homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.22.194.120
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 47 message thread spans 2 pages: 47 ( [1] 2 > >     
Softer Panda Update Coming Soon
JD_Toims




msg:4654076
 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




msg:4654103
 5:02 pm on Mar 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

In his slightly more detailed story at Search Engine Land, Barry quoted Matt Cutts as saying that a "Googler" on his team was working on a Panda change that would help smaller Web sites and small businesses.

I'm guessing that "Googler" is the search engineer who conducted a survey late last year, inviting people to submit URLs of sites that should be doing better in Google's search results.

Future




msg:4654167
 8:35 pm on Mar 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts as saying that a "Googler" on his team was working on a Panda change that would help smaller Web sites and small businesses
what does that means technically ?

Thanks.

turbocharged




msg:4654208
 10:16 pm on Mar 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

what does that means technically ?

From my interpretation it means that Google finally acknowledged how devastating their actions were on small websites and small businesses with Panda, and they now plan to help those that happened to survive the anti-small business wrath they unleashed. What that help will be and how much of an impact it will have nobody knows. My guess is that it will be very minor and used mostly as a public relations tool instead. Google wants to be able to say they are helping small businesses, but their search results don't and will not lie.

Particularly for product searches, small businesses don't get much visibility on Google these days. Ironically, Google has been steadily mailing us and other small business owners I know Adwords vouchers. Regardless, small businesses are responsible for 54% of all sales in the USA according to Small Business Administration at [sba.gov...] It only makes sense for Google to give small businesses some visibility, but that would mean Amazon, eBay, etc. would have to lose some of their multiple stacked listings on the first page of the search results.

For many small businesses, the damage is already done and a more friendly Panda now is too little and extremely late.

EditorialGuy




msg:4654212
 10:56 pm on Mar 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

From my interpretation it means that Google finally acknowledged how devastating their actions were on small websites and small businesses with Panda, and they now plan to help those that happened to survive the anti-small business wrath they unleashed.


The comments were made at a search conference, so it's reasonable to think that the message was targeted to the conference's audience. Still, I'm less interested in Google's motivation than in the net impact on search results.

My guess: Any increased visibility for smaller Web sites or business will be a byproduct of improvements to Google's search results--not the result of an effort to help small businesses. For example, if the algorithm were tweaked so that more weight was given to subject expertise, smaller sites would benefit. Similarly, if domain crowding were reduced so that half a dozen versions of the same CNet or TripAdvisor page didn't show up on page 1 of a SERP, there would be more slots left over for other sites.

Particularly for product searches, small businesses don't get much visibility on Google these days.


That's also the case with many informational searches, where Google's algorithm seems to give more weight to pages on general-interest megasites at the expense of specialist sites. It's a bit like the cable TV company saying "Yes, you've got 800 channels, but never mind that--here's what's playing on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and Fox." In my sector, where any number of established sites have lost traffic since February, 2011, Panda has been less about punishment than about giving more weight to signals that favor Big Media. The problem isn't that Panda needs to be more "soft and gentle," it's that Panda shows less respect for subject authority than the old algorithm did.

For many small businesses, the damage is already done and a more friendly Panda now is too little and extremely late.


That may be true, but like it or not, Google maneuvers more like a supertanker than a speedboat. And as a Web publisher, I'd rather see Google get things right (or closer to right) eventually than not at all.

BillyS




msg:4654213
 11:10 pm on Mar 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

@EditorialGuy
I think you're spot on with your observations. We're an informational site and we're outranked by news stories that don't really cover the topic or contain outdated information.

I'm not getting my hopes up too much because Google has already rolled out a version that was supposed to help smaller websites and that was a non-event.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4654297
 9:02 am on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

It would be nice to see local sites, owned by local small business dedicated to a single local service no longer obliterated by national lead generators that throw up a single page for each service/area and then sell these leads at a considerable markup back to the local tradesmen who do the actual work, small local business that can never hope to gain the back links required to compete with a national brand, mybuilder.com being one among 15 now!

