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Google Launches Update Targeting Spam... Again? Penguin Update

   
9:50 pm on Apr 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Matt Cutts "In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can't divulge specific signals because we don't want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics."


[insidesearch.blogspot.com...]

Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise, but the common thread is that these sites are doing much more than white hat SEO; we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 4:31 pm (utc) on Apr 25, 2012]
[edit reason] added quotes - updated link [/edit]

5:53 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Oh, this is rich:

Go to the blog post where Matt Cutts announced this disastrous update:

[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

There he says:

Notice that if you try to read the text aloud you’ll discover that the outgoing links are completely unrelated to the actual content, and in fact the page text has been “spun” beyond recognition:


And he puts an image that is an excerpt from this page:

profitmonarchs.com /get-fit-using-these-simple-and-easy-methods/

Click the link ("pay day loan") and note the domain name you end up on. Then go to Google and search for "pay day loan".

Guess who's ranking very, very well for "pay day loan"?
5:56 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



I have a really basic question for everyone. Why in 2012 is anyone still building an online business model where a substantial percentage of revenue is dependent on anything related to Google?


That's what I'm asking myself every day.

Not seeing any changes in traffic lately.

I've never participate in link building or unnatural keyword staffing what's or ever and could be that it pays off now.
However, my main competitors are big brands and it appears that they haven't affected.
6:12 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This is all about adwords and revenue and Google wanting ALL of the money, greedy company syndrome. The new rule - if you want rankings then pay for them via adwords, its not our traffic its theirs (Google) The free traffic party is winding up folks, time to adjust or find a day job. We've made significant changes since the Panda roll out, it turned out to be much easier and much more profitable than trying to reverse engineer this monster... And yes we're bending over and paying for traffic now.


Wrong. Traffic to my sites (all of them, all languages)increased with this update. All my traffic is free and I do not use Adwords.
6:18 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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jonathan, tp be fair the website thats linked is not the one thats doing well...its being 301'd to a site that ranks #2
6:22 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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jonathan, tp be fair the website thats linked is not the one thats doing well...its being 301'd to a site that ranks #2


Google knows how to follow 301s. I've got Google showing me all kinds of links it says belong to my sites that are 301'd from my affiliates sending traffic through their tracking links.
7:26 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



Know what I hate MOST about this update?

The fact that the new push means the human evaluators have to make an ALL NEW judgment call of existing top sites. That means some are bound to get tanked because of that call and the evaluators are being worked right now...
8:24 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



Oh, this is rich:

Go to the blog post where Matt Cutts announced this disastrous update:

[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

There he says:

Notice that if you try to read the text aloud you'll discover that the outgoing links are completely unrelated to the actual content, and in fact the page text has been "spun" beyond recognition:


And he puts an image that is an excerpt from this page:

profitmonarchs.com /get-fit-using-these-simple-and-easy-methods/

Click the link ("pay day loan") and note the domain name you end up on. Then go to Google and search for "pay day loan".

Guess who's ranking very, very well for "pay day loan"?


Wow, you're right. What a bunch of BS. Google -1.

[edited by: Sgt_Kickaxe at 8:25 am (utc) on Apr 26, 2012]

8:25 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Can people confirm the type of business model used in sites that have been hit, im my case all mw affiliate sites have been zapped, sites with no affiliate outlinks have been untouched.
8:36 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Could someone look at the serps for buy propecia and tell me what's going on?
How are those spam sites getting 5 stars under their url.Some even have "this site maybe compromised" label.Yet google's cache of those sites are about something else.
8:44 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



Certainly exact match domains have no extra influence any more except for branding. May be even the opposite..
8:56 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Being SEO for big brands, just got a little bit easier... :)
9:02 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



It is really disconcerting to read that people are suffering who have 'received' some 'dodgy' backlinks in the distant past. As I mentioned on page 1 of this thread my website is currently penalised manually for some spammy profile links that were created about this time last year (regrettably) but I am working hard to clean these up. The way I understand it manual penalties will expire after a certain period of time - but algorithmic penalties don't do this?

Basically it seems fair to me that a site is released from a penalty after a certain period of time. If it doesn't 'reoffend' then there is no need for it to be penalised again. But with these algorithm updates it seems that a website can be permanently tarnished by links that were built over a year ago (maybe further back?) Or maybe if you are caught out by this algorithmic change you are automatically placed into some sort of timed penalty box and then you are reassessed for more recent breaches in the future. I really have no idea but just don't see how it makes sense to punish for things so far in the past.
9:18 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Can people confirm the type of business model used in sites that have been hit, im my case all mw affiliate sites have been zapped, sites with no affiliate outlinks have been untouched.


I only have affiliate sites and they have all either increased in traffic or stayed level. So far anyway.. I'm not taking anything for granted.
9:34 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I had a 10 year old site nuked that has pretty much not been touched / edited for 4-5 years. Over all its pretty clean translated professional into 6 languages. Boom gone..... I think from distant memory we did some directory submissions about 7 years ago for it.
10:29 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Cabbie, interesting one. Why indeed is a site about tall ships in there at all as well.

