|Panda and image heavy websites|
I know we're supposed to talk about widgets, but that's just not constructive for this post. We all know DeviantArt, right?
Matt Cutts today released an ever so helpful post about what webmasters can do, if they suspect they've been hit by Panda. Well first off, why not just tell us if we've been hit? Transparency would be nice, I'm tired of the games.
He talks about writing quality content. Every time I read one of his Panda posts, he always talks about content as though it can only be textual. He never talks about what image heavy websites should do. What should they do? Besides the obvious.
Request all of our members start writing articles about their work?! That would of course be ridiculous. Most artists don't want to be forced to write, their pictures/videos etc speak 1,000 words. It probably took them a great deal more time than most articles.
So, if you've got a website like DA but don't yet have the ridiculous authority they have, what do you do?
I ran a successful website, in a similar niche. It was hacked, which included a dedicated backup server. We painstakingly rebuilt it, and let me tell you, building a community isn't easy. But our devoted users pleaded with us and so we invested significantly to bring them a new platform.
Not only do the users love the new platform but members from competitor sites, sites with 1 million plus uniques a day, started to move their work over to our new platform, because our features were better, not to mention the devotion we show to our community.
Everything was going great, until September 5th and boom, traffic disappears. Haven't built a single link, nor do I want to. Our focus has been on building an exceptional platform. Our bounce rate is low, time on site is high, pages per visitor is through the roof. The website is responsive and works brilliantly on all devices.
I'm pretty jaded right now, it's been a hell of a year and it's just got a whole load worse.
Any advice would be wonderful.
I believe you are talking about the site previously discussed in these threads:
This thread would imply you have recovered (to a degree, at least) and that then suddenly on 5th you lost the traffic?
I am wondering if you can provide some timeframes between finishing rebuilding the site and the disappearance of your traffic. Perhaps some numbers of drop on 5th may be helpful to members?
Have you in a meantime been doing link juice recovery as mentioned in the second thread above?
realmaverick, i have asked me the same question. How to write article like in a magazine for a site with wallpapers, for example?
Probably there are kind of filters based on site' category.
The problem is that the pages that are now in top results, in my niches, aren't better.
Hey, I am indeed talking about the above site in the first 2 threads. The 3rd isn't related to this discussion (the one about manual actions).
We recovered to a degree. Previously we had about 5 million indexed pages. Obviously being brand new, we didn't have close to this. So traffic recovery, was slow but steady. Each day traffic increased.
We launched Sunday 28th July, this was pretty much 9 months downtime. Google traffic started to trickle in pretty much straight away.
By September, we'd reached 2,000 visitors a day and despite only being a fraction of our previous traffic, it was a good enough start and it was moving in the right direction. Here is the decline.
5th 2,000 visitors
6th 1,300 visitors
7th 900 visitors
8th 900 visitors
9th 700 visitors
We've pretty much flatlined at 700 visitors a day.
We've been trying to recover link juice but there's still a massive amount that hasn't yet been recovered.
Google as usual, isn't being transparent as to what the September update was about, it's not even being widely discussed, but there was a definite update. Based on the info out there, I'm assuming it's Panda. And coincidently, Matt posts a video this week about Panda recovery.
We've been discussing the issue in depth and one of the ideas is to noindex, follow all of the artists work. Then create collections of content on different topics, where we can talk about the subject matter. So for example we could create a collection of Disney fan art, and talk about Disney, the art, some of the featured artists etc. But we're still in the ideas phase, so any advice would be awesome.
[edited by: realmaverick at 11:32 am (utc) on Sep 12, 2013]
|The problem is that the pages that are now in top results, in my niches, aren't better. |
The same here. Now we're getting searches for "green widgets website name" because Googlers specifically want content from our website, but cannot find it now.
Realmaverick, I haven't read the other threads so if they answered this question, sorry: how certain are you that all the user generated content on your site is original? Images can be "dupe content", which could cause Panda problems.
|Transparency would be nice, I'm tired of the games. |
It's like a policeman stops you and gives you a ticket without explaining what is wrong.
