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This 604 message thread spans 21 pages: < < 604 ( 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 [12] 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 ... 21 > >     
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.

 

muejl1




msg:4503019
 3:12 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well....I'm not sure where to go from here either. Some good stuff in this discussion......

I still rank well for a few phrases.....just not for my main one plus a bunch of geo modifiers.

I am not pushing the self-destruct button by 301ing everything to a new domain. I assume there will be some corrections, but I do believe I'm back where I was a few years ago.....looking uphill!

Leosghost




msg:4503027
 3:17 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google.co.uk..( I didn't specify a DC BY IP to connect to it )..just loaded it into Opera Speed Dial..

#5 happened Monday, yes I noted it..I was connected via the same Opera Speed Dial shortcut when I did so..

Haven't tested "long tail(s)" only tested for KW for EMD in the target country..

chrisv1963




msg:4503032
 3:30 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

But there is still something else going on. I myself as well as a few others have chimed in indicating that we are not emds and have been hit.


I agree, one of my non EMD sites got hit too. About 70% traffic loss. This website has not been updated for over a year. Crappy incoming links. I don't worry too much about this because this site generated little income.

At the same moment, my main website (daily updates, good incoming links, ...) gained traffic and started generating more income.

Thus for me this update was a good thing. My "crappy" site lost traffic, but my "good" main site gained traffic. The total income generated from my websites increased.

lewis1




msg:4503038
 3:42 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

James, you have a similar problem to us. One of our sites jumped back in yesterday and the home page ranks number 1, but the internal pages...well we might as well not have bothered creating all that great content....which is what I'm sure Mr Cutts kept telling us to do JUST CREATE GREAT CONTENT.

Tried that Matt, it doesn't work.

JamesMacf




msg:4503056
 4:29 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google.co.uk..( I didn't specify a DC BY IP to connect to it )..just loaded it into Opera Speed Dial..

#5 happened Monday, yes I noted it..I was connected via the same Opera Speed Dial shortcut when I did so..

Haven't tested "long tail(s)" only tested for KW for EMD in the target country..


Thank you for letting me know - I am not currently seeing it but hopefully it will roll out over the next 24 hours! I am not as concerned about the EMD term (if people are looking for our brand and we rank 5th then at least they can find us easily from typing in the exact match term) - I am more hoping that my long tails come back as it is pretty demoralising losing them all.

@Lewis - thats how I feel right now - but just got to keep improving it and hopefully Google will do the right thing!

James

robdwoods




msg:4503078
 5:22 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ironically, I think, a business that has a viable presence apart from Google is much more likely to do well on Google.


That's my opinion as well. Online marketers are going to need to find ways to deal with the transition. It used to be possible to become successful by ranking well on Google. It now is going to take becoming successful to rank well on Google.

Vuffy




msg:4503090
 5:39 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

There seems to be one pattern that jumped out to me based on all the replies here and on the Oct thread:

Low quality equates to low traffic.

People are saying 50-90% loss in traffic. When that number translates into hard number such as 500 or 100 uniques only. To me, if you had an exact match domain and you're only getting that much traffic, clearly the domain name is carrying you, not content.

Has any site that isn't a micro affiliate niche site been hit?

WebPixie




msg:4503097
 5:50 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has site that isn't a micro affiliate niche site been hit?


Yes. Our niche does well over 100k exact match searches per month. When things are going good we get 5-6k visitors a day from search engines(from all terms).

It is not a huge market, but certainly not a micro-niche.

incrediBILL




msg:4503098
 6:00 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

it's also Google's assessment that the content is low quality. That won't change with a domain change.


Exactly. Everyone thinks a 301 will solve the problem and it might if Google's approach was simplistic but I've seen evidence to suggest once they flag content if you redirect it you're just redirecting flagged content to avoid webmasters easily escaping penalties. Therefore, if a 301 fixed the problem it's probably other factors that caused the original site to be dinged and not just the content itself. Finding out whether it's a content and internal issues vs. domain and external factors is key to solving this puzzle.

I know someone that got a penalty once for most of his sites and used 301 redirect to bypass it and when Google caught what happened they dumped all his sites out of the index for about 18 months. It was posted in this very forum. Not sure they would do the same in this situation, but I've seen it happen so beware what you attempt to do to escape the EMD update.

Sorry to be slow here but what would you report apart from the drop itself ?


The only way the programmers can make enough corrections to get it right are to get enough examples of how the EMD update went wrong. You need to report via Google WMTs or other official channels to make sure they know you think your site was improperly targeted by their latest update so they can make adjustments or simply give you a hand reinclusion.

