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Minor Panda update Oct 13 - per Matt Cutts

     
9:29 pm on Oct 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Matt Cutts responds on Twitter that they have applied a minor algorithmic update last late night.

Link: http://twitter.com/#!/mattcutts/status/124905069748559872 [twitter.com]

Have your websites been affected with this update? My site's traffic is stable, but I was expecting a positive bump.

[Mod's note: Fixed link so it would display, as the WebmasterWorld link redirect script will break it in most browsers. Copy and paste url into your browser if hyperlink doesn't go to Matt's tweet.]

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 9:54 pm (utc) on Oct 14, 2011]
[edit reason] fixed link display [/edit]

2:41 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@Bill_H

I would also like to confirm that on Monday all my B&M sites, except two .asia sites, all had between 10-15% more traffic than normal and today seems to be continuing in the same vein.

I'm fairly certain I know what's wrong with my .asia sites and working on them now.
3:06 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@snickles121 � Some local, PR, yellow page listing, BBB, and new external links are not going to fix your problem. This is not the recipe for a Panda fix. This stuff is foundation tactics.


Totally agree. When you see brand sites being given a boost you are observing a correlation NOT a cause and effect. Find out what other things brand sites do or are, other than "brand", that Panda likes and do those things and your site will do well.
3:26 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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When you see brand sites being given a boost you are observing a correlation NOT a cause and effect
In the past I have received offers up to $1000 per month for a link on my site from SEO companies representing these Brands, are we in a situation of the brand with the deepest pockets win.

Has Panda restructured Google how they value links. The only thing diference I can see between one of my sites that sits in a good position and ones that have been demoted is the link quality.
3:29 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Totally agree. When you see brand sites being given a boost you are observing a correlation NOT a cause and effect. Find out what other things brand sites do or are, other than "brand", that Panda likes and do those things and your site will do well.

Sorry but this explanation doesn't pass the smell test. Imagine if news spread that Google had caused a 70% drop for CNN or Sears.com. Who looks like an idiot? Google, so they try not to look like idiots. It's a little too late to buy what you said, we did buy it the first month or two.

They 'fixed' Daniweb's ranking quite quick when news spread through the web. 300,000 pages white-listed in one shot, yet others with 50 pages can't make headway.

If I had millions in advertising budget I'd probably get out of Panda too.
3:37 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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From the Serps that I monitor it seems like a lot of the results where manufacturers of a certain product were ranking for the products general search have dropped.

ie. blue widget manufacter with bad website was number one, now person selling blue widget with more optimized site is number one.

Is anyone else seeing this?
3:51 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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But if I knew what you say you know, I would maybe give hint to a few people here and then head to the largest web consulting firms and tell them how to beat Panda. It's a multimillion idea, and people would gladly pay you. Don't feel bad, capitalize on it, you'll still find some time to try to teach us here. Everyone has ideas, but very few knew it exactly.


I would maybe give hint to a few people here
..why ? ..because you think I should ..if I or anyone else ( and I'm by no means the only one here who has seen how this works ..the others either don't post much..or have ceased posting altogether on the subject..due to the hostility they/we get from those who haven't seen it ..or can't apply it to their sites ) has competitive advantage because of something we have realised about Panda..why would we give it to you..or make it public..?

It's a multimillion idea, and people would gladly pay you


A long time ago I was what some might call a sort of marketing consultant...( and was very highly paid ) .that was before the internet went "public". I learned that no amount of money is worth the frustration and stress of trying to get people to see the "obvious" ..they either get it or they don't..and when they don't they get hostile with the messenger..like you and others do..I don't need to experience that hostility face to face..I have better and more rewarding things to do with my time...some annoyances are not worth even a great deal of money to go through..:)

btw ..I never claimed to
know it exactly
..but my understanding of it has been accurate since feb 2011..and I saw it being tested in a small way in some areas as far back as Oct 2010..hence my comment months ago here about "preview" being important to user perception and interaction...and particularly "preview" data and human impressions of sites ..being used in Panda.


