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Google Update Bacon

     
2:36 pm on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Panda refresh is rolling out—expect some flux over the next few days. Fewer than 0.7% of queries noticeably affected: [twitter.com...]


from previous blogpost:
...in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on. [googleblog.blogspot.com...]


Related:
Google Domain Diversity Update:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Google Has Major Host Crowding Problems:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Monthly Update Changes Thread:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Knowledge Graph:
[webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 3:31 pm (utc) on Sep 19, 2012]
[edit reason] added some context and related links [/edit]

3:47 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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With the knowledge graph continuing to gain ground, I am surprised to see how many people are not taking advantage of freebase.
3:51 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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wth - where'd my post just go?

I was confused at first too as this thread is titled strangely and the link to the very old post from Google blog mashed in with the recent tweet adds to the problem. But anyway, I'm seeing traffic increase so far.
4:26 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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realmaverick, that really wasn't my point.

Google panda and penguin are news because google wants it to be news. We don't call every other update news because we just consider it regular algo updates made by google..which is what panda and penguin are. penguin and panda are here to stay and panda has now been here for over a year and yet here we are all making a big stink about every refresh like its a major event.

What everyone else has put aside are all the hundreds of other factors that take a part in producing the serp's. We only hear about panda and penguin now so every webmaster who does not rank well is only attributing their failures to these 2 updates when realistically many have nothing to do with panda and penguin. "oh my site lost rankings, must be panda"


This is the exact definition of FUD (fear uncertainty doubt) and google is loving every minute of it.

I have a strong feeling that when google refreshes panda/penguin they are not just refreshing those algo factors, but they are also refreshing the serp's, just like how they used to do before panda/penguin. So natural ranking gains and losses are thrown into the mess and any change is blamed on panda when they might not be the case at all.

I am confused.


Exactly.
4:42 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The niche I follow had the multi-same or cross domain results cleared in the past 12 hrs, most news and dominant brands demoted(which were irrelevant anyway), .co.uk .com.au and similar demoted in .com finally. That's based on top 20 and the serp in particular look pretty clean so far with small exceptions, but way better than before. One thing that strikes me is that after a little BL research I noticed anchor text power increased similar to 2 years ago.

Another thing I have noticed is a -20 penalty I had 1 month ago which disappeared as of today but few other of my competition got. I wonder what that might be.

[edited by: Donna at 4:46 pm (utc) on Sep 19, 2012]

4:44 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I sure wish Panda would eliminate some of the junk press releases in the financial sector. At least I am getting more traffic from people jumping to page 2 or 3 to get past them.

I was confused at first too as this thread is titled strangely and the link to the very old post from Google blog mashed in with the recent tweet adds to the problem. But anyway, I'm seeing traffic increase so far.

Brett updated the OP to add "from previous blogpost". When I first logged in this morning, the thread title and that paragraph led me to believe there was a larger update that happened overnight.
4:53 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just to clarify, that paragraph is from the first Panda back in February of last year. 11.8% of queries were not affected by this most recent Panda update.

Yes, that bit on the homepage was (and still is) rather misleading... if a drop in forum visits follows, there've probably been some heart attacks.
4:54 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@crobb , pretty sure something happened overnight
4:56 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@crobb , pretty sure something happened overnight


Yeah, the small Panda refresh that they announced yesterday. Or possibly other algorithmic tweaks. Donna, did you see changes in your niche besides the -20 that you reported?
5:04 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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pretty sure something happened overnight


It's probably just the flux they are referring to over the next few days.
5:18 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Exactly.


(I didn't mean I was confused by Google; I was confused by this post)
5:23 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@crobb like I said , all branches of brand.com( .uk .au etc.) got pushed way back, wikki still holds 2 spots in top 20, but most press stuff are gone with the exception of one and anchor text seems to be tuned up again. The shuffle for 5 main kws I follow seems to be around the 25% in top 20.

Here is the funny thing I just noticed 2 of the kws were competing with play.google which is pushed -20 as of today too.
6:14 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The current front page 'post highlights' are misleading in the extreme and the alterations to the first post in this thread confusing to the casual viewer without knowledge of the update history - someone might like to clarify them...
6:27 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I had to do a double take when I read the headline. I knew about the panda refresh from the other day, but agree that the other quote from a year ago was misleading. I nearly had a heart attack in fact until I followed the link and saw the date.
6:33 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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For those who are confused about that original Panda post, whenever there is a refresh, they always point to that original Panda 1.0 article.

For THIS update, 0.7% of queries are/will be affected.
7:01 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There was a lot of change in some SERP areas in the days preceding the Panda Update. In fact, there have been, pretty much in a row, some major changes which could be taken together and looked at a s one "big" update with several different parts. I think that's what "Bacon" is intended to refer to.

For more information on other, earlier churn the the search rankings, see Google Updates and SERP Changes - September 2012 [webmasterworld.com]
8:41 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The way Google has been operating lately, it seems like Regina Dugan [fedscoop.com...] must have brought over some tactics from DARPA, the same secretive DOD branch that brought the the flying robotic hummingbird and the rather frightening robodog as well as trillions of dollars worth of top secret stuff you and I will never know about.

They seem to be operating less like a company and more like a secretive government. I'm not sure which is a bigger secret Roswell or Google Panda?

BTW - you'd think that a group that can make this: [youtube.com ] might be able to build a better search engine than what they've got now.
10:39 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am confused.