Sometimes having a manual review of the problem is the only way to get back in the index because I had several ancient sites none of the Panda updates liked for no obvious reason, except perhaps the bazillion IBLs which could've been tainted but were so massive in volume no human could ever fix the situation. So I requested someone manually take a look. They claimed they didn't know why it was getting dinged, yeah right, and fixed it manually.

textex




msg:4503113
 6:19 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Exactly. Everyone thinks a 301 will solve the problem and it might if Google's approach was simplistic but I've seen evidence to suggest once they flag content if you redirect it you're just redirecting flagged content to avoid webmasters easily escaping penalties.

Based on other members' experiences, a re inclusion request more often than not equates to nothing...not even a response. So if we have several hundred pages of unique content...what should we do? Rewrite the copy? It certainly is not low quality (maybe in Google's eyes). But we got hit this update and don't even have an emd.

mihomes




msg:4503115
 6:27 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Also was hit... EMD that has been around since 2000... always quality and before this fiasco was considered a highly regarded resource (books, magazines, links, etc, etc)...

When G started changing things up rankings went down to page 2... now I see I am on page 10 with extremely irrevelant sites listed before.

What in the world is considered low-quality to them? This site certainly is NOT.

I hope all of this bites Google bigtime in the foot...I have become increasingly upset with them for some time now and this just put it over the top for me.

How in the world can you penalize an exact match domain which has specific, quality content, for that term... may I ask what better combination there could possibly be - assuming the site is done properly?

Next thing you know if you search for 'dictionary' it's .com will no longer show in the results haha!

muejl1




msg:4503117
 6:30 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do people think an EMD shielded the site from Penguin? I'm trying to figure this one out......can anyone shed some light on this?

zarathustra2011




msg:4503120
 6:31 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I made an appeal to Google the moment my site got hit, and a couple of days ago received a standard template email saying if there are any problems with my site they will be announced in my Webmaster Tools, so I guess that was my appeal out the window.

Jez123




msg:4503122
 6:40 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

[Do people think an EMD shielded the site from Penguin? I'm trying to figure this one out......can anyone shed some light on this?


I think that EMD's were allowed a higher rate of direct match keyword links than anything else. Simply as it's not easy to link to them using anything else but those keywords - hence why they were so effective and sought after. I think google have removed that higher bar and the sites have slipped into penguin. Or they have devalued a percentage of the links going to them AND lowerd the bar and Penguin has got them. Which might explain the double dip that some have experienced.

[edited by: Jez123 at 7:16 pm (utc) on Oct 2, 2012]

mihomes




msg:4503129
 6:46 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is not that an EMD should be shielded... it is that it should not be penalized for being such which is what appears to be happening.

timwilliams




msg:4503131
 6:56 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do people think an EMD shielded the site from Penguin


EMD did not shield from penguin here.

timwilliams




msg:4503132
 6:59 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Someone has already said this (sorry, don't remember who) and I agree, I think this update simply removes any "bonus" a site may have had because of their domain name.

In a perfect world every emd would be the top level authority on the emd's subject but I think we can all agree that's not the real world case.

muejl1




msg:4503139
 7:07 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

If an EMD site didn't get shielded from Penguin.....then why such a plummet after this algo update? I have a strong site that I add content to every 2 days....and it's strong content.

I'm just not understanding this algo update.....and what to do about it.

robdwoods




msg:4503147
 7:39 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

@muejl1 what does "strong" content mean? I'm not saying that your content isn't good but just being well-written and useful is not enough as the bots are going to have a hard time assessing value. Is your strong content linked to and shared frequently? Is it unique? Is your backlink profile varied and natural? It may be that a big portion of your rankings were coming from the EMD and that benefit may now be gone.

I have an EMD that I add content to infrequently but the site has a clean backlink profile, gets lots of shares, and is coded to today's Google standards. It actually jumped up significantly in Google rankings in the past few days.

I'm not criticizing your site directly, just throwing out suggestions to possibly eliminate other factors beyond EMD.

I'm not sure what it is yet but I think this update is about EMDs that meet a certain profile of other factors. We just don't know what those other factors are yet. Anchor links too focused on exact match terms? Brands in the domain for sites not owned by the brand? Simply being in SERPs where EMD had a big impact due to the competitive landscape and now the EMD benefit has been removed?

zeus




msg:4503151
 7:58 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

I got a domainname like widgetbla.com it lost 50% of its visits on bloody Saturday, its all unique content, but domain is pure keyword, related to site, but thats simply be cause the site is about that, so OF CAUSE i have that as domain name. Well in a way I dont care I have given up on google, I just wanted to mention this for your seos, it is still no.1 out of 164mill results for its domain keywords "widgets bla"

scooterdude




msg:4503159
 8:18 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Theory:

EMDs well monetized with affiliate links down


EMDs with either zero or minimal affiliate links up or unaffected

Just guessing

chicagohh




msg:4503161
 8:24 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

A quick observation after looking at some sites referenced in this thread:

Quality content is not the same things as usable content. Do you have any stumbling blocks that could cause visitor to leave your website and continue searching on competitor sites?

