ortelius - 3:58 pm on Feb 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
I came across a blog post that has done a pretty good analysis of the top 25 sites hurt by the update so far. (Actually they have a list of 100, but just 25 posted in their blog.) The post is at [sistrix.com...]
The top 25 sites that they see as being hit the worst, in rank order:
Maybe we can see some commonalities here?
My site got hit -- 5 years old, all original content, about 5,000 pages, got pushed down, on average, about 5 ranking spots for every search term I can think of. Maybe a few just got pushed down 1 or 2 spots. But overall, a 40% loss in traffic, I'd say.
My marketing has included placing unique articles in sites like Ezine over the years. No more than 20 aricles, total. Maybe that has some impact?
My take on this is to try and get inside Google's head. If they want to bring down content farms like this top 25 list, what, in Google's opinion, would make a site look like a content farm? What factors would Google come up with that qualifies a site as a "content farm"? Maybe we can come up with a coherent list, and see if it matches the top 25 sites that have been hurt.
Two things on my own site I noticed that might make me look like a farm (even though I am far from it!):
1. A lot of my description meta tags, including an embarassing duplicate meta tag on a lot of pages, has buzz words like "tips, articles, etc."
2. My site is totally unique, hand-written content, researched and written by me. But I am trying to make $$, and the topics I choose to write about are good SEO terms. It is tightly-optimized. I also have a number of pages that are different spins on the same topic -- basically trying to capture all the search volume for related terms. Maybe I am over-optimized?
I agree with many of you that the update is multi-faceted. However, my gut tells me this might be more about on-page optimization than it is about links.
Oh, the Adsense issue -- I have a small amount of Adsense ads on the site, but mostly I run display ads from Ad Networks.