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Google Updates and SERP Changes - Sep 2011

     
9:47 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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< continued from: [webmasterworld.com...] >

There were declines for hubpages after the initial traffic improvements. But 23 aug seem to have reversed the downward trend and they are almost back to pre-panda levels. Sub-domain strategy is proving to be fruitful for this large content farm. This might help the other larger content farms to recover as well.But it might not help the mid and small sized sites and they will remain hurt. Here is why I feel that way.

Hubpages are creating sub domains at the user level and not at the topic level. I am noticing several of their current top ranking pages are from users who post on a variety of topics. This beats the theory that panda is favoring topic focused sites.But what surprises me is the upward movement of some low quality pages from poor quality writers. I have examples of such sub domains which I cannot share here.

So what is really helping them? As I understand it, the move to sub domains are helping them beat the panda's sitewide penalty. This suggests that the sitewide drag enforced by the google panda algorithm is very strong.

But why will this subdomain strategy help only the large content farms and not the smaller ones?

The relatively smaller and mid sized sites can branch off to only a fewer sub domains, in comparison to what the bigger content farms could. Hubpages have now created a large number of subdomains. I am guessing that the panda algo isn't applied to several of them. The smaller sizes of these new sub domains are probably helping them keep a distance from the panda evaluation.

If other bigger content farms intend trying the sub domain strategy, they should follow the hubpages model as it is and create sub domains based on useror any other unitthat will lower the number of pages per sub domain.

I guess that this will be relatively difficult for mid and smaller sized sites, as the number of authors will be less and hence pages per author will be high enough to be trapped by the panda net.

[edited by: tedster at 9:55 pm (utc) on Sep 2, 2011]

4:51 pm on Sept 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Today I have reached a higher level of scraper problem. In G. SERPs a scraper is on the position NO 1 and I'm not below him, but under the "If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included" link.
1:27 am on Sept 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't know what's going on and probably never will. The only thing I can think of is that other similar sites are changing things, even though I can't detect anything, but from Monday 5th it has just been going to hell in a hand basket. Today is half of what I had on Monday, and that's a quarter of what I used to have. I don't know what Google is doing, but I saw in another post that you can't frin anything anymore that is worth looking for anymore in Google. They are tryiongto second/trird/fourth guess you what you are looking for and I am pretty sure they are using all kinds of things stored on your computer or in their database about you to show the result they think is best for you depending on where you are at, your interests, if you are in buying mode. It annoying as a "normal searcher" not to find what you are looking for and it's even more annoying to have your web site you've been working on for years waste away to nothing just because Google says so. I know you shouldn't rely on Google traffic only but doesn't Google rely on our web sites?
Enough of ranting for tonight....
1:57 pm on Sept 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Quality? No sir, I see MANY more spam sites ranking top 10 now than ever before for the keywords I monitor. In fact the #1 site for one of my favorite keywords is a 100% mashup site, all duplicate content, in which the owner had plans to roll out 5 similar sites but ended up redirecting the other 4 to his main site. Google isn't even catching that apparently.

Quality is not the end all factor in obtaining solid rankings anymore. Social stature seems to be and I don't mean at the site level, it's as if Google has decided to roll everything related to a site including the site owners other websites and his/her social profiles into one lump sum score that heavily influences the height of your glass ceiling.

Also, name dropping - it seems that mentioning a location in a title, h1, h2 or in bold is enough to severely limit ranking potential in all places except that region, do so with caution.
7:42 pm on Sept 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Quality? No sir, I see MANY more spam sites ranking top 10 now than ever before for the keywords I monitor.


Yeah I see no indication of quality whatsoever. I have been trying to do some research about health supplements and various amino acids. Nothing but commercial pages in the results. The results are the worst I have ever seen.
9:35 pm on Sept 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The results are junk, searching for a dog toy earlier and all i got was junk/scraper affiliates rather than the manufacturer, even though i had their name and specific product in the search. The page i wanted existed, just google didnt want to send me to it. Fail.

Second search was for information on a new phone purchase, the specs specifically, again, tons of junk blogs and scraper rubbish, took me a good few retry searches to get to some decent mobile blogs and settled for that rather than getting the manufacturer again, which was what i really wanted, this to was using a pretty specific phrase. Fail.

I dont normally have these issues with Google, but recently im losing faith in their algo. It repeatedly doesnt give me what i want and know from many years working in this industry it can give me.
2:00 pm on Sept 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think that Google and their new algo is some type of "learning algo" which to me indicates that the results will always be changing over time. For every search you make it'll learn so when we search and doesn't find anything it is calculated in by Google. Now you have the option to remove evrything you don't like and G+ things you like so that's just a faster way for Google to collect info about sites and what to serve up in their results. With their new servers and OS and indexing the results can be reorganized within hours and in the near future while you're searching.
This to me means that SEO is dead in the water. We can guess and second guess but we can never figure out what to do to get to the top since it is an ever changing goal. It will be results generated by "user experience".
10:13 am on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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they made another big update last night. lost a lot of traffic again...
12:41 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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zerillos, can you see anything about the kind of pages that gained or lost in this update?
1:54 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Quality? No sir, I see MANY more spam sites ranking top 10 now than ever before for the keywords I monitor.


This morning, we spotted another high value/volume 2-word generic keyphrase we monitor, filling positions 1-3 by what I would call a spam site.

In total... Site had 14 pages. The page that replaced all others was 200 words of obviously rewritten content, with 6 adsense blocks wrapping it on 4 sides and within the 3 paragraphs of text!

