then you are saying the opposite of X is right.

No it isn't geometrical at all..
it works much more like set theory ..lookup "sets and venn diagrams" especially the higher forms and the multi-dimensional ones..

Hint..there is no "opposite" of a "position" or a "point" or an "element" or even a "singularity"..what there is, in "relation" to "it" is everything else..and how "it" and "everything else" both "relate" and "interact/inter-depend" ..

Complex ? not really, only until you grok it ..

diberry




msg:4451451
 6:24 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Okay, no one's reading my posts, you're just having fun building straw arguments. Got it.

Leosghost




msg:4451465
 6:59 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not agreeing with your deductions, ( because your "logic model" is faulty ) doesn't mean no-one is reading your posts..:)..really ..lookup "sets and venn diagrams" ..and see how what you can find related to that, applies to how search engines function..

Google primarily draw on mathematicians ( and occasionally napkins ) for their engineer recruitment and algos..

[edited by: Leosghost at 7:03 pm (utc) on May 9, 2012]

mike2010




msg:4451468
 7:02 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

so what do we have pretty good confidence so far that was penalized ?

1) small amount of content on pages seems intensely penalized.

2) over-keyword optimizing seems penalized. (repeating same keyword / phrases too many times on a page)

anything else? (besides the link-circle stuff)

crobb305




msg:4451469
 7:06 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

really ..lookup "sets and venn diagrams" ..and see how what you can find related applies to how search engines function..


Agreed. It's all about statistics, not hunches. Most of the spun SEO "knowledge" out there is based on hunches, things we all know in our gut to be the way things "should" be (e.g., no keyword stuffing, obtain natural links, write naturally, no sneaky redirects, no cloaking, yada yada yada). But, it boils down to complex statistical analyses of on/off page factors used to classify documents as spam. I've gleaned a great deal of insight just by reading the Google patent updated last year (approved in October) entitled "Document Scoring Based on Document Content". Everyone should be reading/studying these patents, and try to think outside the typical webmaster mindset. Forget about the hunches that other SEOs relay. Read the patents (or at least a reliable source who devotes their time to analyzing them).

[edited by: crobb305 at 7:13 pm (utc) on May 9, 2012]

backdraft7




msg:4451476
 7:13 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

So after these hundreds of posts, has anyone figured out what's going on? I didn't think so. Sometimes it's funny just watching a dog chase it's tail.

crobb305




msg:4451479
 7:20 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

So after these hundreds of posts, has anyone figured out what's going on? I didn't think so. Sometimes it's funny just watching a dog chase it's tail

It's frustrating for sure, but we're in a similar situation as we were a year ago when Panda was unleashed. The difference I see this year is the lack of enthusiastic and complex analyses. Last year, with Panda, we had some members here who started (what I considered to be very insightful) threads designed to analyze winners/losers. Maybe we'll see some discussions like that pop up.


FoxTunes:
I had a few sites hit by Penguin and some that didn't.

However on 1 of them I decided to make some changes and I can report this site finally came back after two weeks, a little lower than before but am happy to be back in the top 10 again for most of my phrases.

Things I changed:

1) Using copyscape, I found two pages had been copied so I re wrote them to avoid duplicate content.

2) I ran a keyword density check and noticed I had a lot repeat keywords in the urls and some alt tags with a lot of keywords.

For example my domain is blackwidgets.com, but I had images with filenames like blackwidgets.com/red-widgets.php, green-widgets.php blue-widgets.php etc

I changed these to red.php/green.php/blue.php etc

3) I added some synonyms on the pages and lowered the instances of the main keyword phrase so that the density was below 2%

I added some fresh content, and refreshed many of the other articles on the site with a few lines of fresh content.

4) I built a few quality links from sites within the same niche.

I'm not saying this will work for you, but thought I'd share this info to see if it helps.

The sites I didn't change are still nowhere in the serps.


Foxtunes, great information/insight. Thanks for sharing with us. Your results are consistent with some of the spam classifiers in the recent Google Patent, about document scoring. On-page factors may be playing a larger role than many are suggesting. For instance, on my own site, I was linking to two money pages 4 to 6 times from the homepage using different anchor text. This was done to boost CTR, and I knew it would not affect my Google rankings. It worked for years to effectively funnel my traffic, and lower my bounce rate. After reading through some of the patents, I feel like that may now be deemed "keyword stuffing" via links, particularly if a large number of links to internal pages exist on the homepage. I've reduced those numbers dramatically, and still await the result of my changes.

