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Do We Want A Google Panda Refresh Or Do We Not?

     
7:35 am on Jun 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There has been so much speculation regarding a new Panda refresh that was supposed to be taken place around now, (but isn't). I thought I would ask the question do we want one or not? Do we think Panda just doesn;t do the job, or are we now at a place where we miss it when it doesn't occur often enough.

I will lay my hat down in saying.
I think it is right that sites are penalized for extreme low quality.
However, not everyone is in this boat and should not have to wait many months to get a chance to recover.

with my site, it was a mistake.
I have thousands of pages that had always been noindexed.
these pages DO have a value to my visitors, because such a small variation in model number makes a huge difference to them.
But clearly from a content perspective, these pages all look the same, except for different model numbers, so they were always noindexed.

But just prior to Panda, we did a website update (as well many other things on other projects) and forgot or just weren't careful enough to make sure these were still in place.

then horror, when rankings disappeared,

For an outsider, we now had a website where 90% of pages were similar content.

Not to worry I thought. there has been a commitment from Google to regularly update Google Panda, we will sort out the noindex and then wait.

But here we are many months later and still no update,.

And in the meantime many reports of spammy sites that have had several months to mature now ranking high.

OK this is my view only and many may not want a refresh at all.

So lets here it from the members and give google our opinions to whether this is now just a joke and out to respect for genuine webmasters, it is time to push that button, stop this "we are, I don't know, maybe in a few weeks amateur stuff" and just get it done!

or Heh! I don't want a Panda at all. we don't need it.

Speak your mind
3:31 pm on June 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Mods note:
Please keep your replies professional, lets not turn this into another Google bashing thread!

So, do you think your site will benefit from another Panda refresh or would you prefer no more Panda refreshes?
4:21 pm on June 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In my humble opinion, my sites are at low risk for Panda issues because I generally try to exceed minimum expectations and build a loyal returning user base. That might sound like bragging but it honestly isn't. Actually I am admitting to running less profitable websites and that isn't something most people brag about. By trying to exceed expectations I have lost some of my profit margin since I needed to reinvest more money back into the site. I look at my competition and see they get traffic by doing much less work on their site and I envy them a little. Personally I am ok with losing some money today if it leads to a lower risk of being penalized. My ultimate goal is to have so many returning users and users that refer their friends that I don't care about Google traffic. I'm just hoping that losing some profits now will result into long term profits.

Even though I think I am at low risk, I want to see no Panda updates until Panda is updating daily. Why? God forbid I make an honest mistake or Google makes a mistake and falsely flags me with a Panda issue - my site is screwed for many months and that sucks. Since I don't control Google, I try not to spend too much time worrying about what is outside of my control. I try to focus my efforts on what I do control like improving my site's value proposition to build more returning users.
4:33 pm on June 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I want it badly for one simple reason. It's called hope. I would be nothing short of a miracle for me to see an uptick for one of my sites that I absolutely gutted and rearranged in hopes of providing what Google wants. With this update, I will either work on other sites because of the uptick or I will literally wipe a number of site out of existence due to no hope. A lot riding on this for me. In a sense it could be freeing which ever way it turns out.
4:36 pm on June 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Google makes a mistake and falsely flags me with a Panda issue


I was skeptical of this, but it happened to me, and the only reason I am reasonably sure it was a false positive is that I have seven other sites that are almost exactly the same except for the location, and they all kept their rankings and traffic (in fact, they all did even better) Fortunately because of the other sites, I could afford to wait it out, and in the Panda 4 update last year, that one site completely recovered, and I hadn't done thing to it other than keep it updated like the other seven.

So yah, I think it could happen, and like goodroi, I'd rather see Panda doing its thing a lot more regularly. I don't anticipate it happening to me again, but you never know.
2:59 pm on June 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'd rather see Panda doing its thing a lot more regularly.


Me too, I don't feel any of my sites have been Pandad however a couple of them definitely do not have the traffic or rankings I would have expected.
8:13 pm on June 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Panda is for google not publishers. Only one winner in any update = google's bottom line.
9:48 pm on June 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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So, do you think your site will benefit from another Panda refresh or would you prefer no more Panda refreshes?

