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Algo Change Targets Low Quality Exact Match Domains 9-28-2012
martinibuster




msg:4501351
 9:13 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt tweeted [twitter.com]:
small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality "exact-match" domains in search results.

 

dbcoders




msg:4502718
 10:31 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seems clear to me, Google needs to now focus on de-ranking their low quality employees

aristotle




msg:4502740
 11:39 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Quote:
The following pattern is present across quite a few sites that got hit. Here is a few examples.

Site 1:
28/09 = 200 (uniques)
29/09 = 77
30/09 = 5
01/10 = 71

Site 2:
28/09 = 138
29/09 = 49
30/09 = 3
01/10 = 31

Site 3:
28/09 = 261
29/09 = 224
30/09 = 39
01/10 = 302


It looks like one update may have pushed your sites down, but a second update has begun pushing them back up again.

Whitey




msg:4502775
 1:45 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

There was talk about EMD's being affected back in April [webmasterworld.com...] as part of the Penguin update targeting over optimization.

Several webmasters commented on the effects.

I get the feeling that this element has been pulled aside for special attention and refined, because the EMD's I'm seeing are a mixture of up and downs.

There are samples emerging now on some trusted sources, that demonstrate Google distinguishing between the REAL business name, which it likes , from that of a site with a service it tries to provide purely for ranking purposes.

I'd say one clear factor in this update is that distinguishment.

Can we have some feedback from others as to whether this is 100% or not.

viral




msg:4502777
 1:52 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have seen very little flux in the .au anyone else here see different? For me it is like .au never got rolled out but it could be just the niches I am watching.

MrSavage




msg:4502778
 1:58 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Okay I've had a couple days to stew over this. I'm close to hitting panic mode. The only couple sites that mattered to me are essentially MIA with this update. My income is MIA also. I'm sure I'm not alone.

The freak out part of me thinks nothing is going to improve. My dumb luck. I haven't seen any movement on anything.

So my question is, if you've been "bombed", where are you at on all this? I'm not going to change a thing. No way. I've been segregated because of the color of my skin on this one. I truly feel this way.

How long are you guys going to wait this out? Are you launching a new site? Are you going to 301 this if things don't pan out or change? Do you feel as pessimistic about this as I do?

One thing is clear to me. Time invested in websites is a real sketchy investment of time. Organic traffic suckers. After experiencing this, I'm not sure how I can move forward.

I've had a wide range of horrible experience over the years. With that said, I've made the most money ever this summer of 2012 and peaked with Adsense in December 2011. The fall from those accomplishments has been so severe, I'm really struggling to deal with this. This is absolutely the WORST ever that I've felt from any Google update or penalty. Ever. Nothing compares to being smashed in the teeth like this one. I'll leave it at that. My point is made.

What's the plan now? I need some other thoughts on this right now.

Kufu




msg:4502787
 2:25 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

To provide some additional info for people to digest, another one of our sites which is a dog breed (exact match name--single word) has disappeared from the listings, despite the fact that it is the only site dedicated solely to that one breed of dog. The content is original, and well written. It was ranking at #3 or #4 depending on the day, below Wikipedia and the AKC website.

Now it has all but disappeared for the major keywords.

I still am of the opinion that something is not right with this update and that some inexplicable drops will get fixed over time. I say this because we also have a few EMD sites with only a single page of information (some have disappeared while others have kept their rankings); interestingly one of the single-page EMDs which kept its ranking is an seo-related site--the content is good, but still, I would expect such an algorithm update to take out that site, not the dog breed site.

Whitey




msg:4502802
 3:10 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

despite the fact that it is the only site dedicated solely to that one breed of dog

@Kufu - But is your business name registed as per the domain name?

Are you a brand? If so how is Google able to determin this?

Unique content and inbound links is not brand. What is your business known by?

Do you get the drift?

potentialgeek




msg:4502803
 3:17 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Two pages that survived all versions of Panda just got murdered by EMD.

Panda is a sitewide penalty and EMD is even more vicious!

Backlinks mean nothing to EMD. Age means nothing.

EMD = WMD

Kenneth2




msg:4502806
 3:37 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

2012 will be remembered as the great culling of web SOHO.

2 previously pandalized sites got bombed again (-20->30%)
2 rarely updated EMD sites got nuked (-90-99% casualties)

A friend of mine has started to look for a job after many years in this field. For me, the battle against the big bad GOO algo has just begun.

viral




msg:4502809
 4:04 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

2012 will be remembered as the great culling of web SOHO.


i have to agree here. Google is some respects has declared war on SEO's. Initially it looked like it was aiming at Blackhats. However now it seems Whitehats have finally come into the firing line. I mean would anyone consider using and EMD blackhat?

I am starting to think Google has decided enough is enough they want no more new sites to appear on the web! and they are not going to help them! I can understand this as it is probably becoming more and more expensive to crawl all these nasty little sites that keep popping up, "although I don't agree with it".