Is your site hard to use? If you're not doing extensive split testing or other behavioral testing you really can't answer that question.

I have found that most websites that are not testing user behavior are under-performing. Often, dramatically. Averaging 6 pages/visit may look great, but if other sites are running 9 or more then your 6 is actually not good at all.

There have been so many good responses in this thread. The answers to running successful EMD sites are here. Just don't make any sudden moves. It's like when the cops show up and someone suddenly bolts - they may not have done anything wrong, but they sure *look* suspicious.

farouk111




msg:4503162
 8:27 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

scooterdude
i am not an EMD, i dont have affiliate links (not a single one, though i sell through clickbank directly)

i lost 13% of long tail traffic (that's 130,000 hit/month)

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4503163
 8:27 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

People are saying 50-90% loss in traffic. When that number translates into hard number such as 500 or 100 uniques only. To me, if you had an exact match domain and you're only getting that much traffic, clearly the domain name is carrying you, not content.
Have you considered that traffic volume is dependent on the niche and amount of people searching for the content?
MrSavage




msg:4503165
 8:28 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has anyone made a decision one way or the other about moving forward? It's been about day 3 or so and personally I haven't seen/heard of any indicator showing reason for a rollback or improvement on the situation.

I've been cut off at the knees and at the same time handed a delicious poison cocktail. Tasted good at the time, now not so much. Dang!

I'm sticking a fork it for now. It's done. I'm launching new and different websites. I suppose if you want to play the guessing game and stew over this, that's a personal choice. Out of all the updates this one I can say it's not me, it's them. So that said, I hope my income returns. It will on its own because those sites won't get another ounce of my time. Worthless hunks of junk.

In summary, I'm moving on. Wake me up when there is legit/official news of anything happening. Brutal this is. This will be a story that I'll share with my children. The day of being wiped of the face of the internet. Organic traffic expectations should be adjusted accordingly moving forward until there is a legit #2 search engine being used which realistically may never ever happen in my lifetime.

cakey




msg:4503167
 8:36 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has any site that isn't a micro affiliate niche site been hit?


I lost around 4-6k unique visitors per day - on my site which has over 3000 posts.... wouldn't say thats "micro affiliate".... funnily enough though I have been replaced by a site which is only affiliate links and have the exact name match but a .us domain.... nice one G!

WebPixie




msg:4503172
 8:48 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

@MrSavage

We are considering a similar plan. Meaning basically leave the dumped sites alone and capitalize on the existing traffic from other SEs and links. But start a new site from scratch on something like ghsfghlug.com to try and build our way back on G- from the ground up.

With the constantly changing rules we do have some links I am sure Google does not like from years ago. Unfortunately there is little we can do about that now. Since G- seems committed to nuking any site with a link profile that crosses a certain threshold, I do not have much hope that any attempt at recovery would be a wise use of time.

It is a shame. We have some really nice niche sites that do deliver excellent content that is spot on what people are looking for when they type in the related keyword phrases. It just seems that in the current G- environment, you need a squeaky clean link profile to rank with this type of non-big brand niche content and after many years and some mistakes, cutting the cord and walking away may be our best option.

robdwoods




msg:4503175
 8:50 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

@scoooterdude My EMD is 100% monetized through affiliate and adsense and traffic increased over the weekend.

robdwoods




msg:4503180
 8:59 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

@chicagohh

The answers to running successful EMD sites are here. Just don't make any sudden moves. It's like when the cops show up and someone suddenly bolts - they may not have done anything wrong, but they sure *look* suspicious.


I'd agree to a degree. If you were hit by the update give it a few days or a couple of weeks to see if Google rolls out an adjustment to the algo.

as to
The answers to running successful EMD sites are here.
I'd agree. Run them just as you would any other successful site with the realization that the EMD is one ranking factor out of thousands. Don't put all your ranking eggs in that basket (or any one ranking factor) and expect your site to have consistent and sustainable organic traffic.
robdwoods




msg:4503185
 9:11 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Did anyone get hit by the update that didn't buy their domain name specifically to rank for the exact match term? I'm not being facetious, I'm actually curious. If you bought keyword1keyword2.com just to rank for keyword1keyword2, that's the kind of thing you can expect Google to target with updates. If you bought keyword.com and it's not a "branded" or trademarked term I'd expect that you might be safer. Just a theory, so I'd love to hear feedback. Was anyone hit that can honestly say they bought the domain without a direct ranking benefit in mind?

farouk111




msg:4503186
 9:11 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Robwoods
this makes sense

i was hit by panda 1.2 and lost 20% of traffic, 2 month later my traffic jumped 100% so resulted in an 80% gain
the same stupid panda that pushed me down is the one that later pushed me up
lets wait, i think that's the best option now until the dust settles

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