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Did Panda make it easier to hurt your competitors?

     
5:27 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In a different thread I read about a webmaster that was publishing the same article on several Blogspot blogs and linking back to his website from the article.
Since Panda the Blogspot blogs rank on Google, but his website no longer does.

Wouldn't this mean that Panda just made it extremely easy to hurt your competitors?
6:00 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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My immediate thought was "does anyone see this actually happening?" We usually build conjectures based on concepts and one-off observations. But when we do that we tend to oversimplify what is going on in the algorithm in full. So seeing examples (plural) would be one important thing to notice.

I suppose the idea could be tested by anyone who has some domains to throw at the job. But it is pretty early to expect someone to be talking about results from that kind of experiment, though.
6:17 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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According to a SEW article, JCPenney, Forbes, and Overstock.com got dinged for having low quality sites linking to them.

BUT - did they penalized or did they just have all of the link juice removed - the juice they got from the low quality sites.

According to the article, you are judged by who you hang out with. So if you link to what is considered low quality (low traffic and too many ads), then you could be considered low quality.

From the article:

But if that blog doesn't have good authority in terms of traffic and social sharing, then it may be put on the list of sites to be de-valued
6:21 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Ted

We usually build conjectures based on concepts and one-off observations.


I agree. Vanessa Fox was posting here, but I think she was a ex-employee. She was pretty knowledgeable. I want to know the their criteria.
6:31 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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All that you are talking about there was in place before Panda.

I want to know the their criteria.

Don't we all!
7:00 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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But if that blog doesn't have good authority in terms of traffic and social sharing, then it may be put on the list of sites to be de-valued

First SEW doesn't rank anywhere for the exact quote (shows state of Google right now). I added "sew" and it was #3.
Second, just because she says "Google Panda Update: Say Goodbye to Low-Quality Link Building" it it means nothing. She is blogger at best. In fact her company provides linking services, not the "Low-Quality" ones I suppose :)

[edited by: walkman at 7:02 am (utc) on Apr 5, 2011]

7:01 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I found several (must be hundreds, still discovering new infringers) copies of pages of one of my websites that got hurt by Panda. The entire pages have been copied, including the internal links (turned into external links when seen on the illegaly copied version). This makes it look like I have been trying to spam the search engines like crazy with copies of my articles and links.

The copied versions are not always in what you would call a "good neighbourhood".

I also found a copy of the entire website! Hosting company contacted and DMCA submitted. I'm ready to hire a lawyer for this one.

This method helped to find copied versions of my pages:
1. See what webpages have been hurt badly by Panda
2. Search with snippets of the article's text
3. Bingo! Copies found.
7:05 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@chrisv1963 - to zero in on whether those links from bad neighborhoods or copies in bad neighborhoods are really why Panda hurt those pages, how about doing the same check for some pages that were not hurt?
7:13 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Since we're talking about copies, please try this quote, [google.com...] the original site [searchenginewatch.com...] does not show up for me in the first page at all. Maybe it's me
7:25 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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to zero in on whether those links from bad neighborhoods or copies in bad neighborhoods are really (part of) why Panda hurt pages, how about doing the same check for some pages that were not hurt?


I did. Some of them kept the old position in the rankings. Some went 1 or 2 positions up or down (which is normal fluctuation in my opinion)

I see a correlation between the number of copied versions of an article and problems after Panda.

One example shows an article with more than 100 illegal copies on Blogspot (several Blogspot accounts, not always the same blog). There are no links in the articles, but all images are hotlinked (thus, there is a relation/link between the copies and my website).
This article used to be on page 1 of the serps for a certain query. Now it simply disappeared from the serps.
7:27 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Walkman, here is the URL:

[searchenginewatch.com...]

Google Panda Update: Say Goodbye to Low-Quality Link Building
8:14 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Methinks Google has for once told us what Panda mostly did ,

but we are busy crediting Panda with effects that remain separate , probably even none algorithmic
8:36 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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we are busy crediting Panda with effects that remain separate

I think that's an important observation. It's been five weeks since Panda became part of the Google algorithm. If they have been keeping their average pace from last year, they've made around 40 new tweaks to the algorithm since then.
8:57 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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On the other hand, if Panda weakened you, you will catch any cold other tweaks spread. So is Panda to blame? No one dies of AIDS, I am told, but from pneumonia, infections, tumors etc :)
6:59 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What I am seeing is an organized effort (though small right now) from Chinese and Indian SEO people. I would say many are testing whether they can bring down competitor sites with the mentioned.
9:47 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What I am seeing is an organized effort (though small right now) from Chinese and Indian SEO people. I would say many are testing whether they can bring down competitor sites with the mentioned.


It's funny you mentioned this.

I can not go into detail, they are reading this too, but I found a Chinese website that copied several pages (including links) from our site and placed Adsense on it. Then I found more websites owned by the same person. Finally I ended up with more than 5 websites with the same copied pages. He removed everything when i threatened with an Adsense DMCA complaint.