That's anybody's guess. Our Google traffic jumped 250 to 300 percent (YOY) with the May, 2014 Panda update and has climbed another 40 to 50 percent since then. I think part of the gain was from greater weighting of subject authority in the algorithm (something Google said it was working on early last year), which pushed down some of the megasites and content farms in our informational niches. For us, last May's Panda update reversed what had happened with earlier versions of Panda, which seemed to favor large "broad but shallow" sites at the expense of smaller specialist sites.
3:12 am on June 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Please keep your replies professional, lets not turn this into another Google bashing thread!


Heh. Okay. Here's Google's opinion on what kind of shape Panda is in (direct quote, from Gary Illyes, in early June, 2015)

But, uh, yeah. Itís not that easy to refresh Panda too often. We have to get our data in order to do a data refresh and sometimes that data is either scarce, or some noise was introduced, or something went wrong with the data and we have to wait another month or two. Painstaking process.


I'm struggling with how I would share my opinion, then, without "bashing".

I'll leave it at this: If Google thinks it's a mess, and the process outlined above hasn't panned out for 6+ months, why would I want it?
12:47 pm on June 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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A panda refresh feels like russian roulette if your site haven't got hit by panda already. Sometimes it makes noise.
2:15 pm on June 21, 2015 (gmt 0)

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or something went wrong with the data and we have to wait another month or two.

Hmm Does that mean that the data doesn't give the results that they want, so they'll wait another month or two and check again?
4:29 pm on June 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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On the fence here, as I mentioned in another thread, but leaning towards leave it alone (no refresh) for fear of the roulette wheel as silent mentions. This applies to existing Pandalized a sites too. Up until May 2014 overall traffic was all downhill. Mind you, one site. I've never juggled more than that except for a message board. I'm just not smart enough to develop oodles of sites. I'd rather focus on what I know best; the industry I've been in for twenty five years. Besides true quality content in my opinion is not doing research on the internet and spinning it as your own.

I would however, be very curious in what a full recovery would look like. Prior to Panda 1.0 traffic was exceptional and competition in the SERPS was littered with Ehow and other Ehow type conglomerate sites. Now that they're all gone, it could look pretty darned sweet. Naturally big brands have moved in on the head terms, but that's a thing of the past IMO for me. It's other pages and not long tail that could make the difference. Perhaps they could all move up 5-6 positions?

So when is this bugger gonna refresh? It's been over two weeks on "the announcement."
5:07 pm on June 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hmm Does that mean that the data doesn't give the results that they want, so they'll wait another month or two and check again?


So what data do they want? Do they know? No? No surprise there then!
8:15 am on June 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Heh. Okay. Here's Google's opinion on what kind of shape Panda is in (direct quote, from Gary Illyes, in early June, 2015)


But, uh, yeah. Itís not that easy to refresh Panda too often. We have to get our data in order to do a data refresh and sometimes that data is either scarce, or some noise was introduced, or something went wrong with the data and we have to wait another month or two. Painstaking process.


This is something we should all worry about. How good were previous panda updates? Who can assure us that there was nothing wrong with data used for previous refreshes? Does this explain why so many good websites got tanked by panda and is Google afraid to make the mess even bigger? Where I used to work this type of announcements actually meant "things are out of control".

My opinion is that panda should refresh daily or there should be no panda at all. With panda Google has the power to destroy hundreds or thousands of businesses worldwide. Overnight, just like that ... Nobody should have this power and certainly not a company that has an almost monopoly in search. Google basically "owns" the internet.
8:24 am on June 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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As someone trapped in Panda for over a year now it's been absolute hell. Being forcibly moved down the rankings and left there is just a nightmare for any business reliant on the internet. I appreciate that some sites try and abuse Google and need dealt with but for the majority that get caught up because they don't fit Google's broad idea of what a "useful site" is, it's awful. Basically to be almost entirely at the whim of Google, to not be able to be sure what exactly is wrong and to have to wait over 6 months to test every change really sucks.

I don't just want a refresh, I need them to rerun whatever the current Panda is regularly (without necessarily changing the algo if they don't want to) so people can make changes and try and fix their sites. 6+ months per update is just too long.

And I don't accept that a company as big and clever as Google can't refresh more often. They just don't want people to try and game the system and are willing to just brush off any legit companies that get caught up in the net.
9:13 am on June 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't want a refresh (given that the possibility of being afflicted sucks), but we all know that Google "has to" do it. If you get hit even if you practice ethical SEO, your website - and possibly your business if you run an e-commerce site - will be in tatters.

