I really do care about the quality of the results, and intent behind the websites that do well in my particular niche - since, the users in my industry have a lot to lose, and are very vulnerable if they land on, and engage some of bad ones.
That said, with this update, there are certainly some good sites doing well - I know, through networking and being in our niche for 10 years many of the players, so I'm glad for those who are doing well that have earned it.
My niche-specific feedback:
There are, however a handful of sites in this update that are now doing quite well with this update that leave me with a furrowed brow - really questioning how they earned it?
- Sites that I know full well have barely been touched content-wise for ages
- Sites that promote other businesses, often using stock photos, but omit the businesses phone number, replacing it with a referral number, or making that information difficult or impossible to get (imagine if the phone book did this?)
- Sites that have very weak social support
- Sites that you can't 'contact' the site owner(s) - they try to keep anonymous
- 1000's of auto-generated pages
- a number of them are .org extentions but they are 100% commercial sites - which I think really causes confusion (I've talked about this before, and this is definitely a strategy for some, and it really bugs me)
- sites that get you 3 or 4 pages/clicks in before you realize you aren't going to get the information you wanted (or without sending in your personal information )
- no authorship/ownership of content
...among other things
Basically, questionable at best..
I know that the folks at google have said they want to do a 'softer' panda, getting getting smaller sites back in there that should be doing better, which is great -
But, to earn it by just showing up (for some sites) - essentially?
I/We work incredibly hard on our site's content every single day - making sure it's unique, useful, honest, full of video tutorials, interviews, original articles - I've earned the social support with my site (almost 2K +1's, more youtube subscribers than I think anyone else in my niche (and,my niche is not very 'socially active' so those numbers are really strong), the most active and highest membership 'community' on google+ for my industry, some of the best natural links (.gov, edu), no spam or link exchanges, and a 'natural growth' of our pages (not auto-generating 1000's at once), authorship, transparency...etc.
So, should I stop doing all of that? Is the effort going to be for naught?
My site's doing ok at the moment, I'm thankful for that, although I feel this update is far from over.
Just really wondering what's now being valued with some sites.
I'll grab some coffee, and get to work today just like always. Got an interview to do for my site :-)
Hopefully it will all turn out ok.