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Google Update Bacon

2:36 pm on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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...]

Google Domain Diversity Update:

Google Has Major Host Crowding Problems:

Monthly Update Changes Thread:

Knowledge Graph:

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

8:06 am on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Panda is mainly about "shallow content", so if a page doesn't contain many words, I do not think it would get caught up in it.

I think people thought 'My content is shallow, let's pad it out with more info' - when in reality that is digging a deeper hole. Someone should create a thread discussing what 'shallow', 'thin', 'small' etc actually refer to.
11:52 am on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have a suspicion that the actual correlation between those shorter pages is that people like them more than your longer pages. It would be interesting to see how the stats for those pages compare to the stats for the 150+ word pages (time on page, exit rate, bounce rate).

My view is that Panda doesn't 'look' at your content, it judges the metrics of a page against the metrics of other pages and sites. If you have a lot of pages that measure up very badly (people don't like them) compared to most other sites in your niche, I think that's how Google can tell you have low quality content and Panda then demotes you appropriately.

I don't think there is a pattern to how much text you need on a page, no secret formula, no definition of thin/shallow content. It's a popularity competition and your visitors do the voting (reflected in your user metrics). Google just counts the votes and demotes any pages that are clearly much more unpopular than the majority.

The problem is we don't know how the voting is going for other sites, so even if we can tell from our metrics that we're becoming more popular, we don't know how popular we need to be to get out of Panda.

The question is what do we need to do to become much more popular. I think trust is very powerful. I personally will cut a well known site much more slack than one I haven't heard of, and that means their user metrics will look much better even if their website isn't that great and suffers from many of the things we think Panda is out to get.
12:31 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Before my changes I had bounce rate of 81%, time on pages 50 sec. exit rate where also high,but the user loved it be cause they got to the content they wanted at once and did not need to spend all day looking for something.

Now my bounce is 48%, time on pages 1.55, exit rates are also about 40-60 average, added more unique text, site is quicker,less banners... but nothing has helped.
1:07 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@zeus, that's what I'm finding also, but that's why I think it not about whether your stats have improved, it's about where they need to be.

If most sites in your niche have, for example, bounce rate of 25%, time on page 4.50 and exit rates of 20%, you are still way behind.
1:36 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

A way to change that is to make it more complicated to find things, bounce rate will go down, time on site will go up.....

I notice the keyword I watch some sites just have a few pages related to topic, rest is about something els,so they cant have that good bounce,exit,time on site rates.

Well we do have the same theory how Panda works, but non of us are sure, last day I thought about, that they compare every page on a site to see if it reach the % thats needed to judge if every page is unique.
1:54 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think if you make it more difficult for people to find things they'll react negatively to that as well (at some point) and your user metrics will still not improve overall.

I think it's possible there could be some other ingredients to Panda but I think most things like how unique your content is are taken care of by user metrics, because people don't like seeing the same content over and over.
2:09 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

The site is about widget images, when I now look at blue widgets and look at the rankings, there as a example a site that is just a link page with 100 links nothing else it has nothing to do about blue widget, a user will never stay there. its on page 2 hmm

I got another site in same category,where the bounce is 55%, time on site 1.15 and on 50% all pages the exit rate is 100%, but is not hit by panda.
2:37 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Whatever happened few days back has all been reverted to the same old mindless full of junk Serps.
3:04 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@zeus, your other site in the same niche, is all of its' content in exactly the same niche (i.e. would you expect all pages on both sites to be competing for the same terms)?

Do both sites use the same content (or are they based on the same basic content)?

Does the non-affected site get much traffic?

How long has the example page you mentioned been ranking for that phrase? I often see pages rank in my niche suddenly start to rank really high when I don't think they deserve to, but they fade away after a few weeks.
3:12 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

yes they do compete in the same space.
Basic content
About 1300unique a day
They have been there for a long time.
The two domains that compete are also bought about the same year.
6:04 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Generic editorialising, whether pro or con, may be removed. We're not here just to vent, we're here to help each other understand. The noise level editorializing creates makes it difficult to filter through threads for information of real value. [webmasterworld.com ]

Wow... started out being a good thread about the update and now derailed into a bunch of chit chat that has nothing to do with the update.