Those stars look like the standard rating dont they, and I see them regularly in the Adwords results, but not in the organic before.... not in my serps.
10:54 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



I hope big G targets Google properties more in the upcoming update because more and more people are using branded Google properties (ie : Blogspot, Youtube) to spam web content or illegal download links that violate intellectually property right of developer.

For example, a search on "product" Free Download (for a demo) on Big G yield 2 cheesy blogspot pages on the first page. #1 belongs to the cheesy blogspot page with dead link, WITH DEAD LINK. The rest are 2 yahoo question and answer pages, 1 "popular" torrent site, a cheesy video site, 3 authority/branded sites, etc. My page (a quality one) is at the second page (# 13) just below a removed youtube video and a blog with torrent/illegal download links. If anyone of you (ie : Google employee) are interested in knowing the search term please PM me.
11:24 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Cabbie

Could someone look at the serps for buy propecia and tell me what's going on?

It's Rich Snippets.

I haven't gone through the sites in detail but it looks like they have nothing to indicate that a viewer can star rate them. If that's true then the star rating shouldn't be there.

Those stars appear all over G's results.
11:56 am on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



According to searchengineland they refreshed Panda a couple of days before they pushed out the webspam update, just to make things doubly exciting for folks.

[searchengineland.com...]

If you've been hit, before running around like a headless chicken trying to work out whether your links are bad, check there isn't a Panda issue first.
12:03 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@nomis5 I think he's talking about how the #1 spot is taken by a website which does not have the keyword anywhere on the page, is about something completely unrelated, yet has a star rating as well.
12:37 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Mod's note added...
Sorry to jump in on driller41's post to add this note. The SeymourJames post was a business issue, not an algorithm issue, and it's been published, in resubmitted form here, for those who want to read or discuss it....

Google - What went wrong this April 2012
The Google Business Plan
[webmasterworld.com...]

The subject of this thread, as driller notes, is the Google Spam update. I should add that there's also an excellent parallel discussion going on the Update and SERPs thread, starting roughly at the top of this page...

http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4435785-20-30.htm [webmasterworld.com]/4435785-20-30.htm


You must have spent ages SeymourJames typing all that claptrap out - it is irrelevent to this thread which is about trying to understand the inner workings of this update.

So far I do not believe it is related to backlinks on their own, or exact match domain names on their own.

Google says it is targeted at webspam, so once you decide what webspam is - and I belive they mean affiliates such as myself understanding it becomes easier.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:42 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2012]

12:46 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



Thanks SeymourJames. To sum up, in a business model where you don't have control, your revenue is up in the air.

It's here today, but maybe gone tomorrow. With no cause, trigger or anything you can explain.

We need to get off our lay a$$es, that includes me, and start working for the traffic, as opposed to waiting for it.
12:47 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



so now we wonder: is this penalty reversible without going through a manual review? Will Google algorithmically detect deleted links, algorithmically re-score pages that removed elements of on-page over-optimization? If I recall, the "Chrome Penalty" was 60 days.
1:00 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have a really basic question for everyone. Why in 2012 is anyone still building an online business model where a substantial percentage of revenue is dependent on anything related to Google?


I guess most here are not trying to build anything around Google, but trying to run away from being built around Google. Sadly, it is very difficult and time consuming to get independence back.
1:28 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@SeymourJames the reason Google have a monopoly is because they provide the best results. If they suddenly start serving up crap results then people will eventually go elsewhere. Maybe you were a Fortune 500 director (maybe not) but I think the chief execs at Google are bright enough to realise that destroying Google's position, as the #1 search engine, for a couple of months of slightly increased adwords revenue, is probably not the smartest move.

By the way, it's "could have" not "could of".
1:32 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



< snip - off topic >

I will shut up now and let the technical debate continue. Cheers all!

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:59 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2012]

1:40 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



James you made a lot of great points but

Google employee :" I'm telling you, with no caveats, that we don't make ranking decisions based on statistics related to revenue."


[webmasterworld.com...]

When it comes to ranking, many of us would prefer to focus more on the technical side.
1:50 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Google Launches Update Targeting Spam... Again?

And did it just after another Panda push on the 19th. That should make sorting what happened and why it happened easy.
2:04 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Fortunately, that has not been my experience over a dozen or so years and 250+ websites.

As always, we need to be careful of representing opinions as facts. The only *facts* we have are the ones surrounding what's happening with our own sites.
2:24 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



Ugh, with the Google backlash claptrap. Take it somewhere else, please.

Back on topic.... I manage about 20 different sites and most of the high quality sites were not affected. Two sites that were exact match domains with fair backlinks but relatively thin content and all affiliate links suffered. However, one is still getting a sliver of traffic but only for its exact match keywords and not some of the other longer tail variants; the other is toast, at least yesterday. I'm adopting the attitude espoused by some others here of "let's wait a couple of days and see how this plays out."
2:48 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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us ecom - seeing big changes in longtails over the last couple of days. whatever is happening with this update is still a work in progress, i think. keep your seatbelts fastened.
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