I know sites that have had very Blackhat starts in life that now have transitioned to Whitehat who are doing perfectly fine, in these updates. I doubt you could do that now with any kind of success.

Google has moved the goal posts so many times in the last 10 years it is hard for any startup to see the light of day. Old established sites no matter how they did that establishing are the beneficiaries of this latest strategy by Google. It is almost a case if you haven't already succeeded then you aren't likely to unless you have something really exceptional on your hands that doesn't Google to get people, Ala Pinterest.

Either way you cut it 2012 is going to go down in history!

sid786




msg:4502812
 4:39 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is a battle between me and Google, and between me and my competitors anymore. As usual, if some sites have gone down, others have come up in the serps.

RedWine




msg:4502822
 5:38 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

There are probably many here who skim this thread that have never been severely impacted by an update. It is easy to sit back and make judgments such as "should have had better content" or load times, users experience, brand building, community building (fill in with your favorites), etc. I know I certainly did. It feels good to be wrapped in the safety and security of the shared illusion.

But then one day it happens to you. Your perfect baby, no matter how well attended and groomed, gets blown out of the SERP's. I'm talking gone. Then the red pill kicks in, your feeding tube pops, your matrix plugs are pulled, and you find yourself cold naked and alone seeing the SERPS Algo as it really is for the first time! ;)

Until then, pass the cool aid (and enjoy the steak)!

MrSavage




msg:4502824
 6:14 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Could this simply be as drastic as the deindexing of .co.cc domains?

As some have mentioned these sites should have been picked off by Panda and Penguin, but instead there has been a poison cocktail provided to those left standing.

I'm having this awful sinking feeling that there isn't a way out of this algo. If your domain is a certain way, it's just going to work against you. I hope I'm wrong.

Can anyone confirm is this is a EMD or is this really a brand EMD? A clear cut brand EMD would have to be a word or phrase that can't get confused with another meaning of the same word. In other words, are you seeing "bluewidgets.com" being safe (with a decent track record and content of course) but "xyzbluewidgets.com" being offered the poison cocktail?

Google has changed their tune on copyright infringements. Now could they be judge and jury on what is an acceptable use of a brand in a domain name?

Overall I'm exhausted. Any changes out there? I will have my lowest earning today. I would need to go back to about year 2 to see this type of day.

Robert Charlton




msg:4502844
 7:04 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

...There are samples emerging now on some trusted sources, that demonstrate Google distinguishing between the REAL business name, which it likes , from that of a site with a service it tries to provide purely for ranking purposes.

I'd say one clear factor in this update is that distinguishment.

Whitey... I think in general that you're right. There are also some specific examples that have been posted which show that some "churn and burn" type spam for various brand name knockoff sites, etc, appears still to be ranking.

Mod's note: We've got no choice but to delete those specific examples. As those familiar with this forum know, we don't allow specific search terms, domain names, or information to lead to specific sites.

Generally, when such examples have been explored, they aren't reflective of the algo as a whole, but are examples of what rankings multiple hacked sites pointing at throw-away domains can still achieve.

Hard to say whether they show that Google has an ongoing weakness with regard to EMDs, or simply whether the spammers using them have a large inventory of EMDs on hand. I don't feel they're representative of the serps as a whole, but some would like us to think so... perhaps to heighten a sense of injustice when a thin but "clean" EMD gets nuked and this overt spam appears to be flourishing.

In sites I monitor wh;ich have EMDs but where a lot of work has been put into the content and the linking has been clean, I've seen no drops. In some cases, I've seen the results improve. YMMV.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4502849
 7:19 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

What's the plan now? I need some other thoughts on this right now.


We have been hit hard with Juli 24 panda update and did a complete rework, redesign, added new fresh content+ pictures and rewriting. After the anti domain spamming update and the last panda update things were going better. We had sales and a lot of traffic. Then on 25.Sept. somthing has been changed again. Traffic got total unrelated, sales are very down. With the last update
we are now getting stupid traffic.
My point is, that we did so many things and nothing, realy nothing has helped. My opinion is that whenever a domain gets hit by panda this domain is burned.
As i am not saying we are the best in our niche but we did our amount to have the "right" to be there. We are now outranked by 6 word pages with very low choices and pages that i won´t trust as a user.
Brands are now favior and the can do want they want, even duplicate content on subdomains will not hurt them.

If this goint further google will demote itself and will not play a big role in the future. 90% of the real quality sites have been vanished and google has become so big because they found this pages, now that they have took away their bred they will surely getting a bit smaller.

I did not found one who says yes we are back. Back to our question -> Start a new domain with new content.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4502859
 7:54 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

If this goint further google will demote itself and will not play a big role in the future.
If only! <raises eyes>
ohno




msg:4502860
 8:07 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sadly brand loyalty will play too big a part. For most people searching via G is automatic, indeed for many people the internet IS G!

tigger




msg:4502861
 8:07 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Back to our question -> Start a new domain with new content.


agree ...we lost a few key sites, but thankfully saved and did well when the traffic was flowing - so back to the drawing board and start again

arikgub




msg:4502865
 8:16 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

MrSavage,

What's the plan now?


