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Google Update (affiliate links, 302 redirects, etc)
mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 10:18 pm on Apr 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Majority of my sites have been hit with the latest update. After reading quite a few posts on here there are a few things which have stuck out :

1 - Almost all of my sites are affiliate sites with the actual purchase links of widget-x being an affiliate link. On top of that the affiliate links are setup as a 302 redirect to ensure a cookie is placed for credit.

2 - I have been making it a habit to have a facebook page, g+ page, and twitter account for these sites. In the footer I link to those pages which are also 302'ed. Neither this or the above is my doing, but rather the other party.

3 - Most of my domain names are exact match for one of the major keywords for my sites content.

Opinions on this... has anyone else noticed a similar scenario?

I have content, no shady seo, not over optimized, etc. I have gone a step further to use their page speed plugin for ff and my pages are all well above 90 ranking with most 98 or so. This is also something I caught on the web as they want sites to be quick and optimized so the user has a good experience.

As for exact domain matching, if this is true, then it is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. By having an exact matching domain you have THE domain (or one of) that specifically shows what your content is about. Obviously if you have something like blue-widgets.com you are not going to put content on it about yellow giraffes. With that said, how and why would they penalize a person for having a domain that directly correlates to the sites content? if I'm not mistaken many companies have paid big bucks for these types of domains for this reason and it makes complete sense to do so (unless you are Google of course).

All in all I am very disappointed with Google and have been for many years now... if the current results stay as they are then THEY are the ones who are ruining the user experience by showing theses current results.

 

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 2:39 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm guessing you expected your exact match domains to do all the work for you.

Can't say that for sure, of course, but you don't mention anything about how interesting, useful, unique, or compelling your content was... just that you'd checked off that box.

There are of course hundreds of other factors as well.

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 2:48 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

On top of that the affiliate links are setup as a 302 redirect


302 is the default browser behavior so it's not likely to have contributed to your rank reduction. The ranking effect of exact match domains is the more likely cause, especially if you do not have a brand name that matches the keywords used. Generic or product based exact matches have been widely reported as having less influence.

e.g. blue-widgets-under-the-moon-at-midnight dot com is not a brand and so it's likely considered over optimization for those keywords.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 3:56 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm guessing you expected your exact match domains to do all the work for you.

Can't say that for sure, of course, but you don't mention anything about how interesting, useful, unique, or compelling your content was... just that you'd checked off that box.

There are of course hundreds of other factors as well.


Certinaly not... everything else you mentioned is not a concern... looks like the exact match is what happened like the other poster said. Pretty lame if you ask me... I guess we will start seeing random domain names with content that doesn't reflect those names whatsoever if a 'branding' domain name is what Google is looking for these days. I think I will JosesCrabHouse*com and start offering content about widgets (widgets that aren't related to jose, crab, or houses)!

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 3:59 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Robert, I should also mention one of the particular sites in quetion has consistently ranked in top 3 for 10 years plus... trust me, I did not expect the domain to do it all, but when you have certain content and have a domain directly related to it... well, that just makes sense if you ask me... always has before till now apparently...

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 4:17 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

EMDs did not all get "hit"..almost all of my domains are EMDs..they all stayed high on their respective page ones.. rock solid..

EMD is only a handicap if the rest of the mix is not very strong ( just like Robert said ) or unique..

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 7:05 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

302 is the default browser behavior

Typo for server?

Gotta admit I couldn't drag myself past the 302's either ;) At some distant date when g### is but a dim memory, will the sites dump the redirects and go back to their original homes?

driller41

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 8:15 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have the same problem with my affiliate sites, EMDs are not the single problem, it is the overall combination, EMDs, low brand presence, low quality backlinks and affiliate monitorization.

When you combine all these things you are screwed.

What sort of demotions have you seen - I had a range, some -10 type stuff, some knocked down 5 pages or more.

I am trying to decide if these sites are salvageable, I think the heavily demoted sites may be finished and no amount of massaging them will do them any good - they still rank on Yahoo so I will leave them alone for that reason alone and concentrate elsewhere.

denisl

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 10:36 am on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

So, are EMD's causing a problem? - That would be dumb.

Or is it that in the past EMD's have had an unjustified boost which has now gone - that wouldn't dumb at all.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 12:27 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

EMDs by themselves? It would be ridiculous to drop an otherwise healthy site because of them. (It's also NOT what I see at all - almost every site I deal with has an EMD)

Google has set a higher standard for affiliate pages for quite a while now. Because for one thing, there's so many of them, and so many are poor quality. Even the ones that are acceptable quality are a dime a dozen (think of it - any lucrative affiliate program is going to have hundreds or thousands of participants)

So if you're going to rank an affiliate site, it has to be noticeably BETTER than average on first glance. It has to look like a site that happens to have a few affiliate links, and not a collection of affiliate links that happen to have a site.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 7:13 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree with you on this, but in my case my EMD's which sell affiliate products are usually noticeably better than the actual products company site...not just the ones I sell, but for majority of the companies in the market.

I will be spending some time going through pages with a fine tooth comb I guess... and doing the old trial and error process to see what does what.

If anything it is just extremely irritating when you have EMD's who are 5 or even 10+ years old drop down and see very poorly done sites ahead of them for the most part, even if they are non affiliate. By poor I mean visually, links that do not work, bad navigation, etc, etc

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 8:44 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

but in my case my EMD's which sell affiliate products are usually noticeably better than the actual products company site


But in almost every case I've seen, Google (and the general public) will consider the manufacturer to be the authority site. Even if they do no direct selling themselves. Despite some of the SERPs we see, I don't think Google considers itself to be primarily a shopping engine. That's going to be a tough nut to crack.

arikgub

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 9:51 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

EMDs by themselves?


According to my observations, this update did have some special impact on EMDs. In a way that leaves me puzzled.

I have a few EMDs.

One, the *.co.uk EMD with nearly zero incoming links moved from #2 for the exact match to #1, leaving the corresponding eBay listing behind. Even though it is a low competition phrase with less than 1000 searches a month, passing over eBay with 2-3 incoming links from forums and blog comments is ridiculous and usually doesn't happen.

The other, *.net EMD online store that has been #1 for a competitive money term was hit big time. The website has thousands of backlinks of various quality, some are really good and some are spammy. I wouldn't claim the site is of extraordinary quality, but it is certainly not worse than any other store in this niche. You can even say the site has some brand signals cause many users are searching specifically for "***.net" in Google (including the ".net" part). After the update this "***.net" term is our top search keyword.

Yet, another ***.us EMD in the same niche (not mine), a pure spam having a ton of hidden links (display:none) pointing to it was upgraded from nowhere straight to #2 for the keyword it is targeting and straight to #1 for its synonym.

What the hell is going on here... It would be silly to target EMDs by themselves, but may be there is some indirect factor in the play. May be the keywords in the domain are triggering some sort of anchor over-optimization devaluation ..

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 11:10 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think Google considers itself to be primarily a shopping engine.


As they shouldn't... and this discussion has absolutely nothing to do with shopping... they are a search engine. Rather than this whole authority thing how about they focus on returning the best sites period... what a novel idea for a search engine haha. If the 'authority' has a horrible site then it does not deserve to rank high solely because they are the 'authority'... best sites overall among many many many factors should determine ranking.

If the authority has a horrible site...well, fix it and maybe things will change for them... until then I still believe the best overall sites should determine ranking. This would also stimulate growth and competition to create overall better sites (better user experience ding ding ding).

[edited by: mihomes at 11:14 pm (utc) on May 1, 2012]

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 11:12 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

But everyone doesn't agree what the "best sites period" even are or what that means.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4447708 posted 11:16 pm on May 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Best sites as determined by the algorithm factors... 'corrected algorithm factors' at that... there is no way all of us are going to agree and everyone is entitles to their opinion. I guess what I am saying is 'if I were in charge of Google' this is what I would be doing. Not because the latest algo affected me this way or that, but because as a whole I believe it is the way things should be.

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