I wonder if this will level the playing field as it was a few years back, I'd be the first to sing google praises! Currently small business is pushed from organics by national newspapers, directories and lead generator super sites with an extra blow of being priced out of ppc by the same lead generators, shocking how many have reverted to traditional advertising methods in the last two years, local SERPS are now a reflection of our high streets, devoid of small business and diversity!

rowtc2




msg:4654326
 10:10 am on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Panda should be drastic with big sites, not to kill small businesses with a few sales or visitors per month. I see automated scrapper sites with high traffic, big companies with many employees writing big articles and half of one article is just for Google in-depth, small sites crushed by Panda, simply an online business cannot have stability and should be just a hobby for a few extra beers.

Zivush




msg:4654330
 10:29 am on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Panda should be drastic with big sites


Don't count on this.

LostOne




msg:4654340
 11:38 am on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've always thought they took the pendulum too far on this. Nice to have some hope, but I doubt much will happen of this too.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4654360
 1:16 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

In gerneral i like panda to kill those multiple redirecting sites with same content to the main site ( in my niche some business did it and they are gone ). This was one good thing.
I read a lot in google product forums ( webmastercentral ) where poeple ( and one googler ) help poeple with their sites. What i see is that many sites that got caught by panda mostly deserve it because of absence of legal content.
I like the "idea" only to show up great content, it made me think if my site and what i could do better.

I don´t like the idea that brands are allways the best alternative ( include this allways showing eaby and amazon ).
I don´t like panda to penalty small business for having "duplicate content" while having more similar widgets on their site because this is a very hard thing to solve ( google we are webmasters with small budget not a multimillion dollar business with hundreds of programmers).
I don´t like panda to cut of traffic without any hint or information.
I don´t like panda because it opened the door for 5 minutes webpages that are only there for ads.
I don´t like panda because it prefers showing big brands without any connection to the query.
I don´t like panda becuase it makes me feel i miss something when searching with google.

edit: forgot to give my statement about a softer panda
I would appreciate it!

netmeg




msg:4654370
 2:34 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

As you may recall, last year Matt asked people to submit sites they thought may have been false positives for Panda - perhaps they are using some of that information. I know for a fact they at least looked at them.

EditorialGuy




msg:4654379
 2:56 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Panda should be drastic with big sites


Panda may not have been too little, but it certainly was too late. Sites like CNet, ZDNet, and TripAdvisor (and, yes, Wikipedia) played Google by cranking out millions of empty, keyword-driven "stub" pages that Google happily indexed and displayed in its search results. Their businesses were built on Google's gullibility or Google's willingness to look the other way.

Still, it's good to see that Google's search team are beginning to realize that there may be some value in more diverse search results (even if only one "Googler" has been assigned to work on a solution).

Side note: When Panda was announced back in 2011, at least one commentator (it might have been Danny Sullivan) referred to it as the "Content Farm Update." Supposedly one of the main reasons for Panda was the proliferation of content-farm pages from companies like Demand Media that were cluttering Google's SERPs. If we look at Google's search results today, it seems pretty obvious that the old content farms have simply been replaced by new ones. Is Wikihow really any better than eHow? Is Wiki.answers.com, which makes the user click through a text slideshow for every answer, any better than the content farms of 2010? To borrow a French expression, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

MrSavage




msg:4654390
 4:14 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Not to cross talk, but I'm surprised at the negativity regarding this announcement.

To me, this is the best news I've heard in a year+. It gives me some reason to hope. That's a MAJOR shift in my mentality regarding what Google traffic I've been able to maintain.

I can't imagine why this isn't being praised by people here. I've been smashed for sure. The fact that something will shift for the better? That's surprising. Sure, nothing guaranteed but I can say this. Unless there is a shift of some kind, I have next to zero hope for Google organic traffic. If they stayed the course, I'm moving on. In a large part I have moved on which means I won't lose any sleep if this turns out to me "much ado about nothing".

I'm Mr. Negative, but this thread gives me hope. Thanks for that.

JD_Toims




msg:4654392
 4:28 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

I can't imagine why this isn't being praised by people here. I've been smashed for sure. The fact that something will shift for the better?

Because for the most part, "Shills gonna shill," and "Haters gonna hate." -- It's cool to see, unlike most, you're at least reasonable about things and willing to call "good news" what it is. Personally, I'm glad there's still that kind of maturity around here, because there have been times I thought it was completely gone.

