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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.

 

Leosghost




msg:4502183
 11:22 pm on Sep 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's surely not a matter of chucking a few union jacks around or giving up if the .com exists ?

Indeed it isn't.. :)
How do you make a site which is about a "widget"...look 'Brit' as opposed to US though...?

By being very observant as to all the differences that there are between the cultures and emphasising those things which are specific to your target market..this can indeed be done even on a regional ( within the same country ) level..

@JamesMacf :) you are welcome :)..because as Robert has said, we try to avoid public site reviews ( I have been known to "lapse" from time to time on that point..) I stayed off "specific" detailed advice, of the sort that slinky101 was wondering about..and also away from suggestions on how to deal with other factors which IMO, you should consider when planning your re-ascent in Google SERPs..

romerome




msg:4502187
 11:40 pm on Sep 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

SevenCubed wrote :

"The affected one is the oldest (5 years) and is the one site that does have about 50 backlinks with not enough anchor text variation"

nomis5 wrote

"All the sites, affected and unaffected, are designed using the same very, very simple template. All are equally well researched, written and illustrated with my own graphics."

So I am seeing something very similar. I have some EMD's that got hit and some that didn't. I dont see any correlations between the sites that got hit and those that didn't.

Not sure if this gets us closer to answers but I wonder if G was able to determine what is a EMD and what is not an EMD. Its certainly possible, but harder, for a algo. "bluewidgets" and "greenwidgets" one is a EMD and one is a company name. If someone is not in that business it could be hard to tell the difference. You would have to know that bluewidgets is a product and greenwidgets is just the company. Both terms could even get equal traffic. Splitting those apart is possible but not trivial.

I am leaning toward a general change in how domainnames are treated. Partly because I am seeing non EMD's hit in the same time frame and I don't think its chance.

MrSavage




msg:4502191
 12:07 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

A theory here. Is it not possible that the "value" that once existed in having keywords in domain has been set to zero or next to zero? The EMD sites that remain would remain even if they were any domain name under the sun even without a keyword in there?

In other words, the ranking value might be gone and it's as simple as that. Of course the impact wouldn't truly be known until they went ahead with adjusting the dial. How would they really truly know the impact beforehand?

In my opinion, Google has adjusted keyword domain value in a similar way that they adjusted the value given to length of existence on the web. Ranking factors no more?

jonathanleger




msg:4502192
 12:29 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

MrSavage:

I would like that to be true, and perhaps it's part of it, but it can't be the whole story. I seriously doubt that the domain name bonus was so strong that sites who lost it went from page one to oblivion.

Perhaps that PLUS the removal of the free pass EMDs were getting for overoptimization of anchor text would do it. It's still early though.

miozio




msg:4502194
 12:30 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

HIGH QUALITY site down 1-2 pages for all of its keywords not just the domain name! This time it seems like the most ridiculous update ever that has no sense at all!

Donna




msg:4502199
 1:08 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Don't forget it's a domino effect. One domain can pull multiple domains(OBLs) in value if its own value gets diminished and so on .

miozio




msg:4502201
 1:25 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

We are the producer and seller of products online. The domain name is related to our merchandise. With this update Google is really destroying small business! I suspected that Amit Singhal was insane but I never knew he was a serial killer.

incrediBILL




msg:4502208
 1:36 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

With this update Google is really destroying small business!


How so? It just removes a method commonly used to game the system with EMD's vs. good content. I'm sure if you have both then your site will be fine. If your content sucks you'll obviously suffer.

I suspected that Amit Singhal was insane but I never knew he was a serial killer.


Simply uncalled for and unprofessional.

They run a business and made changes to best address their customers. Some sites will always be in the top 10 regardless of who gets hurts by an update and if the searchers aren't finding what they want they'll use the competition. Based on the continued popularity of Google, the searchers are obviously liking most of the changes.

Who isn't liking the changes are the little webmasters with a narrow scope of traffic generation that relied on simple tricks like EMDs to get traffic which may no longer work for their sites.

Not a very good business model, eh?

miozio




msg:4502213
 1:51 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Incredibill! Our content doesn't "suck" we produce our own independent films featured on IMDb. We are on contracts with a few broadcasters too and the films are well requested and of high quality. Your wording "If your content sucks" should be accompanied with your own "Simply uncalled for and unprofessional"

supercyberbob




msg:4502216
 2:11 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

From my reading the posts here the past couple of days it looks like a LOT of sites that were hit (by whatever algo)are not the typical EMD. More specifically, the purple-widget.com types.