So far, there has been no major impact in our rankings weeks after the alleged "refresh", so we're hoping for the best!
9:47 am on June 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We have to get our data in order to do a data refresh


Don't we all have to do that when using computers or am I missing something like "our data is so corrupt we haven't a clue what to do with it"?
5:35 pm on June 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In other words, Panda is based on junk data.

Pretty mind blowing for a multi-billion dollar company.
7:49 pm on June 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In other words, Panda is based on junk data.

No, Google wants to avoid basing Panda on junk data. Or at least that's what Gary Illyes is saying: They want to get their new or updated data in order before doing a fresh Panda run.
9:35 pm on June 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If the data wasn't junk, they wouldn't need to wait for good data to do a refresh.

So, let's see, 6+ months of junk data that they can't use? Riiight.

Also, is my bounce rate in GOOG Analytics bad data? No, it's just data. What kinda stupid data are they using that is so broken?

Maybe they mean bad Search Quality Rater data because they accidentally hired a bunch of retards.

Whatever the reason, Panda = fail.
10:29 pm on June 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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"Facts continue to change their shape
I'm still waiting... I'm still waiting... I'm still waiting..."

From Crosseyed And Painless -- Talking Heads
10:47 pm on June 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The sheer scale of the task that Panda attempts to do makes it hard to avoid mistakes. I think the problem is that Google rely so much on algorithms but, when data or code can make or break businesses, they do not allocate resources to fix the inevitable problems.

We all know there are issues with webspam. I think Google caused a lot of it, inadvertently, and took too long to deal with it. I think they learned on the first iteration of Panda that they just create more black-hats if they penalise smart people who have become accustomed to free traffic. I honestly believe that it's an issue that they want to fix but know that each iteration makes it harder to do the next - so doing less iterations is the answer. I'm sure that some metric in Google will trigger a Panda rollout - not a lack of resources or data.
1:30 pm on June 26, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Gary Illyes has tweeted
"And that's kids, why I should stop giving timeframes :) Yes, it's coming soon as far as I know."

Reference to Google Panda
3:04 pm on June 26, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it's coming soon as far as I know.


Which means he knows nothing and he hasn't known that for very long!
3:54 pm on June 26, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What does it mean for a publisher to "fix" their site and why would Google not want to encourage publishers to fix them?

I think that from Google's point of view, fixing a site means identifying the Classic Keyword Focused SEO tactic that blew up and removing it. I personally think the management at Google sees it as a black and white issue, in that a publisher is a spammer or they're not. Which might explain why they don't care to speed up the refresh. What motivation does Google have to help someone they perceive to be a spammer?

Publishers who practice Classic Keyword Focused SEO often view themselves as just doing what they understood was best practices for feeding the engine. I don't mean to insult or troll anyone. I say this in the spirit of helping others and suggesting a pause for a second thought. But if you were working in the dark pre-Panda, confidently practicing Classic Keyword Focused SEO, what makes you think you have it right this time? What I mean to say is that maybe what is needed isn't a refresh but a refresher.
4:35 pm on June 26, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What does it mean for a publisher to "fix" their site and why would Google not want to encourage publishers to fix them?

Unless I'm mistaken, Panda is a ranking adjustment based on a site-quality score. From Google's point of view, then, the best way for a site's owner to "fix" a site is simply to make it better. If a site owner simply tries to get around the algorithm by making text longer, eliminating slide shows, reducing keyword density, or doing whatever else the current gossip says Panda victims ought to do, the site owner is engaged in a crapshoot. (And in craps, as in most forms of gambling, the house usually wins.)

Also, the "fix" may be something that needs to happen at Google's end. As I mentioned earlier, we were knocked down a few spots, on average, in the first version of Panda, and so were many of our specialist peers as "broad but shallow" megasites moved up in the rankings. Then, last year, Google announced that it was working on a way to boost smaller sites that had authority in their subject areas, and--lo and behold--our year-over-year Google organic traffic shot up 250 to 300 percent almost overnight. We'd just kept doing what we'd been doing all along until Google woke up and decided that content by subject experts was more valuable than crowdsourced material from megasites.
5:34 pm on June 26, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This weekend would be a good time to watch out for Panda-related changes, imho.