EditorialGuy




msg:4654393
 4:46 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

I can't imagine why this isn't being praised by people here.


I think it's partly because this forum tends to be a place to vent against Google, and "Hey, that's cool!" doesn't fit the party line. But even for those of us who don't automatically reject everything that Google or Matt Cutts says, history suggests that "Wait and see" is a more valid response than "Break out the Champagne"--or "Break out the cava," if you're on a post-Panda budget. (Some of us saw our Google referrals decline after the last "softening" of the Panda algorithm.)

To me, this is the best news I've heard in a year+.


If nothing else, the announcement suggests that Google recognizes the benefits of having search results that reflect the diversity and decentralized nature of the Web. Is it in Google's interests to have its SERPs controlled by a handful of megasites? Probably not--especially when some of those megasites have shown their disdain for Google's Webmaster guidelines after drinking deeply at the Google trough. (Expedia's reported SEO antics come to mind.)

Rasputin




msg:4654401
 5:29 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

After 3 years of Panda hurting untold numbers of small businesses, which they seem to now be implicitly admitting, they tell us they have a single "googler" working on it.

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

EditorialGuy




msg:4654407
 6:18 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

they tell us they have a single "googler" working on it.


I've wondered about that, too. Still, we don't know the scope of the Googler's work or what resources he or she may be be drawing upon. Just because one person is responsible for the assignment doesn't mean nobody else is contributing.

In any case, results are what count.

EditorialGuy




msg:4654417
 7:01 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Another thing:

In my opinion, Panda doesn't need to be "softened"; it needs to be "sharpened" (as in doing a better job of distinguishing between fluff and useful content).

Planet13




msg:4654422
 8:27 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

@ EditorialGuy

"In my opinion, Panda doesn't need to be "softened"; it needs to be "sharpened" (as in doing a better job of distinguishing between fluff and useful content)."

+1

when i am searching for a "How to do (technical thing) tutorial" in google I am so often confronted with links to sites that strike me as content farms. It takes a lot of scrolling to get past either irrelevant results, or links to sites that are relevant but have poorly written / wrong information.

I thought Panda 1 was supposed to have annihilated those sites, no?

Another thing that drives me crazy is why google insists on ranking sights that force you to click through five pages of an article that should have been published as one page. I realize those publishers want to expose visitors to the maximum number of ads. So why does google care about page layout / above the fold but not care that you have to go through four or five clicks to get to the content you REALLY want.

Oh, and as long as I am whining...

Please demote sites that present you with a popup asking you to follow / like / subscribe to their email list. Again, what's the point of above-the-fold if everything is blocked by an ad that is hard to close.

EditorialGuy




msg:4654424
 9:09 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

I thought Panda 1 was supposed to have annihilated those [content farm] sites, no?


Yes, and a new generation arose to take their place. (Tip to content farmers: Stick a "wiki" subdomain in front of your domain name, and you're golden with Google.)

Please demote sites that present you with a popup asking you to follow / like / subscribe to their email list.


And if you're going to list pages from Big Media sites that cloak ("Subscribe now to read this page"), at least display a "Subscribers only" label or icon on the SERP.

superclown2




msg:4654428
 9:29 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Help small businesses? Don't you believe it. The fact is that a good new, well publicised search engine run by people with money to spend could destroy Google right now and there are millions of webmasters who would be happy to assist. They only get away with the type of results they are producing because there is no real competition - at the moment. I wonder how many big investors are plotting their attack on the Google monopoly right this minute? G need to improve dramatically or risk eventual eclipse. In that case they would certainly not be the first big beast I've watched destroy itself because of complacency.

EditorialGuy




msg:4654429
 10:03 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder how many big investors are plotting their attack on the Google monopoly right this minute?


Microsoft, maybe? It's invested 11 to 15 billion dollars in search, depending on who's counting.

Mind you, that has nothing to do with whether a "softer, gentler Panda" will benefit small Web sites and small businesses.

superclown2




msg:4654530
 8:52 am on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Mind you, that has nothing to do with whether a "softer, gentler Panda" will benefit small Web sites and small businesses


Agreed. The major problem facing small companies is 'brand bias'. It's also Google's main problem, and it's severely debasing their search results. If they cannot see that then they have entered the dogma stage.