MH

Edit: For comparison value, I checked Bing as well... the same site is not in the top 20. While there, I also noticed 2 of the top-10 sites in Bing were sites with Adsense that are clearly being penalized, since the ad-blocks were empty. After checking Google, the sites are in fact penalized and kicked out of the serps. (Interesting, recent drops)
7:37 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The only update I have is number of 9 DMCA removal messages ("In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed...") on 1 Google results page. With my newly submitted DMCA forms, there will be 10 results on a page and more than 10 "we have removed" messages.

I don't know how anybody in Google doesn't notice something so ugly like this in their SERPs and do something.
9:34 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't know how anybody in Google doesn't notice something so ugly like this in their SERPs and do something.

1. How fast something like this gets noticed is going top depend on the query terms involved.
2. I think Google's recent creation of a Scraper Report form shows that someone has recognized that they have a problem.
10:19 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've sent hundreds of DMCA complaints to Google for Blogspot alone, and it doesn't begin to touch the thousands of full-text scrapes and article farm replications some of my more popular (pre-Panda) pages attracted. Google has had their head in the sand about duplicate content for years, always denying it's a problem and then suggesting it's easy enough to fix with DMCA complaints. I'd like to see a Google engineer sitting in front of a screen all day cutting and pasting URLs into their DMCA form.

The ironic thing is that pre-Panda, I had stopped chasing infringements because Google had learned to ignore them. They unlearned it overnight last February. My guess would be that they don't know (or care) that some high quality sites are built around a small number of core pages that each take weeks to create. They find it easier to assume that high quality sites mean very large numbers of passable content that nobody would bother duplicating.
10:35 pm on Sept 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

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DMCA complaints
Tell me about it .. or rather don't. I could spend a year doing this and not even do 10% of the total. Then there is the cease and desist etc etc. But you are right Content_ed - it has only been since Panda. Bing seems to manage OK, even if someone scrapes 100% of my site.
5:02 am on Sept 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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As far as the scrapers, and the poor quality of search results, it's clearly a business decision not a technical one. If it were technical the search quality wouldn't be getting worse and scrapers wouldn't be rewarded more now than before.
5:18 am on Sept 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't think all the lousy sites people are seeing on some of the secondary queries are a business decision at all. I think that Panda was an outrageous thing to take on, and doing it essentially broke a lot of other things that they used to have under control.

Google can't be happy to see Bing's market share grow 3 points in one month. I think that out of public view, they're scrambling.
6:18 am on Sept 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think that Panda was an outrageous thing to take on, and doing it essentially broke a lot of other things that they used to have under control.


And Google "broke" a lot of good online businesses in the process, which is unforgivable.
6:47 am on Sept 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Content sharing sites were mainly effected due to panda update. Its good to know about the reverse back of G. Even article sites were also effected. Hope it will help all type of sites to get better rank with reverse panda update.
1:25 am on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Tuesday 9/6/11: 10,350
Wednesday 9/7/11: 11,220
Thursday 9/8/11: 9,400
Friday 9/9/11: 9,730
Saturday 9/10/11: 13,590
Sunday 9/11/11: 14,440
Monday 9/12/11: 10,740
Tuesday 9/13/11: 7,380

Google roller coast ride....
2:01 am on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"And Google "broke" a lot of good online businesses in the process, which is unforgivable."

I second that! They have killed or are the process of killing off many small business owners.
5:39 am on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Anybody still think Panda was a success?

I laugh at you. hahaha. That's my laugh.

There will be huge consequences as more of us realize what a joke Google has become. Almost every post here implies that the serps are a mess.

I cannot find jack squat when doing personal searches and it's pissing me off.
5:53 am on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I second that! They have killed or are the process of killing off many small business owners.


They would rather have brands who can pay more for higher adword prices so they don't really care about all the small business owners who supported them since they started up.

They are out to mold the world in Google flavor because they know what's best for everbody.

We are witnessing the beginning of the end for Google dominance in search. It won't happen over night, but it will happen.
7:31 am on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Let's keep this thread focused on watching Updates and SERP changes. There already are other threads dedicated to Google complaints.

We need to maintain structure here or the place becomes too chaotic to use after a while. Thanks.
7:57 am on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Almost every post here implies that the serps are a mess.


That's because this is no longer a friendly place to post even neutral opinions
10:38 am on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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My site dropped to the fifth page for most keywords, so it seems like a -50 penalty.

However, I changed my domain name on September 1, and it seems like no-one had any complaints recently about any penalties, so it may just be a very slow work of Google on crawling the new domain.

Webmaster Tools show 238 links from the old domain (I have 301 redirects for all pages), and only 13 links from a different domain.

The website itself wasn't changed except for some banners (with the new name) and the site name itself on pages.

What do you think?

nadavs
11:01 am on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@nadavs

Sorry to say, but you probably were hit by -50 and are dead in the water.

There is another thread here about recent increase in -50 penalties. And much more posting on other forums about this.
12:23 pm on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else have a huge traffic spike on Monday? Traffic seems normal today yet we are dead. The SERP's, as ever look great for us. The tell tale foreign traffic is back though.
12:30 pm on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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ohno,
that means a new Panda is coming IMO.
12:36 pm on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Wonderful!
12:51 pm on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Anyone else have a huge traffic spike on Monday?

I had. It was the best in 3 months.

But still there's a long way from a full recovery : )
5:06 pm on Sept 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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< moved from another location >

Anyone notice any strange behaviour on their site today? We've been getting heavily crawled for the past few weeks, specifically sept 11, then again sept 13.. and so far all day on the 14th we've had odd traffic, not our usual set of keywords from google and A BIG FAT DONUT when it comes to conversions for about 14 hours now.

What the heck is going on?

[edited by: tedster at 9:50 pm (utc) on Sep 14, 2011]

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