I've seen more than 2 posts where a brand in the domain name is implied or indicated.

IF this is the case, and it looks like it from early examples, one cannot be assuming this update is hitting those who deserve it.

As mentioned earlier, pretty much anything can be considered an EMD. google.com has a keyword in the domain, so what does that mean exactly?

It means this whole EMD labeling isn't very clear cut. I can't wait to read about this update on the usual sites on Monday. :)

romerome




msg:4502217
 2:11 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

MrSavage:

"Is it not possible that the "value" that once existed in having keywords in domain has been set to zero or next to zero? "

I think that is what G should have done. And I was surpised they didn't do that years ago (they should have).

Instead I am seeing EMD sites not just lose rank for their domainname related keywords. These sites are more or less completely banned for any an all phrases. Subpages that have nothing to do with the domainname are banned as well.

For the most part I gained more than I lost from the EMD change. I didn't do too many EMD's. Plucking down a few thousand never seemed worth it for something that I assumed would quit working eventually.

That said banning EMD sites is a little unsettling/surprising.

Leosghost




msg:4502219
 2:21 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Subpages that have nothing to do with the domainname are banned as well.

Forgive me for asking the obvious question :) but what makes you think that a subpage ( for example let us use what appears in the browser address bar when that subpage is accessed )..

eg;
www.keyword.com/somesubpage

has "nothing to do with"
www.keyword.com

The domain name "keyword.com" appears in the address bar both times..

If Google have decided that they don't like the particular EMD, obviously they mean all of the particular EMD..not merely the "home page"..as that particular EMD is in the URL of every page of the site..

That said banning EMD sites is a little unsettling/surprising.

They haven't banned all of the EMDs, mine, and the EMDs of very many other webmasters, are all doing very nicely thank you :)

[edited by: Leosghost at 2:26 am (utc) on Oct 1, 2012]

MrSavage




msg:4502220
 2:26 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone seeing trademarks in domains as being part of this?

miozio




msg:4502221
 2:28 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

From now on if you decide to make a page that sells shoes, you should type "fishing rods" for the subpage

Leosghost




msg:4502225
 2:29 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone seeing trademarks in domains as being part of this?
No
Leosghost




msg:4502229
 2:35 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

From now on if you decide to make a page that sells shoes, you should type "fishing rods" for the subpage

No..but if you have shoes.com..and G has decided that they don't like it as an EMD..calling a subpage "fishingrods"..isn't going to help much, as the url would still be shoes.com/fishingrods

btw ..that domain* does exist..and has not been hit ..it is #1 for the EMD..and it is easy to see why :)

*It is not one of mine..But I do have many EMDs like that..( didn't cost 1000s of $..always merely the standard price of the dotcom, dotnet, dotorg, etc )..there are still lots of "low hanging fruit"..many "drops" that no-one has spotted..some can be had with real good on topic/theme backlinks/DMOZ..the whole works..for under $10.oo..

DeVille




msg:4502230
 2:41 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

The results are so pathetic maybe someone has finally worked out search is dead and we'll just have our favourite apps. More resource pushing Play Store and why bother about search as they have lost their way.

romerome




msg:4502232
 2:50 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Leosghost

"Forgive me for asking the obvious question :) but what makes you think that a subpage ( for example let us use what appears in the browser address bar when that subpage is accessed )..

eg;
www.keyword.com/somesubpage

has "nothing to do with"
www.keyword.com"

What I am saying is that after the EMD change www.keyword.com doesn't rank for "keyword". Makes sense. They should have done that a long time ago.

But in addition www.keyword.com or www.keyword.com/somesubpage doesn't rank for terms totally unrelated to "keyword" or "somesubpage". For instance a phone number or a phrase that has no overlap with keyword.com.

Leosghost:
"They haven't banned all of the EMDs, mine, and the EMDs of very many other webmasters, are all doing very nicely thank you :) "

As I said I mostly benefited from this update. I had a few EMDs but I didn't invest too much into them compared to my main sites. And after checking my sites while some were hit the majority of my EMDs were not affected as well (So thank you very much as well :)

My point is that G went from one extreme to another. I think they should have devalued EMDs a few years ago. Instead they ignored them for several years and then instead of devaluing EMDs they banned them.

Leosghost




msg:4502236
 3:12 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

But in addition www.keyword.com or www.keyword.com/somesubpage doesn't rank for terms totally unrelated to "keyword" or "somesubpage". For instance a phone number or a phrase that has no overlap with keyword.com.