The copy of our entire website I mentioned earlier was made by a company in an Asian country too, but it wasn't India or China.
10:55 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"Google Panda Update: Say Goodbye to Low-Quality Link Building"

I am seeing spam links alive and doing even better after Panda update. All the same old tricks still work if not better.
2:32 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"Google Panda Update: Say Goodbye to Low-Quality Link Building"

I am seeing spam links alive and doing even better after Panda update. All the same old tricks still work if not better.


Something strange happened after Panda, but I am not sure it had to do with link building. On the Mad Scientist thread about "How Special is Your Website?" I described one set of SERPS where I moved down two spots. I compared the results to pre-Panda and found the two that pushed me down. One had one paragraph in the beginning about what I wrote in my article and then scraped the whole thing with a link back to my article. The other was someone mentioning my site by name and rewriting my article.

Who was the authority there? Obviously my site, but I got dinged by those two. I went to Bing and my site popped up number two behind the LA Times.

Did Panda help the SERPS. Maybe in some places, but not all.
4:45 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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No, they did it all on their own :)
4:53 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Who was the authority there? Obviously my site, but I got dinged by those two.

Obvious to you, but obviously not to an algo.
(That's something to really think about, imo.)

What about those other two sites [<-- notice I did not say: pages] would make them stand out more to an algo than yours?

You're looking at the situation from a 'position of knowledge', and imo, you need to be looking at the situation from a 'position of objectivity' ... What are the differences in the sites that would make the others rank above yours?

I know in the other thread, I said to make your site unique, and I think it's important but if you can't outdo a WP site wrt organization, positioning of content, usability, user-friendliness, and all the other things that go into rankings, which I believe includes how many people exhibit a behavior of 'don't like your site' in the SERPs when compared to other options for results then it doesn't really matter how unique your site is, because Google is into ranking sites their visitors respond to in what they programmatically determine to be a positive way.

One of the biggest changes, imo, is with Panda, they are now openly into ranking sites not simply pages.

Did anyone else notice the questions used to make assessments on quality? 'Would you trust this site...', was the lead-in to some wasn't it? It was not, 'Would you trust this page...' Poor quality pages on your site can now affect the rankings of other pages on your site. [<-- That's ranking a site as a whole, much more than the ranking all pages from a site individually] There's a huge difference in what they're looking at now, imo.
7:48 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I agree with what you say, basically I think that is what happened, except that inputting a site-wide penalty didn't produce the best results.

Like I said in the other thread, this could be a temporary thing and they could drop off. In fact, I should check it. LOL
7:55 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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OK, I just checked and I am back on the first page. The LA Times moved up another spot so they are still two ahead of me.

I have been printing these results for years. I just looked it up and on Jan 7th 2009 the LA Times was in the NO 1 position. So they have dropped. On that date I was in the same position I am now.

Why did I print this stuff way back then? LOL Because this very same thing has happened at least twice over the years. In fact, there was a major change in 2008 that affected me more than Panda did. I have a notebook full of pages with my SERP results for various keywords.
11:50 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've had a problem with Google handing "original" status to content thieves for a lot of my sites. Even when my copy existed and was indexed six months before some thief posted it on their blog with some adsense ads - Google dropped my page from the SERPS.

So, if you want to be black hat. Just copy and paste your competitor's content on to several other blog/article sites. Google doesn't respect age of content anymore, only the "authority" of the blog/article site you post someone else's content on to.

As long as you upload anonymously, you'll never get caught.

No one dies of AIDS, I am told, but from pneumonia, infections, tumors etc :)


The point is incredibly valid. The smiley face is incredibly insensitive. :)
1:41 pm on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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That's one of the better kept black hat secrets. Everyone on black hat boards will tell you that autoblogs are dead, you have to generate your own content, etc. They're spending small fortunes outsourcing crappy content all trying to rank for the same terms.

It's actually much easier to scrape content with any free script, then spend a few bucks on the right aged domain and xrumer it directly like crazy. You just fake authority and outrank the original. Easy.
2:19 pm on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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That's actually how a lot of "authoritative" media sites got away with swiping content verbatim off my sites (down to my css bullet points) and outranking me for it.

Until #1 I started outing them at the top of my lungs on twitter and other places and #2 eventually became enough of an authority to outrank them no matter what they did.

Google doesn't really CARE who the source of the content is. And in a way, I don't really see that as their job either. I see it as more my job to make sure that my users are so sure of my authority that when they see me in a search result, they know I'm the best source for what they want. And if enough of them do, then hopefully Google figures it out too. Or at least, they have so far, pretty much.
8:45 pm on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've had a problem with Google handing "original" status to content thieves for a lot of my sites. Even when my copy existed and was indexed six months before some thief posted it on their blog with some adsense ads - Google dropped my page from the SERPS.


A few years ago I remember talking with others about "freshness". I think that is what it was called. Perhaps that is why the scrapers can outrank us. They took it later and Google placed them ahead of us temporarily.

I remember one time I created some content and popped right up near the top of the SERPS within an hour or two. But over the next few days it began to fall.
8:48 pm on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Certain keywords will trigger Google to weigh freshness heavily, so that could have something to do with it.
9:28 pm on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I agree - it is the freshness part of the algorithm that seems to give scrapers an advantage in the short term.
 

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