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Interesting little insight into What Google Trusts on a page



6:48 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

This question/insight might be obvious to some... I've never thought about it until I started seeing it in the serps... and am starting to put the pieces together. Here it is:

First a little background, we were hit in Feb. Panda. And have never recovered meaningfully.

I've got all hand written content on our product site. (the quality is whatever it is... but the fact is that we never copied and pasted mfg descriptions like competitors). The site design is whatever it is also... our customers like it... most people may or may not be turned on by it.

Anyway we introduced a new feature a public Q & A section on the site over the summer... A way of giving consumers a public voice on the site and introducing a sense of community.

I've recently noticed that Google is ignoring the custom content in our descriptions (when they get snippets of the results in their serps) and displaying the customer questions in the snippets in the serps.

Old me would have said... whatever, it works right... we are in the results and I don't care what they put in the snippets... New, post panda me says: WTF, is google ignoring not only whole pages on the site...BUT, specifically ignoring sections of a page?

What I mean is: is google saying: the hand written content/product description you wrote (with the same exact string of key terms) is less important than the question the customer publicly asked on the page?

How this changes things for my Panda'd site:

If google is not trusting SECTIONS of a page... it explains why my deleting/removing ENTIRE (low quality) PAGES is not doing ANYTHING for me. Obviously if the above is true, even the higher quality content is being penalized because of it's geographic location on the code of the site.

Assuming the above is correct it means: the only way to get rid of Panda is to make the potentially panda'd sections of the site more trustworthy... not just write more content in the sections that are already not trustworthy.

Anybody care to give their thoughts/experience on this thought?


9:36 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Even if you do not recover, improving your site can't do much harm, especially if you're already being punished by google.

I think part of the problem is that "improving your site" is mostly subjective. Some things are obvious ~ broken links, 2MB jpgs all over the page, malware, et al. But other things regarding how content is worded or placed on the page are personal opinions, and as often as not, there is no hardcore evidence that it is a Panda factor one way or the other. One person puts their nav bar at the side and does fine; another puts their nav bar on the side and crashes ~ is the nav bar the issue? Probably not.

Panda is VERY complex and intentionally constructed to confound. Anyone who "figures it out" has only figured it out for themselves ~ another person following that same model to the letter may see no improvement whatsoever. That's why I (and so many others) are saying that the time has come to simply forget Google and proceed to the best of your abilities, so you can at least be happy (and proud) with your own site construction.

Yes, they are the #1 traffic source in the world so admittedly it's hard to not see the thousand pound gorilla in the room, but still, the only way to move forward IMO is to build the best site you can, and at least be pleased with your own efforts. Take the feedback from others if it seems relevant, but if not, do what you think is best.

Panda is a brick wall and the more you hit your head on it, the sooner you'll crack your skull. So do yourself a favor and find your own path ~ either you'll get around the wall or you won't, but at least it's your path.



1:04 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

@Reno - I think you're bang on the money with "constructed to confound".

The pretense is that Panda is about quality, but the search results indicate otherwise. The original intention of Panda may have been to address the failings of the pagerank algo, but I suspect that it is being used to make adjustments to the results to skew them in favour of Google's money making, whilst killing small businesses.

This is one panda I would like to see reach extinction.

We are now being gamed by Google!


9:02 pm on Dec 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

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

BUT, specifically ignoring sections of a page

I've noticed for a while that Google refuses to highlight my navigational links or my header tags (even headers that do not use <h> tags) in the serps description OR the preview. This tells me that specific elements/sections are ignored. Interesting post.
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