I certainly do see what you mean here - that's a pretty weak page and for the average webmaster it looks like it would get a Panda demotion all the way.
At the same time, Frommers built a huge brand before Google bought them, and they have lots of consumer confidence. I'd bet that the user data for any Frommers page in the SERPs is probably very strong. Strong enough to override the rest of Panda? Apparently.
And how about that paid text link to colorado.com?
Can't see that being placed there for relevance.
There are worst examples, wiki answers comes to mind right away.
Not really a google property, but a perfect example of how a page with one sentence and bazillions of ads could rank just fine.
All good examples that google manipulates the results, not only to punish, but also to shield certain websites from the algo.
|I'd bet that the user data for any Frommers page in the SERPs is probably very strong. |
Huh? I would leave that page right away and I bet the majority of people would too. It actually took me a minute to realize there is something else there besides ads...The website may feed on the printed guides' popularity, but it certainly is no match.
It's unfortunate that consumer confidence / mentions / authority can seemingly potentially trump user / usability signals.
Because it is increasingly more difficult to understand the metrics which rank any given page, it is becoming just as difficult to understand how a business the size of Google couldn't exploit it.
"And how about that paid text link to colorado.com?
Can't see that being placed there for relevance."
The link doesn't pass pagerank though so Google doesn't have a problem with it. Google doesn't have a problem with links (all their billions of dollars in revenue come from paid links), they just have a problem with paid links that pass pagerank b/c it manipulates search engine rankings.
I wouldn't even say it's "do as I say" - people do that, and still lose. And well, doing as I (they) say when it comes to Adsense is suicide.
>>The link doesn't pass pagerank though so Google doesn't have a problem with it.<<
Maybe so, but the line of content about Colorado is is about the only text content on the page.;) And it's not original.Hardly a score for ranking for Big Island Hawaii.
FWIW, they just bought the company two months ago. Large structural changes on a site like theirs don't happen overnight. And since there are plans to merge it with Zagat, it might take extra time.