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Softer Panda Update Coming Soon
JD_Toims

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 3:56 pm on Mar 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

At SMX West Matt Cutts of Google announced they are actively working on the "next generation" Panda update that will "soften" the algorithm.

[seroundtable.com...]

 

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 5:00 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

The thing is, if you did a more specific search, such as "how to groom my armadillo", you still get the same PRODUCT results you listed (as opposed to an actual tutorial).


First, we're talking about the future, not the present.

Second, I'm saying that, if Google does tweak Panda to make it more friendly to "small Web sites and small businesses," the goal is unlikely to be "Let's promote me-too sites like boilerplate-product-copy dot com just because they're smaller than Amazon or Walmart." It will be "Let's promote niche sites with expertise and content that searchers aren't finding easily in our current SERPs." In other words, the tweak is likely to be about true alternatives, not just about Mini-Me versions of Amazon and Walmart.

In my "armadillo grooming tools" example, the small-business sites that moved up in the rankings would be sites that were authoritative for "armadillo" or "armadillo grooming" or both. The armadillofancy dot com page that ranked in the top 10 for "armadillo grooming tools" would likely be an e-commerce or affiliate page for grooming tools, but the signals that got it there would be derived from the site's depth of content related to armadillos.

It seems like google can't tell anymore when I want to search for a tutorial or when I want to search for a product, and errors on the side of delivering products from the web giants.


In a search on "[keyphrase] review" that I check periodically, the top 10 results always include one or two short reviews from a megasite followed by sell pages from the company's Web site and a slew of e-commerce pages--none with reviews on them. Most of the actual reviews are on SERP 2, 3, or beyond. (It's worth noting that the e-commerce pages in this example are from small businesses, so the problem isn't that small businesses are getting short shrift.)

[edited by: EditorialGuy at 5:34 pm (utc) on Mar 16, 2014]

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 5:21 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

It seems like google can't tell anymore when I want to search for a tutorial or when I want to search for a product, and errors on the side of delivering products from the web giants.


I have to agree w/EditorialGuy here, we to see the opposite. In our niche we see way too many informational results for what should be a transactional search.

CaptainSalad2



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 8:00 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Lost one, funny you should mention Facebook...

Mark Zuckerberg Says Facebook Will Compete Directly Against Google As A Search Engine
Jan 30, 2014
[businessinsider.com...]

Makes perfect sense, a lot of people live on Facebook, for them Facebook is the internet so Facebook adding a search engine on will mean they won't need to visit google todo a web search! Hopefully we will have some more players in search in the next 5-10 years
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 1:44 am (utc) on Mar 18, 2014]
[edit reason] added article title to link, so we know why we're clicking [/edit]

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 8:37 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Key sentence in the Business Insider story:

The caveat here is that this effort will take 10 years.


Back to the topic of this thread:

Can you imagine the uproar if Matt Cutts had said "We're working on softening Panda 10 years from now"? :-)

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 9:58 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

The caveat here is that this effort will take 10 years


In ten years time it will be irrelevant. The Web will be a completely different place.

[edited by: superclown2 at 10:06 pm (utc) on Mar 16, 2014]

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 10:04 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't think it's intentional brand bias. It's more likely to be an effective or apparent brand bias resulting from the signals that big brands tend to give off. And that kind of "brand bias" is probably harder to fix than, say, the true brand bias that's based on a whitelist.


It's Google's algorithm that controls their SERPs and so is responsible for so many low quality 'Big Brand' pages dominating the top spots and keeping out the authoritative sites. They can change it if they wish to, at any time. They didn't find it too difficult a few years ago.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 11:11 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

They can change it if they wish to, at any time. They didn't find it too difficult a few years ago.


That was before Panda. Panda introduced a "brand bias," but not necessarily by intent. As has been said here many times before, "correlation isn't causation."

People here like to talk about "turning dials" in the algorithm, but I very much doubt that Google has a dial or slider with "small business" at one end and "Amazon" at the other. Even if it were possible to simply crank the "brand" emphasis up or down with the turn of a dial, that wouldn't make sense: Google doesn't want all small Web sites and small businesses to do better, it wants certain kinds of small Web sites and small businesses to do better. Setting goals is easy, but execution is more difficult. (Never forget the "law of unintended consequences.")

goodoldweb



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 12:17 am on Mar 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

IMO the most remarkable thing is that they are not getting a more negative response

Precisely!

