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Google Is Working on an Algo Fix - to help wrongly demoted sites

     

tedster

8:56 am on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Here's official news that many sites have been waiting to hear. Google fellow Amit Singal is quoted in Wired:

"We deeply care about the people who are generating high-quality content sites, which are the key to a healthy web ecosystem," Singhal said.

"Therefore any time a good site gets a lower ranking or falsely gets caught by our algorithm - and that does happen once in a while even though all of our testing shows this change was very accurate - we make a note of it and go back the next day to work harder to bring it closer to 100 percent."

"That's exactly what we are going to do, and our engineers are working as we speak building a new layer on top of this algorithm to make it even more accurate than it is," Singhal said.

[wired.com...]

Jane_Doe

7:32 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



but then you lose inbound links to that old page.


You just use a 301 redirect to point to the new page.

crobb305

7:35 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



You just use a 301 redirect to point to the new page


I thought about that, but if a single "thin" page can dilute an entire site (as has been suggested with Panda), then putting a 301 on the old page takes with it all negative association (it would seem?).

tedster

7:48 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Not likely because googlebot never sees the content of that page anymore. The content doesn't even need to be on your server once the URL redirects.

However, if there are no important backlinks to that thin page, then a 410 Gone response is a better solution, IMO.

Tedster, what is your feel on "thin" pages as they may pertain to Panda? Do you get the feeling that they should be deleted or added upon?

I would say the ideal fix is to add more value to the page.

Freedom

7:54 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Tallon, I saw that too but I think it's related to Spring break. My traffic yesterday, Friday, seem to grind to a halt about 3 or 4 pm, then just trickled the rest of the night, and today is not so hot. I checked the rankings I did have and didn't notice a change.

Anyone else attribute less traffic recently to Spring break?

trakkerguy

8:00 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Yes. Spring break, and perhaps the earthquake.

rowtc2

8:09 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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crobb305, i am deleting pages, but where I can improve and add value, I am making that.


For thin pages updated with content on 03 March
9 products
title not changed
Press cached link in SERPS does not show page updated.

1 product
title changed
Press cached link in SERPS does not show page updated.

2 products
title changed
Page cached in SERPS

1 product
title not changed
Press cached link in SERPS does not show page updated.
Searching page on Google show title modified with new changes


Usually Google shows new title or updated Cached page in 24h. Links to this pages are available for Google on the same page, i have plenty of links. Also, i have made small changes in 2 of my top pages and was Cached with changes in 24h. 2 pages added today and indexed.

Since a few updated pages has been cached, i hope Google will make them all.

ken_b

8:13 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I wonder why they would look for a fix for this algo?

With all the websites and webmasters in the world, very few have bothered to post on the official complaint thread at Google, and even here, there really aren't that many members posting about it.

Might seem like a lot, because there are several related threads here, but count up the individual members, and it's probably not that many.

So toss in an equal number from other forums, heck make that 10 times as many. Still not all that many as a hard number.

Even though I got nailed in this update, I think if I was Google, and saw every complaint as valid, I'd still have to think the Panda/Farm/Farmer/whatever-the-flavor-of-the-day-is update came out pretty well.

So that begs the question, why fix it?

Is their traffic down, are their other metrics showing something we are not seeing?

viggen

8:34 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I thought about that, but if a single "thin" page can dilute an entire site (as has been suggested with Panda),

...I can`t or rather i don`t want to believe that a single page can devalue or dillute a whole site, that would be the most stupid thing Google has ever done. Almost every website has strong pages and not so strong pages, why would Google focus on the week points instead of the strong points of a site, seems like one heck of a waste of resources to me...

...and show me one website that has only "thick" pages, whatever that means anyway...

walkman

8:38 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)



question: How do you PING a single page (not sitemap) to Google so it gets it right away without waiting to see links to it or normal crawl? Other than tweeting. I know that Google will get a sitemap in seconds , is there a trick for pages? I want Google to see changes ASAP

walkman

8:42 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)



"I thought about that, but if a single "thin" page can dilute an entire site (as has been suggested with Panda), "

My guess:
Each page has a certain score, say one to 100.
Say, 40 makes it a 'bad' page

Each SITE has a certain score, say one to 100.
If a site has (say) 40% of bad pages than it is a "bad" site

kd454

8:59 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



@walkman

I have thought about that as well, but what is Googles definition of "thin", what are they using as a metric to qualify a "thin" page?

I removed 20 pages from a site that was hit with a 50% reduction of traffic, they were short articles 200-300 words.

The site has about 80 articles in all, so 1/4 of the site was thin from what I can tell.

They were in the main menu of the site so Google might have thought "these short articles in main menu = thin", I replaced with 500 word+ articles.. will see if it helps.

crobb305

9:35 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



As I dig deeper into why my site was hit this week, one thing sticks out in comparison to the top remaining sites (irrespective of how "thin" I think they are). A mistake I may have made was overlinking to my thinner money pages from my homepage. All of my money pages are linked to from the homepage, and one of the money pages was linked to 7 or 8 different times, with different anchor text. While my site has 90% unmonetized pages, I may have gone overboard in linking to the affiliate pages from the homepage. So, I have reduced the occurrences of links down, and added a couple of links to content pages. This is just a guess, but the remaining sites link to their thin money pages more sparingly. I offer nice content, but I can't say I didn't get greedy by overlinking to the 5 money pages (out of 110 total pages). This may have lowered my quality score.

browsee

9:44 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)



@kd454. Question, you actually removed pages(404) or disallow them from robots.txt?

