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2 years trying to recover from panda.
raseone




msg:4598990
 4:23 am on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I get the feeling that I'm singing to the choir but I've never posted here before.

I am an artist. A main facet of my business since 2003 has been the creation & publishing of digital widgets.

I opened examplewidget.com in 2003 & it was an immediate success. Traffic grew steadily as the site grew & our offering expanded. Google invited me to to be in the test pools for Adwords & Adsense, They came to my home to interview me, they invited me to the campus for Adsense in your City... All signs pointed to the fact that I was doing great in Google's eyes. They literally told me in person that I was a part of this group because my site presented an uncommonly high level of value & quality.

On April 11th 2011 examplewidget.com suddenly lost about 60% of our traffic from Google overnight. 2 weeks later out homepage at examplemain.com (open since 1997) was also hit, losing about 80% of it's traffic from Google.

At the time I was running about 60 sites for various design clients. Luckily none of them were hit.

The hit from Google destroyed about 70% of my income instantly & cost me half my life savings before I could adjust my business & stabilize. I lost both of my regular workers & had to spend most of my time on contract work so I didn't loose my house.

I've gone through large & elaborate maneuvers as well as mind numbing minutia trying to recover. I've managed to create some spikes but whatever I gain just slips back away. I'm outranked mostly by pirate copies of my own original work.

I'll take any advice I can get starting with some advice on where to post in this forum with specific technical questions.

[edited by: goodroi at 1:00 pm (utc) on Aug 4, 2013]
[edit reason] Welcome to WebmasterWorld, please go read & follow the community guidleines [/edit]

 

Planet13




msg:4599273
 5:44 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

"On April 11th 2011 examplewidget.com suddenly lost about 60% of our traffic from Google overnight. 2 weeks later out homepage at examplemain.com (open since 1997) was also hit, losing about 80% of it's traffic from Google."


Since you aren't allowed to post a link to your site in this forum, you have to tell WHY exactly do you think Panda slapped your site?

"I've gone through large & elaborate maneuvers as well as mind numbing minutia trying to recover. I've managed to create some spikes but whatever I gain just slips back away."


You will have to elaborate as to what you did in your attempt to fix the problems.

Otherwise, we will just be throwing darts in the dark.

EditorialGuy




msg:4599277
 6:08 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Raseone:

1) You're not alone. I know a whole slew of information-site owners in my topic area who got whacked by Panda. (Some have sites that go back to the 1990s.)

2) AdSense/AdWords and Google Search are different entities. Like any large corporation, Google is made up of different groups or divisions that seldom talk to each other and may have different agendas.

JS_Harris




msg:4599281
 6:51 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Shots in the dark:

- A page that is 10,000 words long can be considered thin
- A page with three sentences can be considered thick
- A page with uniquely written content can be considered duplicate

Panda is not about finding pages with too little content, it's about finding pages with too little original and useful content. By Original I don't mean words not repeated anywhere else, I mean an angle or approach that is not covered by other sites. Something different you won't find on those other sites.

Matt Cutts game an example: Green Frogs
If you write an article about green frogs you're probably going to mention that they jump, that they are green, what they eat and where they live. Guess what, so is every green frog page out there so why should yours be above those? Find a way. You say they jump? Show me in high def ultra slow motion or do some research comparing jumping distances between types broken down by country vs pollution level etc. Original.

About the opening post, you mention being an artist, are you re-publishing widgets with different skins? If so you may be painting the green frog a different shade of green and Panda isn't interested. A widget that does something no other widget does however, if useful, is pure gold.

Zivush




msg:4599282
 6:59 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm outranked mostly by pirate copies of my own original work.


* Have you reported DCMA?
I think that this is the #1 reason the site isn't recovered .

I've gone through large & elaborate maneuvers as well as mind numbing minutia trying to recover. I've managed to create some spikes but whatever I gain just slips back away.


* Have you changed the design of the site?
Many sites' designs changes result in ranking lose or gain.


* Have you changed significantly the content of the site since?
That could be another factor.
Sometimes content improvement can work great and sometimes it can make the opposite.

Robert Charlton




msg:4599287
 7:35 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

raseone - Something that jumped out at me is that you have what you call a "homepage" at examplemain.com, with the site that first got hit at examplewidget.com, suggesting parallel sites. Have you considered possible duplicate content and cross linking issues?

About the opening post, you mention being an artist, are you re-publishing widgets with different skins?

To take this question a little further, do you have mostly image content and not much text content? Particularly if your text tends to be similar for each widget and you rely mostly on the images to make distinctions between widgets, you would have a hard time with Panda unless you took creative steps with the interface to keep your visitors engaged.