Where are the mods?
7:56 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

This update went into full swing on the 18th there was no tweeking it just hit. I am not one to say the G serps are off (not sure if I ever have) but looking at what I am seeing now it is just plain nasty. I am trying to study what is going on but the websites I am seeing in many searches arn't worth the study and I have to feel this is soon to change.
9:42 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Still a breeze my end, but maybe with a chill in it, seeing a rollback on serps thats most unhelpful.
11:47 pm on Sep 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Interesting comments on wordcount. How many sites have you seen where the 'real' content is just a list of items, but there's a wikipedia length 'article' tagged into the footer? Everybody (including Google) knows that no-one will read that stuff!

As for thin content, 500 words is about the standard 'quoted' length of an article, and that's plenty of text to throw into a spam analyser.
11:21 am on Sep 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

The more each day passes the more I am being stuffed by Google and scrapers...if this continues to the end of this month I'll be pulling nearly every site and will have to re-consider our entire WWW strategy.
1:31 pm on Sep 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Late October / early September showed promise of a seasonal recovery, but right when we started climbing back and having a great day on 9/3, BAM! September is back to flat line and even a slight down trending slope. Google Analytics is reporting positive traffic growth (20-30%), yet the chart clearly trends down, what's up with that?

I think we've figured out the Zombie issue, but there's still a quality or targeting setting that is way off. Conversions remain clamped to a low range of numbers.

BTW, if people don't like what's being written in the thread, they do not have to read it.
I'll take editorializing over crying for the mods any day. Did you expect to read about bacon?
3:12 pm on Sep 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've been positively affected by August Panda, but now yesterday was my worst day in 3 month, so i suspect i've been demoted by this September Panda... And what is funny is that till yesterday my visitor stat was fine. So i think this update is still going on.
5:53 pm on Sep 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

just found a search term where 3 domains dominated 5 pages on google, so this domain stuffing is still not gone and how can that benefit a user.
3:01 am on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've started seeing microsites being highly ranked in the last few days. Goes back to my - too little content to analyse theory! The more content you have the more likely you are to have something they don't like.
9:30 am on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

So i think this update is still going on.

Yep, easily my busiest Sunday of 2012 and best Sunday AdSense earnings and so far it seems to be continuing into today.

Everflux anyone?
3:02 pm on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

So i think this update is still going on.

I think there's something going on right now. I'm regaining positions that I lost with the update just before the weekend. Weird.
3:47 pm on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Fro several recent days my keyword.org site a steady #3 site for several years always below a keyword.com (A VERY THIN NO CONTENT SITE even before PEN/PAN) and a state site, disappeared from page 1. On page 2-3 site showed up with domain crowding with all the long tail pages, no index page. Never was a domain crowd problem before. Today site is back at #2 above .com site. Domain crowding on page 2-3 gone.

Other niches I am in the thin no content sites that showed up with pen/pan (bad sites according to google's guide lines) after dropping out are now back on top.

You can only hope for consistency and for Google to follow their own guide lines.

They are doing neither, Google seems to wake up in a new world every day. Weird - weird.
5:28 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Looks like there was either another update or some filters were either cut off or tweeked. Site is back for the lost keywords from this update.
6:08 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

brinked wrote: 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"

In my case, it has always been related to Panda!

I'm not a webmaster but a site owner, and except for adding articles and and a few images in content, I do not have the skills to work on my site. I use a web developer.

I woke up one day to learn that suddenly, without warning, my traffic and income were almost 50% lower than the days, weeks and months before. I knew something had to be going on. I came to these forums and learned about Panda.

It took me years to build up my site and traffic to it, then in one day half is gone.

Subsequent drops got me over here quickly again. Each time I learned there had been a Panda tweak the day or two before.
7:44 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

@zeus, I'm curious about the stats of your two sites in the same niche, one that's Panda'd and one that isn't.

In your post earlier you didn't mention all the actual stats. In Google Analytics for the last month, what's the Average Time on Page, Bounce Rate and Exit Rate for each site?

Something I learned today has changed my thinking slightly.......I'm now wondering if Google works out some sort of average from the user metrics of sites in each niche and then sets upper and lower limits around the average (quality band). So it could be that your non-Panda'd site is spot on statistically for the niche and so is deemed a quality site, whereas your Panda'd site is outside the acceptable ranges, possibly due to a section of the site that's producing radically different stats to the rest of the site.

Post your stats and we'll see if anything makes sense.
8:15 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

What is update Bacon? Not heard of it until i read this thread.
8:22 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Update "Bacon" ..( no polenta ) became "the name"..
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