May be the plan is to find a different business model. To build a business that can not be destroyed in a minute at Google's whim.

I feel your pain. At the beginning of this year I was pulling record revenue, paying a monthly salary to a few programmers, customer support and admin staff. Now, after the series of 2012 updates, the employees are gone, and a week ago I sent my first CV applying for a job.

I am still making enough to stick to what has been left from my business for a while, but I came to conclusion that in the current state of risk vs money vs effort situation it is not worth it anymore. Not until I come up with a stronger business model.

Let's say your site rankings come back, what's next? Relying on Google for traffic is like playing a Russian roulette. Can you really stick to your business model knowing how arbitrary the success is and how volatile your family income is?

Kenneth2




msg:4502866
 8:17 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

As usual, if some sites have gone down, others have come up in the serps.



Very true, I'm seeing more branded / Goo sites(IE: Youtube) appearing on top even though the content are NOT always the best for users.

I think webmaster should use google properties to their advantage from now on. Keep their original site for Bing & Yahoo, and market aggressively on branded Goo (ie : youtube) sites for better visibility. With concerted effort by effected webmasters, we shall see top 10 results for many search terms dominated by Youtube / google properties in Goo soon (Sarcasm).

Simsi




msg:4502867
 8:27 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

My guess is that until now, EMD's have been cut a little more slack on link anchor text variation as it might be natural to expect a higher proportion of (internal & external) keyword anchors to match the domain name and that "slack" has simply been removed, causing link value to diminish.

Robert Charlton




msg:4502868
 8:38 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

To build a business that can not be destroyed in a minute at Google's whim.

This is something that's been recommended for a while. Ironically, I think, a business that has a viable presence apart from Google is much more likely to do well on Google.

tigger




msg:4502869
 8:43 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is something that's been recommended for a while


This is all well if you don't have a UK business where you either rank on G and make money or don't and starve - The idiot brits will even use G to find sites when they know the full URL ....amazed the amount of traffic I get where people will type the url inc TLD extension into G ....If G kicks your site for those idiots you may still not make money when they know your url ! ( no offence to other fellow brits ;o))

Martin Ice Web




msg:4502870
 8:44 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Robert i like to add that much business will only be able to drive revenue in internet. Online buying is a growing market, many big brands have to shrink their sales room because of the online buying.

themistral




msg:4502874
 8:53 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hey guys, this may help.

We have an EMD that went live in June.
widgetsforsale.co.uk

We have not done a lot of link building and what we have done has mostly resulted in anchor text of www.widgetsforsale.co.uk or Widgets For Sale

Until this update, we were ranking between position 1-3 (with Google throttling the top 3 sites) and a particular term These Widgets for Sale had risen to position 3.

Then the EMD update hit.
Yesterday, Widgets for Sale was still at position 3 - today it is 9 - but it is still there.

Yesterday I searched for These Widgets for Sale and it was nowhere.

I think our lack of inbound links has saved the domain and we are now just at a point that we would be if we had chosen brand.co.uk for our domain.

We have lost the boost that the EMD gave us and we now have to put in more effort and accept it will take longer to get rankings (not sure my boss is going to react well to that...)

themistral




msg:4502877
 8:58 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Tigger,

I know what you mean - I've seen people type domain.co.uk into the G search, then click on the sponsored listing result :0(

I've asked why they do it, and the reply is "it's easier" *shakes head*

tigger




msg:4502878
 9:02 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

pretty well sums it up themistral!

Jez123




msg:4502879
 9:04 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

So if that's the case mistral (and I see something similar with a similarly new site) how best to link it?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4502881
 9:06 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

And what makes you guys think this is uniquely British behaviour?

themistral




msg:4502882
 9:10 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

BeeDeeDubbleU,

I'm a brit and it's behaviour I've seen over here.
Can't comment on other nationalities as I haven't seen them search ;)

But we're going slightly off topic here.

Jez123, I'm not sure at the moment - I'm going to spend the day thinking about a new strategy and see what I come up with.

[edited by: themistral at 9:22 am (utc) on Oct 2, 2012]

Robert Charlton




msg:4502883
 9:19 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just a thought about many EMDs... that, as brands, they're actually less distinctive than non-keyword based brand names.

CheapWidgetsForSale.tld, eg, is actually less differentiated than SnappyBrand.tld. Semantically, it stands out a lot less, and, if publicized sufficiently, "SnappyBrand" is likely to be more memorable. It certainly has more lilt.

A brand as a differentiator may well be becoming more useful than KeywordKeyword.com for ranking purposes, because, going forward, anchor text influence isn't the only signal Google's going to be looking at in terms of reputation.

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