But given the way they classify pages as "documents" and then what the contents of the "document" are..the document title will "tarnish" the quality in their eyes of the contents..That is the way they rolled panda out ..if they didn't like some of a number of pages..the entire domain ( all pages included ) did not get returned ( except very low down in SERPS) for any searches, whether or not they were related to the domain's primary subject..

They appear to like that way of doing things..and if one thinks ( as I do ) that they are now ( and have been for the last two years ) moving to "pre-sorting SERPs, for Amit's favorite goal "speed of returned results for queries"..a hitherto relatively minor "weakness" or "transgression" or perceived ( real or otherwise "spammyness"..and EMDs can be an indicator of that ) coupled with one or two other factors can put a domain into the "leave it out for now" or at least "the leave it out of the first ten or so pages" part of the "pre-sort"..

Thus allowing Google to get what they take to be less spammy results back to the searcher faster..

My point is that G went from one extreme to another. I think they should have devalued EMDs a few years ago. Instead they ignored them for several years and then instead of devaluing EMDs they banned them.


I would agree there with you , but they cannot do everything at once ( although they frequently try to get us to believe that they are doing everything at once, we can see different, when white text on white pages, and other old school spam techniques can still be found ranking well etc )..They are now rolling separate concurrent algo(s) , some out of phase with the others ( because the volume of data they are working on is so huge and growing ever faster )..They have not, as far as we know, "banned" any or all EMDs ( "banned", as in not returning them for a site:particularEMD query)..they are merely demoting some of them..hard..one could say that they finally got around to it..

Not all EMDs abuse their EMDness..but as incrediBill said ..very many have, and do..and some have just coasted along on their EMDness..that is no longer enough..

romerome




msg:4502237
 3:22 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ahh I reread my earlier message. I think I was unclear.

Anyway my point is the EMD didnt push domains down for the keywords in their domain (primary domain/subpage). They more or less banned them.

Anyway getting away from trends with G back to EMD.

This is what I am seeing so far. I have not found any trends that work out 100% of the time. But in general

Larger authority sites didn't seem to get hit. And new sites with 0 to a handful of links didn't get hit. From what I see sites in between seemed to get hit. For those middle ground sites I dont see a correlation with the amount of unique content. I also don't see a correlation with the general traffic for the EMD phrase.

I saw an earlier post from someone that had an old site that got hit but their newer sites didn't get hit. I looked at site age. This is a pretty limited dataset so it could just be noise. But in general I am seeing sites older than 2 years and younger than 6 months being less likely to get hit.

romerome




msg:4502238
 3:25 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ahh I didnt see your reply before posting.

"they are merely demoting some of them..hard..one could say that they finally got around to it.. "

Yeah I would agree that is more true/accurate. They were not banned (as I said before) but demoted hard.

romerome




msg:4502240
 3:29 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sorry for multiple posts.

"a hitherto relatively minor "weakness" or "transgression" or perceived ( real or otherwise "spammyness"..and EMDs can be an indicator of that ) coupled with one or two other factors can put a domain into the "leave it out for now""

Good point. Makes sense EMD being added to some other low quality indicators causing the hard demotion.

Which would mean its not just "low quality links" or "low quality content" or etc etc. Its simply an EMD with a certain amount of any of those other factors that hits a site.

tedster




msg:4502244
 3:48 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Right now, I'm not really considering backlinks as a factor. There was nothing in the Tweets to indicate it was anything off-page. And besides, Google has already hammered low quality backlinks quite a bit this year.

So I'm leaning strongly to on-page and on-site factors. If I had to fix a site that was hit, that's certainly where I would start looking, at any rate.

MrSavage




msg:4502245
 4:16 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Could this be segregation? Because I'm a keyword domain website, I have different rules and am looked upon differently. Interesting.

I get that there were some loopholes and some were taking advantage. For the most part it seemed to be the less popular areas where a lousy website with keyword matching domain could exist and sometimes prosper.

I can't say all my site are down, but those that are hit could be called decimated. For me this is a very confusing update. Will this once again give way to a submit to Google via online form if you feel you were wrongfully segregated?

In a sense if this stays, and if this collateral damage stays damaged, I see one positive. That positive will be the collapse of the domain scalpers. Now that might, and I say might get some headlines.

Based on previous Google history, could this possibly be the kind of update they dial back, rework, etc? How long might that take or what might be a "best case" scenario?