[edited by: crobb305 at 7:34 pm (utc) on May 9, 2012]

randle




msg:4451490
 7:34 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

So after these hundreds of posts, has anyone figured out what's going on? I didn't think so.


The challenge is there are so many odd iterations that you see - a few sites you would consider "quality" getting hit, some sites you would consider "poor" rising up, some EMD sites with absolutely no content or backlinks popping up out of no where, ect. Probably some level of distortion Google purposely injects just to throw us all off the trail.

However, what I see is Penguin = Backlink Profile.

If you got hit it doesn't mean your "black hat" or whatever, it just means something about your back link profile tripped this filter.

johnhh




msg:4451498
 7:45 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

So after these hundreds of posts, has anyone figured out what's going on? I didn't think so. Sometimes it's funny just watching a dog chase it's tail.]

@backdraft7 I feel the same - so the conclusion may be - it's all site specific so trying to reach a verdict, reason, or a general consensus, is in fact a waste of time.

Leosghost




msg:4451503
 7:49 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

re set theory and venn diagrams ..although I dislike intensely the details of the G + social platform and their "insistent" not to say "forced" implementation of it..

Look at the way they see "circles" as existing and interacting..being interdependent..or not, depending on each element of each "circle" and each element of all the other "circles"..they apply this vision of "what is" to Google itself..and to outside Google, and to pages and sites and data, and thus naturally to serps..

As the web is dynamic and in growing and in flux, so their sets must be, elements that were in one set and had defined intersections with others thus move and flow into other intersections and thus other sets etc..

Very difficult to explain in easy language without the use of diagrams..I trust this link is OK [purplemath.com...] IMO she explains it ( in it's simpler 2D form ) better than anyone else :) read pages 1 to 4..and then if you haven't seen the relevance to search engines, go for a run, walk the dog, swim, do something physical, not intellectual, your body frequently groks what look like complex maths better than your front brain will , sleep even..and if you want read the patents, ( they are a lot drier than the purplemath link though ;) do so afterwards..

ps ..when you've read it..don't miss the link to more complex ( but still 2D venn diagrams ) [combinatorics.org...] ..applies to search engines and their results and how they arrive at them too..and then imagine them as dynamic diagrams, in more than 2 dimensions..

Jez123




msg:4451517
 8:26 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just looking at the competitor who has taken the #1 spot for my main KW makes me wonder if over optimised anchor text has ANYTHING to do with this. Every single link the the page that hold the #1 spot is the same anchor and all from sites within its own franchises.

Jez123




msg:4451524
 8:43 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

OMG! So has another sites that took my other SERP and most of the related SERPS. He has 1000 links from the same site with the same anchor. Why the F have I been demoted in favour of these 2 proper spammers? Penguin is doing a really #*$! job IMO

Bewenched




msg:4451549
 10:36 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)


Just looking at the competitor who has taken the #1 spot for my main KW makes me wonder if over optimised anchor text has ANYTHING to do with this. Every single link the the page that hold the #1 spot is the same anchor and all from sites within its own franchises.


Are you talking about internal anchor links?

well that wouldn't make sense for an ecommerce site, of course the title of a link from one page would link to a page with that as it's title. How else would customers know what to click on to find the products they want.

IanTurner




msg:4451578
 11:54 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I grok your reference Leosghost

And if you don't grok yet - don't do anything unless you are sure that you know what is wrong with your site.

@Foxtunes - great that it worked - but could you define which of your changes actually made the difference? Or did you make all at the same time (grokking that you were doing the right thing) and hope.

anteck




msg:4451605
 1:37 am on May 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

The fact that legitimate website owners have to 'dumb down' their website's so they can get their ranks back clearly indicated google has majorly failed.

There was a time where you could simply design a site around a subject, provide loads of great original information, and the visitors would love it.

This whole situation is beyond ridiculous. It's like rewriting all the books in a library so that the library index works again.

Google have failed. They tried to knock out spam, and they left us with a mess beyond anything i've personally ever seen since google started back in early 2000. They constantly contradict themselves, their company has lawsuits left, right and center, they step on people feet, and their reputation is in the toilet.

tedster




msg:4451615
 2:14 am on May 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ideas for fixing Penguin traffic losses are now being discussed here:

[webmasterworld.com...]

This thread is getting too long so it's locked.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:40 am (utc) on May 10, 2012]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]

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