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Google Panda 4.2 Rolling Out

     
9:47 pm on Jul 22, 2015 (gmt 0)

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According to Searchengineland:

Google has pushed out a Google Panda refresh this weekend, many of you may not have noticed, but this roll out is happening incredibly slowly. Google said the update can take months to fully roll out because it will slowly roll out through your site. The Panda algorithm is still indeed a site-wide algorithm but some of your web pages might not see a change immediately.


Emphasis by me, because WTF.

A Google spokesperson confirmed with us the update did being rolling out this past weekend. They also noted it can take months to fully roll out. Google did not share with us how large of an impact this was on their search results, but they did imply it was a fairly small impact.


I haven't seen any signs of it in any client sites yet, but maybe it'll be "months"

[searchengineland.com...]
1:47 pm on Aug 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It would be nice if this was true but has there been any even vague information from Google to suggest this?

They've talked in the past about folding Panda in with the main algorithm.

There is no evidence of a slow roll out (other than what Google has said).

There's even less evidence of a fast roll-out. So far, Panda 4.2 appears to be a bit like the misnamed "Mobilegeddon."
10:52 pm on Aug 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I mentioned early in this thread I saw some movement. Must have bee some daily event, like rainy weather that saw a bump.

Ain't nuttin' that I'm seeing.

Slow roll out? Had a nice ring to it...but now?
4:19 pm on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Something that I noticed and might be relevant to Panda and Google is the implementation of a prominent cookie and privacy policy for sites that get a global audience, including a lot of UK/EU traffic.

I have a site that never had such a pop up or banner; the privacy policy was always just a page in the footer and not noticeable. Since middle of August, I have noticed that my ranks for every regional Google has dropped, with the exception being the US (Google.com). My traffic of course, dropped too.

I have now placed the cookie/privacy notice as a pop up banner starting today, and will report back if that makes a difference in recovering traffic. I've noticed other top sites in my niche doing this recently too (making the privacy policy page really prominent).

But even today itself, the traffic seems to have recovered somewhat. Any link? Likely too early to tell.
6:13 pm on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Googlebot IPs are linked to the USA, so it would never see the cookie warning targeted only to EU visitors, for example. Furthermore, the cookie laws are such a mess that I can't see why they would even bother mixing that into the algorithm.
8:48 pm on Aug 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Well, for me seems that this week marked a Panda reverse.
It was the first time in the last two years with good signs from Panda, but the miracle lasted only two weeks.

All the spammers from my vertical are UP and happy again!
10:09 am on Sept 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It was the first time in the last two years with good signs from Panda, but the miracle lasted only two weeks.


I'm seeing almost the same for my projects.
7:30 am on Sept 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My traffic is up, mainly because some Panda recovered websites with...lets say dubious content got back at the bottom of the SERPs where they belong. Oh and summer vacations are over. In any case, the Panda reverse is real and as much as I thought I`d never say this, I am happy about it.
2:21 pm on Sept 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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No changes here. Traffic edged down a tiny bit in the peak vacation month of August (as it always does) and is now headed back up in early September (also par for the course). Average rankings, both across the board and for a sampling of specific queries, have remained steady: no ups, no downs as far as I can see.
6:32 pm on Sept 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a bit of a downturn (-10%) since about 9/5. The biggest indicator I'm seeing changed is my "organic percentage" - consistently had been 80-83% for the past 2 years (when Google redefined the field), and it dropped to 76.2% starting on 9/6 and then 76.4% on 9/7. My "Direct" number went up from 13-15% to 20-21%. Not sure if this is a change in Google Analytics or if it is tied to an algorithm change which is causing a downturn.
7:11 pm on Sept 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Whats the purpose of Google constantly amending the logi ?
8:38 pm on Sept 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Whats the purpose of Google constantly amending the logi ?

Hopefully they're trying to fix some of the flaws.
10:36 pm on Sept 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@EG - you're not using a CMS (like Wordpress) right? Just straight html if I recall.
3:03 am on Sept 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Samwest: Yep. Flat files only (even if that makes me sound like a Flat Earther).
12:36 am on Sept 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@EG - I had my best years operating under straight, hard coded pages rather than Wordpress CMS. I think running WP alone is somewhat of a negative trigger, that or it's just too easy to mess up and get a bad SEO configuration. Seems it should be more powerful, but again, maybe they take that into account and de-rank just for using it.
6:54 am on Sept 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@samwest and @EG - WP is slow but it is the best the industry has to offer when it comes to user experience of the backend. To be honest, if you can get away with it, use flat files. If you need a more robust site, there are plenty of better alternatives than Wordpress. If you churn websites for small businesses however, WordPress is your best bet. As for ranking actually I tend to believe WP has the upper hand if done correctly, compared to the alternatives. The statement "Google loves WordPress" is still valid in my eyes.
7:52 am on Sept 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This is from one of my dying sites.

As you can see, the waves are back. For me this = Panda.

[i.imgur.com...]
1:30 am on Sept 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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As you can see, the waves are back. For me this = Panda.

mentat - Sorry to see that dip. Just to put a date on it in text form for easy reference in our discussion, you have it marked in the graphic as Wed, Sept 2, 2015. Many in our Sept updates thread have cited Sept 2 and Sept 15 as possible update dates, but comments are also that the changes might be too volatile for Panda and might be Penguin. (See posts in that thread beginning around Sept 16 [webmasterworld.com...] ).

You might want to compare notes with observers in that thread, which seems to contain the most specific observations.
10:25 am on Sept 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Penguin is a mystery for me:

1. I do not have a link policy; I do not create links!
2. I have millions of links, many very shady from autogenerated sites and indexed search results etc.
A lot of sites used my RSS to create "content".