Please stop perpetuating this myth, they are smart no doubt, but Microsoft research wipes the floor with them, and with many others. [academic.research.microsoft.com...] Unless you have an objective rank that shows that Googlers are smarter than other engineers at MSFT, Apple, Oracle or IBM for example. Try the citations and see. You can also filter by last 5 years, last 10 years and see. Granted MSFT and IBM work on many fields but it's not even close.

? ..what myth ..I never compared "smarts" at Google and MS or IBM..you did ..you attribute your straw man argument to me ..and then knock it down and try to say that I'm wrong..

read my post again..

Nowhere in it do I make a comparison between Google's engineers/programmers and those at MS or IBM..so how can I be attempting to perpetuate a myth..

@DirigoDev..that is what some of us have been saying since February..apparently it got lost in the "noise"..;-)

It also means that what we think of here as SEO is dead..and IMO good riddance ..no more will it be possible to apply relatively simple formulae to a crap site and get it ranked..no more will ignoring the visitor and chasing what you think the Google algo wants work...

Sites will either survive or not..because mostly they will be built to be quality sites or not ..and those who are not or who don't survive will be those who never were interested in the visitor..except when they clicked as fast as they could be tricked into doing so..on an adsense ad.

And there will be errors and false positives as learning continues..but those who cry and who have cried the loudest will rarely be amongst the "innocent"..and their withering will be no loss to the rest of the web..nor us here..

MS and Y will follow or roll out their own "clean ups" ..some are already in progress and will start to bite too in the first 6 months of next year..

There will always be low quality and scraper and black hat sites ..but hopefully less of them now that the easy quick trick fixes wont work so well ..and as a side effect maybe the quality of debate in the "non tech" fora ( the Google fora here have been too full of "burn them for they are witches because our sites no longer rank" for nearly a year now.. ) here will get back to the higher ground that it had few years ago..and won't be so damn hard to parse. :)

The tech fora here are so much more interesting ..and no one tries to put words in your mouth in "spiders" or CSS..
4:08 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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btw ..I never claimed to
(know it exactly)
..but my understanding of it has been accurate since feb 2011..and I saw it being tested in a small way in some areas as far back as Oct 2010..hence my comment months ago here about "preview" being important to user perception and interaction...and particularly "preview" data and human impressions of sites ..being used in Panda.


Sorry, I thought you knew what to do on a site and get it out of Panda other than generalities. Like, take a Pandalized average site, add /change stuff that a regular site-owner can do and via, out of Panda. Nothing black hat, just provide good, useful info when compared to non-Pandalized sites, and Panda goes away.

Once we get into "trust" things get sketchy because it can't be measured by us and it can be bought. It' also easy to say but sitex has more 'trust' so all their 2.5 million pages are Ok but your 800 aren't.


? ..what myth ..I never compared "smarts" at Google and MS or IBM..you did ..you attribute your straw man argument to me ..and then knock it down and try to say that I'm wrong..

read my post again..

Nowhere in it do I make a comparison between Google's engineers/programmers and those at MS or IBM..so how can I be attempting to perpetuate a myth..

Really? We know you have to smart at least in math to work on algorithms. And we know that Larry is very good at counting...
From your previous post:
And Google put a lot of store in "smarts"..remember when they hired people by putting mathematical puzzles on bill boards..you got it right you might get hired ..they didn't concern themselves with how many wrecks they may have caused because people were distracted..because the "smart ones" could figure it out instantly and keep driving safely, nor did they worry about if the boards were standing on pylons over the top of some homeless person's cardboard box home..

They wanted "smart"..that is what counts to Google..( and "fast thinkers".. because they apparently think that Larry perceives things like pages loading unusually fast ..he doesn't..two hundred milliseconds is nothing special..unless the rest are "stoners" )..thousands of sites might wither and die due to Panda? ..