Whitey




msg:4654537
 10:36 am on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

If it's as weak as the last Panda softening there won't be much relief. Especially when coupled with Penguin.

And I'd expect a major shift with mobile friendly results in the next few months, which makes it hard on small medium size business to resource given the devastation of the former two.

It needs to be some fully forgiving algorithmic shift to compensate for the initial business devastation IMO. From where I sit it's not been trivial to deal with amongst smaller enterprise level folks.

LostOne




msg:4654539
 10:48 am on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

well publicised search engine


Or a social platform people are addicted to...

Facebook Search

They certainly have the audience and eyeballs are on it night and day compared to somebody like MSFT who needs to spend, spend and spend to get viewers. Plus it doesn't seem to be working for them.

I just don't think anyone is gonna knock down the Big G for awhile unless they really make a huge blunder somewhere. It's too much of a household word nowadays. FB must be working on something?

It's all about good creative marketing anyway. Why couldn't FB simply buy somebody? I'm sure they could put a dent in Goog.

bumpski




msg:4654540
 12:32 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Please demote sites that present you with a popup asking you to follow / like / subscribe to their email list.

And if you're going to list pages from Big Media sites that cloak ("Subscribe now to read this page"), at least display a "Subscribers only" label or icon on the SERP.

Excellent suggestion! Is Google up to it?

So now with a softer Panda, how will a webmaster know whether all the changes were worthwhile?

gouri




msg:4654562
 3:20 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Could this update mean that the impact a niche site is currently experiencing because of over optimization will be lessened if Google feels that the content is good?

EditorialGuy




msg:4654563
 3:29 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

The major problem facing small companies is 'brand bias'. It's also Google's main problem, and it's severely debasing their search results.


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 worth noting that some of the biggest names on the Web didn't start off as big brands--they got there by exploiting Google's algorithm with millions of keyword-based stub pages and other SEO techniques. (Would megasites like TripAdvisor, CNet, Wikipedia, and Huffington Post be where they are today if Google had ignored them in favor of big brands?)

Why couldn't FB simply buy somebody? I'm sure they could put a dent in Goog.


Sure, just like MSN was going to unseat AOL when Microsoft bundled it into Windows 95. And IE was supposed to be invincible as a Web browser because it was built into Windows.

Users have an annoying habit of resisting attempts to herd them. To make matters worse for Facebook, people think of FB as a social network (probably because it is a social network). I might go to Facebook to share pet photos or see what my friends are doing, but when I'm researching tile-cleaning compounds, Wi-Fi routers, or how to reach Berkeley from the Oakland airport, I'll head for Google.

So now with a softer Panda, how will a webmaster know whether all the changes were worthwhile?


Some site owners will benefit from a "softer" Panda. Others won't. A softening of the Panda algorithm won't change the fact that Google prefers pages with unique content, for example. If Joe SmallBiz has an e-commerce site whose pages consist almost entirely of boilerplate text and images from manufacturers, there's no reason to assume that a softer Panda will benefit Joe. Ditto if Joe has a thin affiliate site or a real-estate site that consists entirely of imported MLS listings.

IMHO, we need to ask ourselves "What might Google be trying to achieve by creating a more level playing field for smaller Web sites and businesses?" I'd guess the answer would be "More diversity and more unique results."

Take a query like "armadillo grooming tools." In the current Google results, such a query might yield product listings from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Petsmart, Petco, and so on. If I were a Google search engineer testing that query, I'd want to see a mixture of name-brand results and results for specialist sites like armadillofancy dot com that offer unique content (not just the same boilerplate text that Amazon uses) and show a genuine understanding of and passion for armadillos.

Planet13




msg:4654571
 4:10 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

"Take a query like "armadillo grooming tools." In the current Google results, such a query might yield product listings from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Petsmart, Petco, and so on. If I were a Google search engineer testing that query, I'd want to see a mixture of name-brand results and results for specialist sites like armadillofancy dot com that offer unique content (not just the same boilerplate text that Amazon uses) and show a genuine understanding of and passion for armadillos. "

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).

~~~~~

My main question about all this is what has happened to all that effort google put in to understanding content of sites and understanding the nature of a user's query?

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.

This 47 message thread spans 2 pages: 47 ( [1] 2 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved