I think it was thoughtful of Barry to note that the poll might be skewed by likelihood of response.
I'd like to see a much more granular exploration of those who were affected, as I'm thinking that the poll may also be skewed by types of sites and types of SEOs.
I'm suspecting in many cases that upstream link sources have gotten hit... and I'm guessing that the further away from the SEO industry the link sources were, the less likely it is that they were "tainted". This is completely gut level... I haven't done the kind of study necessary to be more sure of the causes than this educated guess... but from what I've been seeing, there haven't been many surprises.
With all the millions and millions of spam links that have been created over the past few years, many by automated programs, and with the interconnectivity of the web, it shouldn't be surprising that a lot of sites would be affected.
From what I've seen, Panda likely affected more queries as it took down some very large sites, but Penguin seems to have affected more sites. This is just anecdotal, of course.
The other factor may be that there were other changes during the period (e.g. all the link slapping going on) which people may have bundled into Penguin.
Strangely enough, the only site I had that was affected negatively was a small personal site with no specific activity targeting links at all. Although I can see from the links to it why Google would suspect someone had gone out of their way to create them (for the interested, a lot of links came from an entry in an identical list which was republished on forums many times over).
I was busy and didn't see the poll to participate. I'm waiting (after the holiday) to see if there were any effects of the last refresh but Penguin seems to have benefitted us slightly, even over the weekend when we should have seen less traffic. No harm to any major keyphrases and no decline in traffic at least.
|I think it was thoughtful of Barry to note that the poll might be skewed by likelihood of response |
When you think about it, Penguin is more likely to hit websites that have been SEO'ed and those webmasters in turn are more likely to be voting in that poll. Your average Joe that just runs a good blog may have a site that's risen without even realising it was due to other sites being (effectively) demoted.
|When you think about it, Penguin is more likely to hit websites that have been SEO'ed and those webmasters in turn are more likely to be voting in that poll. |
Exactly. Many SEOs use the SEO websites. However, I know plenty of webmasters who know nothing about SEO and have never used those sites or heard of the SEO gurus. They aren't likely to see that poll. Some of them do very well in the search results, especially in local searches.
|But Google characterizes it as spotting attempts to manipulate it's algo. |
Now it is finding sites where the webmaster made happy accidents. There are millions of sites for most searches but only 10 in the top 10 in every case. The new top 10 will not be whiter than white, no attempt at seo sites. What they will be is failures in the old algo that suddenly become successes in today's.
IMO the side effect of this medicine is worse than the disease. Certainly in my niche, for the terms affected.
|What they will be is failures in the old algo that suddenly become successes in today's. |
That about sums it up. It’s almost like a building inspector flunking a home for placing electrical outlets on all four walls instead of confining it to one wall. Then come the people who readily agree you violated the building codes never considering the fact that having all outlets on one wall was lunacy to begin with. The bottom line is only people with little time invested in sites or with deep pockets profit from these type things. Google’s leadership is the source of most problems.
|...only people with little time invested in sites or with deep pockets profit from these type things. |
That's interesting. Is it possible for high quality content to be excluded from the SERPs because the marketing was low quality?
I'd love to see a poll of what end users think - non-SEOs, just regular schmoes who may or may not fully understand what a search engine is. Do people feel Google is improving their user experience? Because Google doesn't care what we webmasters think, as we're not who the SERPs are intended to serve.
For years, Google has benefited from people not realizing they had other search options that might give them better results. But it seems to me the typical user is getting savvier - if Google doesn't give them what they want, then most try a site specific search ("Hmm, that's not it - I know, I'll check LifeHacker") and a few will try another search engine. It seems to me that if Google wants to maintain dominance in search, they're going to have to provide users what they want, no matter how that affects any other concerns Google has. If they're doing that, then Penguin is a success. But if not - and honestly, I think it sucks on most queries I've tried lately - then Penguin's got some bugs.
|I'd love to see a poll of what end users think |
Every now and then I ask my 81 year old mom. She says she can't tell any difference for anything she looks for (and she looks for a lot of stuff but usually is happy ending up at Amazon)
On the other hand, I have caught her happily printing out eHow articles as reference material (which causes me to shudder, but it satisfies her query. And she's smarter and more net savvy than most)
well my mum is complaining all the time that she cant find what she wants on google. I keep saying try bing, she says, whats that?
|I keep saying try bing, she says, whats that? |
Tell her to look it up on ehow! <smile>
(Would not surprise me if there were an ehow article on how to use bing instead of google - and if it ranked really well in the SERPs.)