DirigoDev, did your time on site, bounce etc improve and by how much?

[edited by: walkman at 4:27 pm (utc) on Oct 18, 2011]

4:16 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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dertyfern said: "my site, which has been around for 10+ years, has killer content, and authoritative one-way links got whacked yesterday...hard. replaced by large corporate owned websites or spammy sites."

Man! I am so with you on this! I have an 11 year old site with excellent unique original content and this so called Panda 2.5.2 "tweak" slapped me hard. Just when I thought I was making some recovery my sites traffic got whacked hard dropping 40% swiftly as of the morning of Oct. 14th. When will the nightmare end. And of course BIG brands taking my place instantly! Minor Tweak?.. Really? grrrrrrr!
4:27 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, I thought you knew what to do on a site and get it out of Panda other than generalities. Like, take a Pandalized average site, add /change stuff that a regular site-owner can do and via, out of Panda
.I do :)

..but like I said in my last post..why would I tell..? you didn't read my last post thoroughly and accurately ..again..

btw..I have looked at a few sites of members ..privately ..briefly..and always for free ..and made some suggestions..some of them have taken the suggestions on and now thinking clearer and are moving the right way..they'll ride this out..

I don't want to be looking at any more ..

I have neither the time ..nor the inclination ..

I just spent over a year straightening someones else's ( member here ) sites and financial affairs out for no charge..many hundreds of hours not spent on my own stuff or my family ..soon as I get the last few pages of their last site fixed and ready to hand over ..I'm going to get back to developing my own again ..:) paying out hundreds or thousands some months for domain names sitting idle because I'm doing other stuff isn't the best use of my time ..nor my money..

And there is the house to fix, wood to chop, and pictures to paint, and walks to have with my family ..spent the last 25 years living in parts of the world that others dream of retiring to..my turn now to ease up and enjoy them..:)

I quit "consulting" and fixing "things" for others on a "one to one" basis once..I got "slid" back in due to compassion..

I'm quitting and retiring from it... again :) early as next week..

@tony

you put [quo*te] and [/quo*te] either side of it ( the text you want the box around )..take out the *s ..click preview ..before you post ..the BB code is all there..highlight your text ..and click the button you want.

And we know that Larry is very good at counting...
From your previous post:

Nope ..we know that
they
think he is good at counting..:)

I actually posted that I don't think 200 milliseconds is that special..btw you dont need to count in 200 ( or under ) milliseconds to be considered quick at the plex..you just need to react ..but as you are digging yourself further into the straw man hole..what say you quit trying to put the words into my mouth by extrapolating them into there too..it "lowers the tone".. and adds nothing except more irrelevant distracting "noise"..

[edited by: Leosghost at 4:52 pm (utc) on Oct 18, 2011]

4:29 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Just checked on webmaster tools and the pagespeed has been updated. Its stating on the 10th that it too 7.9 seconds to load a page. This is 4 seconds higher that it normally is, looks like my host had issues that day.


Im wondering if panda will have took this into account as I was getting spidered like mad during that period.
4:57 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Anyway Leo,
as the Queen of England, I too have pressing matters to attend.

Does anyone know if Google update Panda with the data they collect or just changed the algo to mark as "good quality" previously "bad quality sites"
5:04 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Aww crap. Is that why my VERY slight panda recovery disappeared around 18th October then? I thought things were looking up!
6:15 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We saw a recovery in this last update traffic up by 40%.

Our site got hit hard by Panada in February and ever since it's been a downhill ride for our google traffic, up until this last update that is .

The site is 8 years old and is one of the top in it's niche , Panada has been a tricky one for us because while I do agree content is a big part of a user's experience, in our niche getting the client from point A to point Z in the fastest and most efficient manner constitutes the best user experience, and not the content the user is fluffed with along the way.

What we've done since Feb:

1- Robot no indexed a few hundred pages that are helpful for clients , but can be seen as "auto generated" by google.

