DirigoDev - 2:27 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)
I’m seeing exaggerated ratios in both directions – super externally focused or super insular. Sites that cross the 65% line got hurt almost universally. The obvious farms sometimes follow a different pattern. I know fully that the algo change is far more complicated than link ratios.
I’m looking at the top 200 health information websites (those with the most traffic (the smallest having ~38k uniques per week) that got hit hard. I’m mining Hitwise for the winners and losers. I have two employees doing the analysis by hand full time. We’re a little over 10 days into looking for trends. I’m looking at home pages, top level directory pages and a random sampling of internal pages (~200 pages per site). Sixty-two sites moved up and 58 moved down significantly in the category. That's a lot of movement in the top 200 sites. In all we’re working with 120 sites. We’ve measured links, nofollow links, dates, number of ads, adsense, author credentials, date, meta, GA, breadcrumb type... The nofollows are in SQL but we’ve not crunched the numbers on yet. A quick glance tells me that the nofollow is mostly on the external links (as expected) and that it will not materially change the outcome (will certainly lower the ratio). We’ve not fired up a bot just yet because we’re still making our first pass over the sites – looking at every suspect. We’ll circle back and go deeper next week. I do have a bot. I'll need to retool it a bit for this purpose.
In my opinion, more than 65% of the top 200 health sites hit by this algo change have nothing to do with being a farm. They do have lots of content. So I’m probably looking at around 30 sites inappropriately dinged. Eight (About or WebMd) subdomain microsites lost big while eight in the same family gained big – still trying to figure this one out. I have not looked at link ratios of sites that had very little movement.
Am I barking up the wrong tree or seeing some artifact of some another change?