My 6 years old site <snip> was hit on September 4th. I have lots of images in each post, about 30-40 images.
Lost about 60% of traffic overnight. From 7500 uniques/day to about 3000 uniques a day.
This site has never been penalized so badly before.
All content and images a unique and VERY helpful. I was getting tons of positive comments about my content.
This is so discouraging!
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:51 pm (utc) on Oct 8, 2013]
[edit reason] removed specific market area [/edit]
|We've been discussing the issue in depth and one of the ideas is to noindex, follow all of the artists work. Then create collections of content on different topics, where we can talk about the subject matter. |
I like this idea. Perhaps coupled with the analysis what was driving the traffic before your site got hacked - I mean, you could perhaps see which artists or their work have been searched the most and with what phrases and centre the content on these hub pages around this.
Good thing is that you could perhaps pick one or two more searched artists / type of work and create hub pages just for these, and then monitor if this increases the traffic. I would prefer this to a "big bang" approach.
|Now we're getting searches for "green widgets website name" because Googlers specifically want content from our website, but cannot find it now. |
I presume this is because this content existed on the old site, but is not any more on the new site since you had to rebuild it from the scratch? Where (what kind of page) these visitors land now? Do they bounce back or do they try to navigate from within the site searching for the right page? Could you perhaps analyse these searches to see which hub pages you could create to cater for these visitors?
|I presume this is because this content existed on the old site, but is not any more on the new site since you had to rebuild it from the scratch? |
This is because we aren't ranking for the term, that we were before the recent drop. i.e. the user searches green widgets and doesn't find our website, and so has to search specifically sitename green widgets. Why some users do that rather than just coming to the site and choosing them, is beyond me haha.
|you could create to cater for these visitors? |
Yeah, we'll use that data, combined with analytics and recent trends etc to create these hubs.
|Realmaverick, I haven't read the other threads so if they answered this question, sorry: how certain are you that all the user generated content on your site is original? Images can be "dupe content", which could cause Panda problems. |
Some artists are exclusive to our website, some stopped sharing their work for 9 months while we rebuilt. Some belong to other communities and also share their work. We can't really tell them they have to be exclusive, well I guess we could, but it wouldn't go down very well.
|Now we're getting searches for "green widgets website name"... |
That's a fairly [okay, honestly, very very] strong signal to send Google in-my-opinion -- I would work to generate more of those searches through social sharing, etc. and let Google look silly for not ranking the site.
You might actually get farther faster with rankings that way than focusing on "fixing" things for Google ;)
|He [Matt Cutts] talks about writing quality content. Every time I read one of his Panda posts, he always talks about content as though it can only be textual. He never talks about what image heavy websites should do. |
That's probably because Google Web Search (as opposed to Image Search) is largely about textual content. There may be ways to improve an image-heavy Web site's Google rankings in the post-Panda era, but for Google Web Search, images are likely to be treated as icing on the cake, not the cake itself.
If the artists don't want to write about their works, can you? Maybe you could set up a simple questionnaire for each artist (and each work) that could be used to create a mini-interview and catalog description?
In the exact same position here. Very popular site, very image heavy, lost ~60% of traffic on the 4th. Site is/was super clean, no back-linking, no crap, the purest of white-hat. It's actually a quality site, and used to rank well, now, after the 4th, every thing is gone.
Honestly, it's a good site, sucks all my traffic is now gone, but what can I do, this update on the 4th is Google's screw-up, not mine, so I'm not going to change a single thing I was doing. That being said, this site is not my money site, just a fun site, so I feel bad for people that got hit with this and their money depends on it.
There's been a lot of chatter about sites with user generated content losing traffic since Panda, so I think Google may be perceiving duplicate content where it's really a case of artists making their content available on multiple outlets.
Since there isn't a way to let Google know these have been "republished" for a good, visitor-friendly, non-SERPS-manipulating reason, I think the plan to noindex, follow the images might be a great way to go. The hubs you're talking about may do you a lot of good in terms of SEO, but even if they didn't I think visitors might like them a lot.