2- Intensified our Social and brand building activities.The idea brought forward was that genuine sharing and offsite content has to be picked up as a good indicator of user experience.

3- While we do have plans to upgrade some of the content on the site , we're still finalizing a major backend upgrade that will allow us to do all that cool stuff, but from Google's perspective , this remains invisible.

The above observations coupled with obsessing over Panada for the past 8 months leads me to conclude that each Panda iteration is more about Google finding it's balance between on-site content and off-site signals that indicate a site :

A) Provides a good user experience.
B) Is an invaluable resource.

Just my humble opinion.

I hope this helps whomever's been suffering , trust me i know how hard it's been and having to fire some GOOD people and tighten the budget just because of an algorithm change can be argued as unfair. Alas such is the internet demigod's wish and as such we adapt.

Keep improving your content but DO NOT FORGET your offsite factors. They're still just a key.

Good luck.
6:24 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It also means that what we think of here as SEO is dead..and IMO good riddance ..no more will it be possible to apply relatively simple formulae to a crap site and get it ranked

I think we would all agree with Leo's observation, except for one thing, which is that same formulae was as often as not applied to good content sites, to get them to rank. In other words, it wasn't JUST the crap sites benefiting from an understanding of fundamental SEO (and in fairness, Leo did not suggest such in his posting).

So I'm wondering ~ if Google sees these so-called "simple formulae" applied to a site, be it good or bad content, is that the same thing as "over optimization"? And even if it is not the same thing, if Google sees this simple formulae applied to any website, is it like a target? Does it signal to Panda that this sort of SEO "design template", which at one time was effective, is now ripe for a hit?

.........................
6:33 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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And there is the house to fix, wood to chop, and pictures to paint, and walks to have with my family ..spent the last 25 years living in parts of the world that others dream of retiring to..my turn now to ease up and enjoy them..:)


Leo, I am SO with you on everything you've said. Whatever years I have left are NOT going to be dedicated to figuring out what out of control algorithms are doing, when the task is pretty impossible. I'm writing (mostly for print), doing seminars and such things in my areas.

I'm trying to re-create my websites for users, my customers and propspective customers.

I've gotten killed by Panda, so it's time to move on, but one problem is that so many people have business models that rely exclusively on search results, and they don't HAVE the skills or the options.

It's all nasty, and my business is far from secure, but if we haven't figured out how to rank by know or fix the results of Panda, do you think another 12 months is going to bring answers? No.

For those that have seen success, good on you, but even if you share what you did, the information is useless for anyone else, because now, search engine results are too complex for general rules.
7:06 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We saw an uptick in traffic from this recent update... until today and it's been very quiet here today.... guess they tweaked the tweak again.
7:18 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@Whitey

4.3% rise in average bounce rate.
14 second loss in average time on site (> 2 minute average).
79% increase in SEO traffic comparied to last Tue @ 3:00pm.
PPC average cost per order has stabilized as of today.
8:08 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"Minor Update" or "Not Minor Update" ... that is the question :-)

Matt Cutts was asked on Twitter [twitter.com]

"You called latest Panda Update "Minor". It was mentioned on WebmasterWorld that Singhal said latest Panda update was not a minor update!"

Matt graciously replied for an hour ago:

"I believe Amit might have been talking about Panda overall, not the 10/14 update."
8:08 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We saw an uptick in traffic from this recent update...


@DirigoDev..... if you were to pick your top improvements on your site, what do you think it would be and why ( maybe a hard question ). 79% improvement is a great start - still a long way to go , no doubt.

@Bewenched .... any chance of some numbers and what you did and intend to do?

It would help lift the quality of the threads.

Can anyone dig a bit deeper on the UI/design improvements that they feel helped their sites in addition to content.