My disavow file had 20 000 domain lines and still rising.
I know this must be difficult to believe, but failure after failure, I have doubts. Historically, no official Penguin update affected me.
Maybe disavowing so many links is creating new problems, so I've tweaked the file to ~ 300 domains, all with thousand of links to me.
6:48 pm on Sept 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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A lot of sites used my RSS to create "content"

This jumps out at me as a possible source of your problem... though it's hard to say without looking at your issues more deeply (which could quickly take this thread off-topic).

Does the feed include dofollow links back to your site? If it does, I'm thinking that it could potentially cause Penguin problems. It might be viewed by Google as a kind of automated guest blogging. If your feed does include dofollow links, then the quality of your syndicated content, the quality of the sites republishing you, and the quality of your own site and of your own backlink profile all can enter into the picture.

There's an issue too about whether the republished content is scraped or actually syndicated. Questions about whether this is a full feed or a partial feed, and the timing of the feed, also are important. A partial feed is safer with regard to dupe content, but IMO should never include dofollow links back to you. Dofollows back to your site from a partial feed, I think, would very likely, unless you have a strong, authoritative site, put you in a Penguin situation.

All of which is to say that the Sept 2 drop that you're seeing, and that others are reporting in the Updates thread, might be Penguin rather than Panda.
6:52 pm on Sept 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@RC the changes I see (starting Sept 2....April 1 actually) are more related to ON/OFF patterns and traffic throttling/shaping (for ecom) than Penguin or Panda. The patterns vary but will line up day to day. Example: a few weeks ago, I'd get sales at the same time each night, like 2am +/- 20mins. The next week, several days of no sales all day, then two in a row within 5 or less min. Happened each day. Yesterday a sale at 9:20am then nothing, today 9:30 am and nothing since. They seem to be turning something on and off and during the short period of time, perhaps an old data set is used as filler. Very odd, very unnatural and very wrong.

It may be my hallucination, but I think it is pointless to disavow links or even keep tweaking sites in hopes of a favorable outcome. It's way beyond that and way out of our hands.
11:38 pm on Sept 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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samwest, thanks. As I'm looking at the Update thread, it may be that not everyone is seeing the same thing... and I certainly can imagine Google applying several changes at once to obscure the issues.

My primary reason for posting above, though, was in response to Mentat's post and the graph shown in his first post. Overall, yes, there is a gradual downward slope to it, of the kind I would associate with Panda... but that Sept 2 drop sure looks like something else.

I'm very curious whether there are nofollow links back from the RSS, as that might be adding a Penguin component to his traffic losses.

It is not unusual, btw, to see Panda and Penguin together. Weak content often makes it necessary to build questionable links because the site isn't attracting good links. Also, not all Penguin problems are simply bad backlinks... There are other components to the algorithm as well.

It may be my hallucination, but I think it is pointless to disavow links or even keep tweaking sites in hopes of a favorable outcome. It's way beyond that and way out of our hands.

If you take the definition of word "tweak" as "improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it", then I fully agree. It's pointless to keep fiddling with trivia. Many of the sites I've seen with Panda problems simply don't understand what useful content is about, or how Google is now viewing relevance, so they make tiny little tweaks, but they miss the big picture.

It's not "way out of our hands", though... but the process can require a lot of thought and effort... and I'm astonished how many people would rather not make that effort, how they still think that what worked ten years ago ought to work today.

This isn't directed at you, btw... just at what I see out there generally when I look at sites. This includes some really major sites as well as the home-grown mom and pops.
12:05 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hey guys,

Since September 27th, I have had a huge drop both on traffic [i.imgur.com...] and my search analytics [i.imgur.com...]

Could this be related to Panda? My website had a growth spurt on July 28th, but now it is in free-fall mode [i.imgur.com...]

Is there anything I can do? Because I am completely desperate.
1:13 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Does your drop equal the growth spurt?
1:35 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@JesterMagic it has dropped well beyond that. When the spurt occurred, I went from 3500 daily visitors to 5190. Yesterday I had 1704 visitors. The last time I saw such low numbers was late June.
1:38 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What does you backlink profile look like? Did you build links or is everything natural?
2:01 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have left it natural, but it has developed a bit weird by itself. I have a few thousand links from some websites I have never heard about before, and all of them link to one page - probably my <snip> guide, which is the most popular post by far.

<snipped image link, showing backlinks>

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:16 pm (utc) on Oct 1, 2015]
[edit reason] removed specifics, per forum Charter [/edit]

2:10 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone in this thread seen an actual proper Panda recovery since the slow rollout started?
2:12 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@AngelosKyritsis Check out the first two sites in the screenshot with a google bot user agent. Those are hacked. Didn't check any other sites, but wouldn't be suprised to find more of those. If you haven't bought those links yourself, someone wants to hurt your with them. In any case, you might have a manual penalty, which will show up in the next couple of days, or you were hit by Penguin.

[edited by: Itanium at 2:23 pm (utc) on Oct 1, 2015]

2:18 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Itanium Because I am a webmaster noob, how do I check the sites with the google bot user agent?

I definitely haven't bought any links, but somebody going into any length of measures to hurt such a small site like mine sounds a bit far fetched. According to Alexa, my site is 58,292 in the United States, hardly a threat to anyone.
2:23 pm on Oct 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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With chrome you can install "Ultimate User Agent Switcher" Plugin or somethin similar and change the user agent on the fly.

There aren't many other options - either you bought those links, or someone wants to hurt you. It's very unlikely, those links were placed there by accident. After all, people pay good money for links like those.
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