Google has been hurting/bleeding so many small businesses in the last 3 years while making exuberant loads of money. To hear them finally admit it and then say "we have one Googler working on it to fix it" is an absolute farce. Cheap PR...nothing more nothing less!

IMO Google's "now we just do evil" is here to stay...

DO NOT RAISE YOUR HOPES TO HIGH FOLKS.

MrSavage

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 2:51 am on Mar 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

The more I think about this, the more it's like Christmas. The best part is I don't know the date. I just know that I'll wake up and feel like I did when I was a kid on Christmas morning. I know. It can only get more hopeful from here. That's my point of view. It simply can't get more bleak. I'm not going out and buying a new car yet, but I'm thinking I might be able to afford a few more cups of coffee at McDonald's if all this turns out well.

Not to call myself a know it all, but I was slammed here pretty hard by calling a spade a spade. I saw this trend happening with search and my corner of the web. If this update can somehow bring back the one man "expertise" websites, then great. It's doing a service for the searcher, not just me. The fact that Google sees the issue and has commented publicly is vindication for what I was talking about long ago around here. I'm a dummy, but for me this is vindication.

JillJ



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 1:31 pm on Mar 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have been out of the SEO game for years, but our chosen keywords were ranking on the first 2 pages on Google for a long time. As of the beginning of March we have been replaced with either DIY options and big box stores and now we're at least 4 to 10 pages deep. I imagine we are not terribly optimized as I have a retail site and not a lot of text on each page other than product description. I hope that this next update helps us get back to where we were. I noticed all of this because I stared receiving multiple emails a day from various SEO companies trying to get my business. It's very frustrating for small biz owners who can't afford the high priced SEO fees (be they legit or not) to stay in the game. 90% of our site traffic came from G, so this really hurts.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 2:07 pm on Mar 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

I would not pin my hopes on this "softer" update over making positive changes to your site - you can probably get lots of ideas on what to do yourself just by reading WebmasterWorld. If you can't improve your product descriptions, then you can work on the user experience. If Google updates in a fashion that helps you, then it's all to the good, but you can't rely on that. And if 90% of your traffic comes from Google, you might consider working on that as well.

JillJ



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 2:19 pm on Mar 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

netmeg, I am looking for someone to help us with the optimization of our site. What little traffic we get at this point typically turns into sales so I think the user experience must be good, but anything can be improved upon and we're most willing to do so. Just have to figure out how. ;-)

mrengine



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 2:26 pm on Mar 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

MrSavage, I was thinking the same thing as netmeg. Google's track record over the last 2-3 years has not shown much favor to small sites at all. Knowing how long it took them to deal with this, I would not expect anything Earth shattering. Also, their algo changes normally effect 1-3% of queries, which leaves the odds not in your favor. As netmeg said, it's best to develop traffic outside of Google.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 3:04 pm on Mar 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google's track record over the last 2-3 years has not shown much favor to small sites at all.


On the other hand, I'm pretty sure this is only the second time in recent years that anyone at Google has publicly acknowledged a problem with how small sites are treated in the SERPs. (The first time was late last year when a software engineer at Google solicited examples of sites that should be doing better in Google's search results.)

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 1:55 am on Mar 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

From Josh Dreller's SEL article on "Key Takeaways From Meet the Search Engines @ SMX West" last week [searchengineland.com...]

#10 – My favorite moment. Cutts explained that the next update to Panda will be a "kinder, gentler Panda" in which Danny Sullivan jokingly commented, "It will be so soft that even Charmin will feel hard."

;)

Apart from the humor, this is an announcement of sorts, that this will be the next Panda update.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 2:27 am on Mar 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Now we can obsess over whether the next apparent Panda run is an update or a "data refresh"!

JillJ



 
Msg#: 4654074 posted 3:40 pm on Mar 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

We will be watching this to see what happens to our listings. Thanks for the information.

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