Here's one of several discussions you might check out for thoughts about Panda and image sites...

Panda, Galleries, and Directories
April, 2012
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4436764.htm [webmasterworld.com]

raseone




msg:4599289
 8:17 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks everybody. Allow me to elaborate & respond.

I create both custom, hand made widgets as works for hire or license & digital widgets that people can license n the form of software. I've been doing this since about 1995. My widgets are entirely unique, not based on any previous work & only legally available on my own sites or those of my 2 distributors (the largest such distributers on earth). My work is quite well known & I've been blessed with great opportunities via a strong presence online.

I have never bought, sold or traded a link. I have never used an seo company. I built all of my sites myself as I have been doing since 1997. I am a professional web developer with hundreds of sites under my belt many of which have attained massive traffic.

I've not taken my widgets and built a bunch of different "skins" around them on different sites. I've not copied or imitated the content of any other site. We were in fact the first site on earth to ever assemble a collection of this particular genre of widgets. We were in fact the first company to even produce this particular genre of widgets. In years since virtually all sites in the industry have added categories to their selection for this genre of widgets. In other words we basically launched an entire genre. To this day were are the most prolific producers & publishers of such widgets. Most of our competition is simply aggregation and poor curation including everyone who currently outranks us on our key terms.

Our digital widget site features not only our original widgets but also a tightly curated selection of similar widgets from other artists who have submitted their creations into our collection. Most of these widgets from other artists do appear on other sites however usually without permission & we are usually the first to publish them. The ratio is about 100 exclusive, original widgets to about 250 widgets which may legitimately be found elsewhere.

For these 250 we have developed exclusive content such as descriptions, preview images, specs, sample art, credits etc. similar to what we do for our original (in-house) works. In many cases we have upgraded & fixed bugs in these 250 widgets. The collection of both exclusive & shared widgets grows constantly but the curation is very tight & we insist on written permissions for inclusion.

I had never heard of penguin or panda until a couple months after my site was hit. I don't know that it was panda but I do know that the problem is isolated to google. Other search engines still respond normally to my sites. I have never received any manual penalties from Google.

Our main concentration has always been on our original work. we could make a sale to about 1 of every 300 people that visited our site. I've never gotten the slightest negative feedback on the site or on the widgets.

Every widget has a name. Many of these names are actual registered trademarks. At the moment I am on the 2nd page of a search for such a trademark.

Whitey




msg:4599300
 9:13 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

@raseone - Welcome to the forums. One thing you might consider is putting your site up for review here : [webmasterworld.com...]

Without seeing your site it's hard to provide detailed input. There are other sites affected by Panda also being reviewed here, which may provide you with some good tips to also help.

rish3




msg:4599325
 10:06 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Since you aren't allowed to post a link to your site in this forum, you have to tell WHY exactly do you think Panda slapped your site?


He was pretty specific that 60% of his traffic disappeared on April 11th, 2011. That's the release date for Panda 2.0, and therefore, a reasonable reason to assume it's Panda.

Or maybe you meant what specifically Panda didn't like about his site? Not sure that's helpful. If he knew, he'd likely have fixed that by now.

raseone




msg:4599345
 11:25 pm on Aug 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'll definitely post a request for review at the link you provided. It's pretty hard to explain the situation without mentioning specifics. When I post in the review forum I'll post a link to it here.

To answer a couple questions...

My best guess at what Panda hated about us was "duplicate content"

Our "homepage" which has a few thousand pieces of art content with text articles like portfolio pieces etc. also had a section which featured our <widget> offering. It drew traffic on a very different but related set of keywords. At the time I had no reason to think this was a bad idea. I just figured I was putting the <widgets> in front of more interested eyeballs. The content was very similar but not identical. both sites had tons of unique content but there was some duplication. We still have the <widgets> on out home page but we've limited it & completely re-written all the text from scratch

To make matters worse we had left the door open on our beta version of the <widget> site & google crawled in and indexed it. This resulted in google basically showing 2 of every page for the <widget> site. We solved this issue within a few weeks of the initial hit, as soon as we discovered it. Not the slightest recovery resulted.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 11:45 pm (utc) on Aug 4, 2013]
[edit reason] removed specifics [/edit]

randle




msg:4599530
 5:09 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have never bought, sold or traded a link. I have never used an seo company. I built all of my sites myself as I have been doing since 1997. I am a professional web developer with hundreds of sites under my belt many of which have attained massive traffic.

Any chance you put a link back to your site on every one of those sites you built?

JS_Harris




msg:4599568
 8:20 pm on Aug 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

If the answer to Randle's question is yes you will need to get as many of the links you can removed from those sites, file a disavow file and ask for reconsideration a month or two down the road.

If not I would suggest you're at the point where you need to use your analytics to figure out which pages lost significant Google traffic but didn't get the same drop from Yahoo and Bing. You'll want to find pages getting almost no Google traffic only here, the way Panda works it's possible for pages to lose significant traffic but not be the cause of the sitewide drop.

On those pages apply a googlebot noindex meta tag(not a robots meta tag, you don't want to cut off Bing/Yahoo etc) until you can improve the pages. Make sure they all have useful text about the content of the image, that you don't have too many ads above the fold(sidebar included) etc.

bubba1986




msg:4599626
 4:31 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

You will have to elaborate as to what you did in your attempt to fix the problems.

Otherwise, we will just be throwing darts in the dark.


I'm afraid, unless it's an obvious problem people would be shooting in the dark anyways. Google tightly controls everything and their goals have drastically changed with panda and other algo change$. [wikitech.hu...]


raseone, is your niche highly commercial? How many ads show up when you search for your important keywords? You may have been hit by Panda intially but now Google has added so many ads and made them look like content, it's effecting clickthroughs to our sites. Be careful of removing links to please the Google gods, you may lose even that Bing traffic and not get anything back from Google.

FranticFish




msg:4599642
 7:02 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you have old Google contacts, I'd also try to see if you can establish some form contact offline. If you are a 'false positive' and the originator of not just the content but the CONCEPT behind the content that currently outranks you then Google engineers should really be interested in your story. They don't owe you, or anyone, rankings but one of their search engine's stated aims is to reward authority, innovation and originality.

JesterMagic




msg:4599699
 11:19 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

My shot in the dark would be is your site is old and has gathered many unsolicited backlinks over the years. Some of those are probably from bad neighborhoods posted by spammers. Google use to ignore bad links and just concentrated on the good. Now they actually take into account these links and adjust your site rank accordingly. Many older sites like yours has suffered because of this thanks to either scrupulous competition or just spammer bots running wild.

turbocharged




msg:4599701
 11:38 am on Aug 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just curious why some have recommended that the OP file a reconsideration request? It's my understanding that the OPs traffic loss coincides with Panda and that Google employees only take action on reconsideration requests regarding manual actions. Panda is not a manual action that can be reversed by a Google employee, but instead an algorithmic penalty.

raseone




msg:4600051
 5:32 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yup, more good input. I actually did file a reconsideration request once even though I never had a manual penalty. Google of course simply replied that no manual penalty was in place so a reconsideration was not needed.

To answer Randles Question: I most certainly did not post links to my site on all or even many of the other sites I built. I will however say that I am terribly annoyed by the idea that having put such an accreditation in the footers of sites I built for example could somehow hurt my search traffic. To me that notion is preposterous & nonsensical.

We DO have 14,000+ incoming referral links. Google has never raised a specific concern with them. This is another issue that makes me want to smack somebody. If google is having trouble telling good links from bad links & google insists on using these links as a ranking factor then this sounds like a "personal problem". I can't do google's work of sorting good links from bad links. It's too difficult, too time consuming & most of all risky since we are all just guessing at what google wants to see. I do agree however that the links could be part of the issue. I've looked through them for any obvious or bulk spam but beyond that I'm not sure what to do.

True Google owes me nothing... well they owe me a few things: A monthly check for my adsense earnings, a response to my takedown orders & in my opinion a lot more respect for my authorship & innovations when my work is appearing in their systems.

Planet13




msg:4600073
 6:37 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

"We DO have 14,000+ incoming referral links..."


Just so I understand;

These are links from sites that use / distribute your widgets?

Are these nofollowed links?

Or are they dofollow links?

Robert Charlton




msg:4600088
 7:22 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

When I see numbers like 14,000+, I immediately ask, "How many of these links are run-of-site links?"

Planet13




msg:4600133
 9:36 pm on Aug 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

When I see numbers like 14,000+, I immediately ask, "How many of these links are run-of-site links?"


yes, if we could see how many different DOMAINS those 14,000 links are spread across that would help us out.

I know that the original poster is pretty firmly convinced they were hit by Panda and not Penguin. However, they might have been hit my a manual action or Penguin (or both) in addition to the Panda attack.

Filing a reconsideration request is probably the ONLY way to make sure that a manual action has NOT been applied to the site. Unless one has something to hide, then it can't hurt, can it?

JesterMagic




msg:4600186
 1:01 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is another issue that makes me want to smack somebody. If google is having trouble telling good links from bad links & google insists on using these links as a ranking factor then this sounds like a "personal problem". I can't do google's work of sorting good links from bad links. It's too difficult, too time consuming & most of all risky since we are all just guessing at what google wants to see. I do agree however that the links could be part of the issue. I've looked through them for any obvious or bulk spam but beyond that I'm not sure what to do.