Whitey




msg:4502250
 4:34 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

A few sites that are out there as an experiment to EMD that i closely observe :

1. Site A . EMD masquerading as a specific location based business icon. It is NOT a REAL business. It is NOT the business icon. Site was built for EMD ranking benefit to service the community around it. It moved backwards in Penguin. It shows up No1 for keyword [ without spaces ], but not separate words keyword+space+keyword+space+keyword.

The site has 5 pages, 1 of unique content and linked to by a community. I would consider it "shallow".

My take on this experiment is that Google quality algo likely wants something to validate the authority of the site:

A. A validated business location address and/or reference
B. A valid link/s or association by links or brand to say "Yes" this is an authority on that keyword.
C. Something to say it is a valid separate identity from the official identity.

2. Site B . EMD of it's own identity. Stayed put - ranks for nothing else as nothing used to support it. It's not trying to rank for anything except it's own identity. No need to validate it's identity.

3. Site C . I am seeing link supported supported EMD directories holding, such as locationservicewidgets.com

Not sure if that helps, but thought I'd throw it out there to try and draw on specific consensus.

MrSavage




msg:4502259
 4:48 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

So basically I'm to presume early on that I chose unwisely and that the best move is to avoid the segregation and 301 my websites to new domain names that don't have the main specific keywords in the domain. I find this all fascinating and a bit disturbing at the same time.

We aren't to create anything to meet an algo they always say. Just build a great site. A number of my sites were great according to the traffic sent to them. Aside from being a certain "way", I'm looking at another hurdle whereas most other non keyword domains have nothing to worry about. Ah, I see.

If there is going to be an extra effort to prove my worth because of a domain name, then I'm exiting stage left.

I'm stopping posting for now, but I'll be reading. Hoping for some optimism on this.

incrediBILL




msg:4502267
 5:10 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Your wording "If your content sucks" should be accompanied with your own "Simply uncalled for and unprofessional"


What part of "IF" did you miss?

I didn't say it did suck, I said "IF" it sucks.

Must've struck a nerve ;)

Plus I was talking "your" generically as any webmaster, not yours specifically. My bad for mixing possessive pronouns as I can see how it might be misconstrued.

I'm sure some domains will remain untouched while others aren't which is going to happen in any update and having content that isn't primarily text probably won't help much.

zarathustra2011




msg:4502362
 7:57 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

My website was built so many years ago, the concept of EMD never even entered into the equation. It's been updated for years, and has always gained in traffic yearly. It's rich in original content, and didn't suffer penguin or panda, but has now lost 2/3rds of its traffic.
Every keyword or phrase where I ranked highly has now pushed me way down in the results.
One of my pages for example, has been popular for a great many years. I wrote it myself, and google always credited me as the author. Hundreds of websites and social networks have used snippets of my text and photos (all of which without permission, but I can't chase them all), but 90% of them linked back to me. Now it seems Google is giving me no credit for my material as of 2 days ago, despite it should be pretty darn obvious I am still the original source with the number of backlinks I have, and the date the material was written.

Even if I copy and paste some key, unique, sentences from my page, sites like flickr.com and pinterest appear, and even smaller websites that have just taken a paragraph of my text, appear way above me.

What is the point of writing original, interesting and unique material if at some arbitrary date, google decides to just obliterate your website, and given everybody but the original author, credit for your work.

Hopefully the algo is still work in progress. If it isn't, I'm through with website development. My website has always been my passion on a subject I'm knowledgeable on, but I can't afford to put the time in, if I can get nothing in return.

pelizden




msg:4502363
 8:05 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@zarathustra2011: I know exactly how you feel, the Google somehow fails to see the original author, imagine this- My site is five years old, and there comes one blogspot blog (one month old) that copies my entire posts from three years ago and ranks number one for these while I'm nowhere to be found...I'm shocked and disgusted, have already sent copyright claims but I can't do this for eternity, this algo is one huge mess...

lewis1




msg:4502364
 8:06 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@incredibill "little webmasters with a narrow scope of traffic generation"

Your statement applies to yourself. "Simply uncalled for and unprofessional"

We have built some fantastic sites, had dedicated English writers and we were adding great new content every day to our sites. They were up there with the best in our niche in terms of quality.

To describe us as "little webmasters" is unprofessional, you have no idea how we run our business and the amount of money and time we invest in our websites.

You should shut up if you have nothing constructive to add to this discussion.

nickreynolds




msg:4502366
 8:10 am on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@incredibill - maybe what you posted has been misunderstood. Although you said "IF your content sucks" the tone could easily be read as implying - "your site is penalised BECAUSE it sucks". This may not have been your intention, but it could have been understood that way.

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