@Reseller .... good catch

[edited by: Whitey at 8:13 pm (utc) on Oct 18, 2011]

8:12 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have not seen any changes in traffic. Actually a slight up tic...
8:16 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@tonynoriega- what do you mean ? That's a contradiction?

What have you done to your site to warrant improvements? We need facts, if you're willing to share. Some are doing things , some are waiting ( a mistake in my view ) .... but every piece of analysis is helpful.
8:54 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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10:34 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@reseller
IMHO google don't know what is going on themselves ..
10:34 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yup, dropped from #1 to #3 on my main keyword. :(
11:36 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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ANOTHER minor update on Oct 17/18, traffic down another 40% across my three sites. Again ONLY transactional pages lost traffic, informational ones remain strong.

Google's going after affiliates and small busineses, again, imo. It makes Google's own automated affiliate "shopping" pages that much more sickening doesn't it? All propped up atop the search page and all.

My transactional traffic is almost low enough that I am considering permanently immunizing myself from Panda's by removing and banning Google from my site completely, including Googlebot. It's been a fun 7 years, Google.

[edited by: Sgt_Kickaxe at 11:44 pm (utc) on Oct 18, 2011]

11:43 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm managing the SEO of over 50+ sites. Except for two which have slipped a bit as I didn't pay them enough TLC, all are going up in the SERPs. And these are competitive niches. We out rank amazon, wiki, about, who.int and a large number of other authorities for single word keywords.

The thing to understand is; first it was on page, then links were added into the equation; now it is social engineering + on page + links. Find out what you can do to emulate the signals google uses to know that amazon, nfl, espn, wikipedia, and other authorities are authorities. To hell with being right and wrong; do what works.
11:46 pm on Oct 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Find out what you can do to emulate the signals google uses to know that amazon, nfl, espn, wikipedia, and other authorities are authorities. To hell with being right and wrong; do what works.


If you DO find out what you can do to emulate the signals Google uses they will make additional changes, they apparently hold several meetings per day and average about 2 approved changes per day from those meetings...

To hell with Google sounds more appropriate to some right now and that might just be intentional. Problem is that Google is not just hitting spammers anymore, top notch sites are going down...
12:22 am on Oct 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have been doing lots of testing since the Panda hit last Feb. I decided to quit making quality sites and spending $x,#*$! upon $x,#*$! on promotion and production and then have most of it sent to the back of the serps after years of work.

Will not go into great details but, I am having great success with large sites that cost me around $30 to create (call it what you want). These sites are very niche specific targeted and cover a large area in the niche.

These sites provide the user with exactly what they are looking for as they have a vast search database integrated from a large player and can find anything regarding the niche they want, but I have added some unique stuff in there to make Lord Gorg see it as original.

The metrics on these sites are very good, very low bounce and user avg length of visit is around 5 mins, average actions are 5.5 per visit (some people click 30 time or more searching around), also unique return visits are good. Moral of the story put stuff on your site that keeps the users on the site and search around it works.

None of these site have been effected by any of the new Panda updates, if when they get hit I will just build 10 more for every one to replace them.

I truly feel for you that are just going through this mess, Panda literally sent me to the E.R after many days of stress and trauma from having my business leveled.

Note: there are NO Google products on these sites to help them track down, and they are spread all over the place.

[edited by: kd454 at 12:31 am (utc) on Oct 19, 2011]

12:23 am on Oct 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Paradoxically, if you just ignore Google and intensively chase your audience directly, you may not just "emulate" the right signals -- they might just be there for real.

-----

To state explicitly what seems pretty obvious at this point, for a "minor" update to the Panda thingie, this change seems to have a pretty major footprint, given the reports in this thread.
12:33 am on Oct 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"I believe Amit might have been talking about Panda overall, not the 10/14 update."


I believe Amit was specific and said 10% was not really small or something to that effect.

Cutts thinks to himself it's not effecting my holiday pay so who cares what happens to "them". Why cannot they eat cake instead, Marie replies. All the while being out of touch with what was brewing.
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