Me, too. I get the intent Tedster's referring to, but I find it messy to give a bunch of changes an update name when past named updates were more defined and discrete.
10:55 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I am confused.


I was on holiday in Florida once and they gave out a hurricane warning for little more than a warm breeze, thats what this feels like. A warm breeze update.

A welcome change to normal updates. Micro surgery of the results not the meat cleaver!
10:56 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I too am confused by the existence of this thread, we have the standard Google day to day changes, plus the special update to reduce domain domination of the SERPs plus a new iteration of Panda appearing at around the same time.

Giving it a seperate update name and starting a new thread here because of that is really only going to cause more confusion amongst less experienced SEOs.
11:34 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We have seen way too many changes recently - not to call this a cumulative update and finally give it a name. I saw two big serps that are 100% different since last week- all top ten have changes - that's an update.
11:53 pm on Sept 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Brett, I assume when you say big SERPs you are talking about something which is competitive and has been fairly stable over the past few months.

Have you seen significant brands being affected?
1:26 am on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Our company's sites were all hit in a minor way. Minor meaning that we went 1-3 positions down, although the effect on cash won't be minor at all. What I find interesting is that we actually pay for very high quality content from people who write for magazines and sites like examiner. What is also worth noting is that most of our sites are the only affiliate websites left in the top 10 for the highly competitive keywords in the spaces we are targeting. Everyone else has been flushed during the past year or so.

It seems to me that in our case Google is targeting the business model, not the types of content or even link building practices.
5:49 am on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What I find interesting is that we actually pay for very high quality content from people who write for magazines and sites like examiner.


It looks like good content is not important. Our main site with great content (well written and frequent updates) lost a few positions with this refresh. One of our old crappy sites (low quality content and not updated since more than a year) gained traffic.
9:49 am on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Quality and original content is the best way now..need to recheck content & update them as soon as possible
1:50 pm on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Quality and original content is the best way now..need to recheck content & update them as soon as possible


This is not entirely true, yet. We've been reporting for months that scrapers are outranking the originals (some of those originals are 8 to 10 years old). Furthermore, brand new websites are ranking with spammy foreign backlinks. In the financial sector, on some competitive phrases, up to 30% of the top 100 serps are spammy press releases designed to send traffic to websites that aren't ranking. This is not quality. Your statement may be true of Google's intent, but their efforts have failed. The number 1 site in my sector in the U.S. was registered just three months ago and ranks entirely on .ru and other foreign backlinks.
4:03 pm on Sept 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We have seen way too many changes recently - not to call this a cumulative update and finally give it a name. I saw two big serps that are 100% different since last week- all top ten have changes - that's an update.


I am seeing old sites of mine that have been 301'd months ago showing up in the serps starting yesterday.

I also see the main site that these were 301'd to drop slightly so will have to wait till they are done stirring the pot to see what this thing will look like. It "appears", at least in my case that the 301's are not included in the sauce while they roll this out. That can make a huge difference to the final results.
12:43 am on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've been battling Panda since June. Revamped the site, the layout - even created a tool to find duplicate phrases and sentences across the whole site.

What I found was that any page that had more than 80% similar content and over 150 words received no traffic.

Strangely, groups of pages with very thin content (too thin for sure!) just 50 words or less and 80%+ duplicated across the site ranked really highly in the serps. Which makes no sense to me at all, since it should have been spotted easily by the white stinky bear. The serps in my industry are dominated by spammers and every panda update seems to push these long term spammers higher! Including the 18th Sept update. I saw only one other site getting whacked out.

Seems I just can't get my site to rank again even with fresh articles and well written content. Talk about mind F***.

You know for once, I really wish Pandas were extinct. I've been to China, they're not cute and they smell. A lot like this algorithm.
12:56 am on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What I found was that any page that had more than 80% similar content and over 150 words received no traffic.

Thanks for sharing those numbers - sharp analysis. The idea that Panda needs a certain minimum amount of content to rate a page is definitely something to chew on.

A vocabulary note. Google uses the phrase "thin content" to refer to affiliate content that is basically just reprinted from the parent company's feed with little or no added value. So thin content can still be a lot of words on the page.

They use phrase "shallow content" to refer to content of any length that just doesn't say much that is of real value to the reader. Shallow content is bread and butter of content farms - and all manner of MFA websites.

I'd say what you've identified is simply "short content" and there are all kinds of legitimate reasons for some URLs to have short content. Serving short informational notes in a pop-up window is one obvious example. Sometime a point-of-sale page just doesn't need any "padding" either, so don't risk turning a page into shallow content by adding fluff copy.

[edited by: tedster at 1:47 am (utc) on Sep 21, 2012]

1:26 am on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Tedster - I didn't know that!

The analysis is based on traffic from the last 3 months. I compare sentences and phrases larger than 20 characters across the whole site. It's not a perfect process, but I created it to be quick.

It had occurred to me that Google could be using "semantic analysis" of sentences - which basically means if a sentence has the same meaning, then statistically they are the same. Semantic checking would mean the end of all sites that have multiple pages targeting similar keywords. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to write that =)

I hope Panda isn't using that!
4:39 am on Sept 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google could be using "semantic analysis" of sentences

For about a year, that's where I think Google is heading. They are trying to figure out the meaning behind every search and show what could be good for the searcher.
It is called 'semantic analysis' and the main challenge is the accuracy as compared to serving direct information (based on keywords).
While trying to invent this new wheel forgetting that people have different tastes, they leave many dead bodies on the Internet street..
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