I added disallow not removed physically from website.

kd454

9:58 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



@browsee

I (404) the pages, Google has never said what the proper way to remove the "thin" content pages was, they just said to remove them so that is still up in the air..

I am thinking since they were in the main menu this could lead to a poor experience for the user.

crobb305

10:02 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



kd454, are you creating new pages with more content to move your ecommerce/ads to?

browsee

10:10 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)



Thanks @kd454.
I disallowed them from robots.txt, I realized that there are around 10000 duplicate urls, some how G indexed same page 6 times with different url. It could be my mistake, I did not find any answer yet. Anyway, disallow helped me to remove bad urls.

I also used remove directory from GWT to remove directory. Actually traffic is down another 20% after the removal.

I did not submit reconsideration request yet. Did you submit reconsideration request?

TheMadScientist

10:57 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



question: How do you PING a single page (not sitemap) to Google so it gets it right away without waiting to see links to it or normal crawl? Other than tweeting. I know that Google will get a sitemap in seconds , is there a trick for pages? I want Google to see changes ASAP

Tweeting is actually the fastest, most direct I've tested, but even though it's there I haven't tested this yet:

Blog Ping - Manual [blogsearch.google.com]
Ping Google API (Blogs, Automatic) [google.com]

I think one thing to remember is Google is hungry for information, especially new information and they really want to have new information first, as much as you want them to, because it's good for them, so my guess is the blog ping will work, but if not, then I would tweet...

TheMadScientist

11:16 pm on Mar 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



Sorry for the double post, it's turning into 'thing' for me lately, but I know I don't always go back and read updates to posts, so I thought it might be best to post a separate one for those who already read the previous one:

If you have a secondary twitter account, say for 'new page additions', one that's not intended to attract a large number of followers or one where you let people know the pages will be accessible 10 to 30 seconds after tweeting, you can use that account and the mod_rewrite in this thread: Getting GoogleBot to Spider a Page Now, Before It's Scraped [webmasterworld.com] to make sure the first and only visitor to the page is GoogleBot, then after it gets spidered (the longest I've had to wait in testing is 45 seconds or so) you can pull the block down.

You could even use your main account with:

Check out my new page, it's going live for you to visit in 1 minute: http://example.com/the-page ...

This way, you let people know they can't get in to it yet within the tweet, so they won't be surprised if they get an error when they click on the link 'the second' it's tweeted.

kd454

12:18 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



@browsee

Submitting a reconsideration request for an algo induced penalty will do nothing for you, all you can do is make changes and hope they are what triggered the hit.

Reconsideration requests only work if the penalty was done manually.

Also I am thinking it could take a bit of time for it to reverse so don't get in a rush.

@crobb305

Yes I created fresh new content to replace the pages I deleted, put same ads back those pages. I am going to give this some time, next step would be to start removing ads or putting them in different positions.

They are somehow looking at user interaction on specific pages is what I am thinking, give the users more to chew on and I hope it will reverse.

crobb305

12:37 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



kd454, two last questions for ya: When did this penalty hit you, and did you notice your site completely removed, or just a big drop in rankings to cause a 50% to 60% reduction in traffic (as I saw)? Some over on the official Google complaint thread are reporting a complete removal of their site (not even listed for the domain name).

kd454

4:18 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



crobb..

I was hit on the 24th, lost 50% traffic, site is getting almost exactly 1/2 the traffic it was.

Yes there are different degrees this algo hit, some lost a little and others have been buried not to be found.

It also has not been pushed to other countries yet, I will probably shed a tear when that happens.

[edited by: kd454 at 4:46 am (utc) on Mar 13, 2011]

tedster

4:30 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



there are different degrees this algo hit, some lost a little and others have been buried

I'm also seeing sites with mixed results - even some who mostly all gained but still lost a little bit on some pages/keywords. This is one complex algo change!

browsee

4:51 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)



There is an excellent article in Search Engine Land about recent algo update, whether we can use robots.txt etc.

[searchengineland.com...]

mslina2002

5:04 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Nice one browsee

TheMadScientist

5:10 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



Google is working to help original content rank better and may, for instance, experiment with swapping the position of the original source and the syndicated source when the syndicated version would ordinarily rank highest based on value signals to the page.

YeeeeeHaaaaaw!

Once upon a time I think I said they should do something like that: [webmasterworld.com...] Check out the 1st paragraph of the last post in the thread ... So glad they had and are trying this idea!

browsee

5:15 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)



Several people have commented on spammy sites with exact math domains and lots of spammy incoming links with exact match anchor text ranking quite well in Google and Bing. Matt said they are looking into this.


This is a big thing, I know a website bought keyword .com .net .co.uk and released articles on all the domains. They are ranking really well because of keyword domain name.

SEOPTI

6:54 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Thanks for the link from searchengineland. A question which I missed is "How often do they rerank sites?" once a week, once a month, once a year.

tedster

7:48 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Re-ranking occurs continually, more often frequently than daily. The Caffeine infrastructure turned up the speedometer on that, too.

walkman

8:06 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)



Re-ranking occurs continually, more often frequently than daily. The Caffeine infrastructure turned up the speedometer on that, too.


Tedster, I think there's re-ranking and RE-RANKING. The last one, IMO, happens once a month. In the beginning of the last week to be exact.

tedster

8:14 am on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I certainly agree that sometimes major ranking shuffles happen. I'm not so sure about one set time of the month for all sites - at least not any more, now that Caffeine is tuned up.

What do you think makes the big re-rankings differ from everflux? Is it more likely to be a significant algo change, rather than just the processing of new crawl data?
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