I couldn't agree more. I just gave up trying to deal with the influx of links. About 6 months ago I had over 250 thousand backlinks (reported by GWT). Most of them were forum/comment posts from some spammers bot that was trolling the internet for places to posts links to my site along with about 50 other peoples domains. I couldn't deal with it fast enough.

dethfire




msg:4600187
 1:20 am on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I find it impossible to keep up with the fake search engine and rss feed sites. It's not my job to find them and clean them. That is Google's.

randle




msg:4600315
 3:30 pm on Aug 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

the idea that having put such an accreditation in the footers of sites I built for example could somehow hurt my search traffic. To me that notion is preposterous & nonsensical.

You may feel its preposterous but placing run of site footer links back to your sites home page is begging for trouble (for both parties).

If a webmaster wants to "sign" their work thats one thing, but placing hard links on the bottom of every page isn't exactly elevating the user experience. Run of site footer links are, shall we say, algorithmically risky business.

Beyond that theres also the ethical factor. I know its a well worn practice, and forgive me if a rankle any feathers (here come the flames, I can feel em already), but generally speaking when this is done, the site owners are not asked permission, and are not compensated.

If you hired someone to paint your home and when they were done they took a can of spray paint and wrote "Acme Painting Co." across the front of your house - would you call that an "accreditation"?

graeme_p




msg:4600849
 8:50 am on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

My car, my laptop. my camera etc. all have the manufactures name on them. Every painting I own has the artists name on it, and almost every book has an author's name on the cover.

JesterMagic




msg:4600875
 12:28 pm on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

A lot of content management systems do it as well as themes. I don't have a problem of web developers doing it either as long as they inform the client that is the case and then the client can make the decision. I am part of the developer world so I am always interested to know where a piece of software came from or who developed what site (or anyone who is interested in getting something similar). The internet is built on links and it is natural when you see a company name or a name of a piece of software you want more information on to click on it to visit the site. That is how the internet works.

Of course there are people who will try to exploit this and that is not right but Google needs to stop punishing well intentioned people. In a sense Google is trying to make the internet there own by making all these new rules to rank well. Before it didn't matter and you could do your own thing, now that is not the case.

jimbeetle




msg:4600914
 4:38 pm on Aug 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

raseone, do the "digital widgets" you produce link back to your sites? If so, that is a big problem in Google's eyes.

robzilla




msg:4603538
 10:34 am on Aug 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

raseone, do the "digital widgets" you produce link back to your sites? If so, that is a big problem in Google's eyes.

Matt Cutts recently posted a webmaster video about this subject: [youtube.com...]

fathom




msg:4603575
 2:21 pm on Aug 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I create both custom, hand made widgets as works for hire or license & digital widgets that people can license n the form of software. I've been doing this since about 1995. My widgets are entirely unique, not based on any previous work & only legally available on my own sites or those of my 2 distributors (the largest such distributers on earth). My work is quite well known & I've been blessed with great opportunities via a strong presence online.


So when you sell (or license) a work that work is 100% off the market?

1. you DO NOT license that digital work again to anyone else and
2. your licensing terms forbid any licensee from duplicating for others or for themselves and
3. no one else can display these digital works online but the licensee and you automatically remove yours from your website?

This part:

only legally available on my own sites or those of my 2 distributors


So how many site(S) are we talking about beyond the 3 you disclosed here.

explorador




msg:4603583
 3:08 pm on Aug 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think you will have to add some of these to your site:

- Behind the scenes
- Interviews
- Your work, the cases
- Your background and story
- Your personal journey, how you became a good artist
- Challenging works from the past
- Perhaps a short series of tutorials

Why? I'm familiar with artist and digital content creators due to several friends and coworkers creating animations, illustrations, info-graphics, digital portraits, recovery of ancient documents, medical animations, interactive presentations (both pre defined and also the ones relying on user input to display and work differently) etc.

The common problem there is: too visual, little content. They can have a great image or digital widget but when you look at the html... 97% is the html code of the page, the rest is little text and the image code. Any great image or amazing digital widget could be BIG or impressive but it only takes a line to insert it on the page. It's very difficult to keep traffic this way.

There is great potential there for original content. I avoided details on why I think this is the issue but I think I'm pretty close around a great vulnerability on your side.

Edge




msg:4603626
 7:37 pm on Aug 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Impossible to evaluate your websites challenges here... raseone.

Ask for a website review...

[webmasterworld.com...]

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43 ( [1] 2 > >
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