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Authority sites ranking for thousands of site search pages
Andem




msg:4481878
 7:13 pm on Aug 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've been wanting to post about this for a while, but I figured it would resolve itself after a couple of months but that hasn't happened yet. This is different from tag pages, continue reading.

There are several high-quality sites which have taken advantage of their status as an authority in order to link to search result pages from other parts of their site. These pages eventually rank and thanks to Google's abandonment of the "one or two pages from the same site" on the SERPS, I'm running into page 1, 2, 3, 4 and above which contain 90%+ of internal search result pages from authority sites.

I really got annoyed today when I was looking for something that only we offer (a 100% free, non-ad-supported service and trademark) and it appears that one site has created search result pages from keyword lists and now ranks 1st page, often above the real site for countless terms.

The general layout of virtually all of these pages are search results, 2-3 AdSense for Search custom ads as the first two "results" and then mildly rated pages to completely unrelated pages (many are registered trademarks). URLS look like:
site.com/s/this-and-that-for-the-other

The problem is that these sites are using their authority status to rank for stuff that they don't have, nor do they offer. The stuff they rank for really looks like they are generated from database compiled from Alexa or AdWords data. One site has over 50 million search result pages listed while others have between 10-40 million. Ridiculous.

This has been going on for months and it isn't fair to anybody. I've used the G Search feedback form several times hoping to raise some flags because it is frustrating as both a user and an original content producer.

 

driller41




msg:4482507
 8:33 am on Aug 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Tedster:- After it happens to me a couple times, I never click on that site's result again.

I think that google is hoping it's machine learning with Panda will take care of such things - after a while the number of dissatified users should pull the page back down the rankings and until that time it will rank where it is - of course that is the theory.

diberry




msg:4482607
 3:18 pm on Aug 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

"The obsession with brand or authority isn't just a Google thing, it's a people thing. "

Yes, but a lot of people tend to assume whatever's at the top of the SERPs is an authority site. They don't evaluate the site and come to that conclusion themselves (except in the cases of sites that represent offline brands or authorities). They assume Google has put the authorities at the top.

This creates a cycle: no matter why you're at the top of Google (blackhat SEO that's working for the moment), people will assume you're an authority, and then their UM will indicate to Google that the readers consider that site an authority, so it stays up there.

I have wondered if that's part of what Panda was supposed to address. I.E., maybe by making content "king", the algo accidentally paved the way for content farms to be #1, so Panda was meant to somehow separate the authority signals they got from merely being #1 and perceived as an authority from *genuine* authority signals. If so, I know a lot of us feel it didn't work too well, but I think it's valuable to speculate about G's intentions, because very often that indicates where your site will need to be to make it through some update in the next year or two.

Andem




msg:4484375
 6:28 pm on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Overall, this problem seems to be getting worse and worse. As I look back at the numbers and compare them to other sites who said they were hit by Panda, it's looking more and more like I was no Panda victim and the loss of traffic was in fact caused by the crap rising to the top of search results (in my case, automatically generated search result pages based on keyword lists).

Is it time to use my own keyword lists to link to search result pages? I'm really getting to a point where I don't care about what Google does or says because they don't practice what they preach nor do they treat everybody fairly.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4484408
 9:34 pm on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Andem,
I see this, too. I recently search for some widget and got 3 pages of one price compare domain. It was so annoying that i switched to bing and found what i was search on page #1.

Andem




msg:4484435
 11:20 pm on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

and got 3 pages of one price compare domain


Three results from the same domain containing automatically generated content is bad enough. When the first 8 results are generated pages with no editorial oversight, it gets a little bit more ridiculous. Even more when over 50% of the top 50 results are all a similar style of doorway page.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4484439
 11:43 pm on Aug 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Andem,

if did mean three google result pages = 30 times the same domain.

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