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Who is at fault - Me or Google?



4:30 am on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

If my rankings were good in Panda 20 update and get down in Panda 23 ..but i haven't changed anything in OnPage or OffPage ..who is at fault me or Google - Just need an answer for client.


5:03 am on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Each Panda iteration changes the "rules" a little bit. So the question of fault isn't fair. One of these two answers is possible, and maybe more:

1. Everything was good until Google recalculated the way Panda works. Then there was a factor present in the site that they decided to demote for the first time, something they never demoted before.

2. When Google recalculated Panda, the new version had some buggy logic and it made a poor decision. If that's the case, it should sort out in the near future.

Anyone who copes with Google has this struggle to work with, and we just don't know enough to answer your client's question for sure.


5:34 am on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have to agree with tedster, but at the same time, I always tend to "point the finger" at myself if a site doesn't rank well enough, cause it's my job to "deal with the flaws Google has" and that means understanding what it takes to rank today, so if I'm not "getting it done" I refuse to "blame Google" and "point the finger" at myself which forces me to go looking for answers. *

It might seem like "blaming Google" is "the right thing to do" in some situations, but there are still 10 sites/pages that rank on page one, and the only way I've found to rank consistently or recover lost rankings is to "point the finger at myself", cause when I do I have to go hunting for "what I'm missing" that's keeping whatever site(s) I working on from ranking.

I guess the bottom line for me is:
If the site(s) I'm working on doesn't rank well enough, then I need to do a better job of understanding what Google is looking for right now and that approach keeps me on my toes and definitely helps keep the site(s) I work on in the rankings, cause it forces me to figure things out instead of "hoping Google finally gets it right" and ranks a site I'm supposed to be making rank based on the algo and where it is right now.

* Sometimes when I start working on a site it's "on the way to ranking" and I have to wait on Google to get the changes through the system, but when I've been working on it consistently for 6 or more months and it's not ranking like it should, then it's not Google's fault and there's something I could/should do about it.


6:02 am on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Agree with you Tedster ...but if Google can do so much automation in quality, we webmasters also need some notifications with clarification what actually goes wrong.

I think only a single "Quality" word in answers is not enough for us,as lot of websites business depends on it ans sometime like get worst to find answers for such downfall.


6:17 am on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Couldn't it just be that there are other pages now considered of "higher quality" than yours, forcing your rankings to slip?


7:38 am on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

As the karting instructor used to say to us, lads the Blue flag means,

"You are doing very well indeed, however, the kart behind you is doing just a little bit better, so pull over an let him past "

You could accept what I call the continuing fantasy that Panda is an Algo,


That some chap, in a small town full of well paid grads, in a country where a small town full of Well paid grads is possible/affordable , assigned your site a editorial score that changed your sites traffic band, "blue flag" moment, bye, bye your traffic


9:00 am on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

At least here in the UK, in the SERPs I measure, Google has increasingly, over the last few months, featured new sites backed with thousands of Xrumer or injected links in high positions. These have been increasing in number after each update. So, to answer your question, Google is at fault for a lot of extremely poor results lately, but hopefully not for ever - I wouldn't have thought that filtering this junk would be rocket science.


9:11 am on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If a site loses traffic for the first time at a Panda update it's possibly due to a change in Panda which now affects you. If it happens at a Panda refresh then it's a signal, as Panthro says, your competition has raised its' game and your site is no longer viewed as high quality relative to everyone else.

If your traffic had been going up significantly prior to the Panda slap (overall or for one particular part of the site) it could be that a quality issue has been exposed and the whole site is now demoted.


11:40 am on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Plus there may be absolutely nothing wrong with the site whatsoever but, unfortunately, the algo/Panda/Penguin erroneously considers the site a target and whoosh, it's toast.

For example I have a site which for one keyword the Panda demoted it to oblivion in Google.com, it is the US spelling of the keyword. In every other Google SERP I am #1 or 2 for this word and for the UK spelling of it I am at #1 or 2 even in Google.com.

Stupid or what?


2:06 pm on Mar 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

This is an easy one!
Take one look at the ridiculous data set out there in the past week and it's a no brainer. This looks like one of the buggiest updates so far.


1:08 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Remind your client that Google is not a benevolent entity, they are a Wall St listed company who must earn increasing amounts of profit for their shareholders and that, increasingly, they are needing to send traffic with buy intent to locations other than the small websites it has been for years which may or may not impact your client's site.

Perhaps your site was deemed redundant in Google search results because Google now shows essentially what you did in their own sidebar? Only Google knows for sure.

The bottom line is that there is no fault in your situation, only change. Google is not just a search engine anymore.


1:21 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Also don't forget Google's results customisation. Do you test across several browsers all with their caches and histories cleared?


5:41 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

And besides the rankings that *you* see, has the site's overall traffic been affected?

That's the bottom line.


6:44 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

they are a Wall St listed company who must earn increasing amounts of profit for their shareholders

I am one of those shareholders, unfortunately GOOG pays no dividends. Watch out if they start! I'll be wearing a G sweater, miniskirt and waving pom pom's yelling "Go greedy Google Go!"

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