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  1. #1
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Panda Tweak - The Losers
    Google announced that it did some Panda tweaking last week. Here is a list of the losers since the changes.

    Apparently it was a page "layout" update. What Google isn't liking:

    Big ads above-the-fold instead of content.

    I thought they already covered this like 2 years ago??
    leeann


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  3. #2
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    It's kind of funny then that the Adsense best practices recommend putting ads above the fold: "Implement ad units above the fold".

  4. #3
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.
    Hell, the Google is in violation on their search result pages just by their own definitions.

    But seriously, we all know the garbage sites out there that are just adsense farms...
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  5. #4
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    The "heat map" recommendations are not SEO guidelines; they are showing which placements tend to draw the most clicks.

    But as far as this new algo adjustment goes, the real "losers" are the users, because the quantity of ads on a page and the positions they are placed in has NOTHING do do with the relevance or the quality of the content on the page. Of course somebody would pose the obvious argument that spammy or junky pages tend to be ad-heavy, but this still has no bearing on the fact that an algorithm filter like this will still wind up arbitrarily penalizing "good" pages. IMO they just drove a big ten-penny nail into their own coffin.
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  6. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    So if a site gets moved down in the SERPs due to top heavy ads then a correction would reverse that? That remains to be seen!

  7. #6
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    I'm not sure how accurate that list is but it's funny how a large portion of them are direct competitors of Google. The last 12 months have been one bad decision after another (Google+ decisions especially) and it's bound to catch up.

    Bob

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  9. #7
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Hi All, I don't post much any more but still read a lot here

    Here is a question maybe someone can answer for me. I normally have a header.php page along with a footer.php page that's called by my other pages.

    A lot of the time I will have more text/content in the header page than on the index page. Are the search engines looking at all 3 pages as one page, like the index or products pages or are they breaking them down to 3 pages. In other words am I better off having the content on the main page instead of the header? Thanks for any feedback
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  10. #8
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    They'd be reading those includes as part and parcel of each and every page they're included on.
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  11. #9
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Thanks davidh, so in other words they are picking that content up let's say on each of the product pages? Just making sure I understand, thanks again.
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  12. #10
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Drumm View Post
    I'm not sure how accurate that list is but it's funny how a large portion of them are direct competitors of Google. The last 12 months have been one bad decision after another (Google+ decisions especially) and it's bound to catch up.

    Bob
    That caught my attention as well looking at the list of losers. However, if you look at how the list is ordered, it is listed by absolute loss in visibility. For instance, 4th place is occupied by yahoo who lost almost 200,000 points in the ranking - however that is only a 2% change for them. Another example, minorleague baseball is in 10th place there, and they lost 90,000 points in the ranking - that is a potentially devastating 93% loss.

    So the biggest sites can easily lose a large number of points in the ranking, simply because they are the biggest sites. That doesn't necessarily mean it was a big change for them. For some of the sites at the top of the list, that much of a change could mean little.

    If you look at the relative loss tab rather than the absolute tab, you'll see the sites that were taken for all they are worth pretty much.
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  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post
    That caught my attention as well looking at the list of losers. However, if you look at how the list is ordered, it is listed by absolute loss in visibility.
    Good catch...a lot of small sites on the relative tab so not sure how helpful that information is.

    I did check out minorleaguebaseball.com who apparently must be an egregious offender to lose 93% of their traffic. They don't have that much ad space in my opinion. It's certainly less space than Adwords takes up on Google search results.

    Bob

  14. #12
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    I see a lot of the sites listed are porn video sites. I wonder if G isn't seeing the video as relevant content. Also, if most of this genre of sites are built this way, wouldn't the algorithm allow this to be the norm without a penalty?

  15. #13
    ABW Ambassador Georgie Peri's Avatar
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    How are they figuring out what is a AD and what is just some javascript?
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  16. #14
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Georgie Peri View Post
    How are they figuring out what is a AD and what is just some javascript?
    They can read and follow links in javascript...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  17. #15
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    G is all about penalties and demotion factors nowadays. It's hard for a webmaster to experiment with new things for fear of getting whacked.

    The internet is much bigger than it was 10 years ago, but much more 'cookie cutter', IMO.

  18. #16
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    I am glad that you brought this topic up leeann. I have been struggling with fluctuations in Google's "love" since October 13th, 2011. On that day, my traffic from Google dropped to almost nothing. Since then, I have been closely following Matt's blog (Official Google Webmaster Central Blog) and trying to get the "love" (traffic) back. It seemed to work for a few weeks in late December but on January 13th, my traffic went to pretty well zero (from Google). The funny part or this is that all the work that I did to please Google caught the attention of Bing. I am still way down but not out (of business)!

    The change that you are referring to in this post is actually not part of Panda, it is just one of the many algo changes that Google does on a continuous basis. It is laughable how chaotic these changes have been for my traffic. Since my Google traffic has gone away my analytics curve is almost a flat line of steady, predicable traffic. Unlike the traffic up 75% one day and then down 75% the next thanks to Google. To boot, as many have said, the sites that have replaced me in the result are garbage sites that just happen to slip through the narrowing gap of acceptability that Google calls an algorithm.

    My take-away on this is: enjoy the traffic when it is there but remember that it will never stay that way forever. Plus, having a bunch of different niched sites on different hosting accounts is key to long term stability.

    (Sorry if I am a little off-thread but this topic is near and dear)
    Last edited by CanadianDave; February 1st, 2012 at 11:57 AM.
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  19. #17
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianDave View Post
    ........My take-away on this is: enjoy the traffic when it is there but remember that it will never stay that way forever. Plus, having a bunch of different niched sites on different hosting accounts is key to long term stability.
    Fully agree with your whole post!! I am so glade I also have a few differnt Niches, and many Sites so when one goes down (in traffic/sales) the other keeps me going. However having many sites and niches adds alot more work!!!
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  20. #18
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    If you have been Pandalized, look for thin content or dupe content on your site.

    (1) Datafeed Sites. Is your content pure datafeed and very similar if not identical to the zillions of feeds out there? Add more unique product descriptions. Yes, lot of work but if you want to be seen as unique and adding value it has to be done. The days are over where you can simply slap a feed up and watch the mula roll in. Datafeed sites still work but if you are able to serve the products in a more meaningful way that has not already been done that is key.

    (2) Thin Content Sites. Is your content thin and adds no value? Get rid of it (410), Redirect (301), rewrite the content, or "noindex, follow" (meta tag) those pages. Never simply delete pages because you'll end up with tons of 404 errors which is not good either, they tend to stick around longer in your Webmastertools. Serving a 410 error code (=Permanently Gone) is much better, or if you have some backlinks, redirect those pages to some related pages (301 code).

    If you are using wordpress there is a good plugin called "410 for wordpress" that lets you handle the 410 errors without needing to mess with .htaccess file. Perhaps the cPanel does that too but I haven't used it.

    (3) Search Box. I see most problems with this. Never allow your page that serves up the search results be indexed. Make sure the metatags says "noindex,follow" for this page otherwise you will be indexing so many variations of "widget" - e.g. WidGet, widgets, wigget, wigetSs, etc. leading to dupe content that can go on for pages and pages.

    (4) Rampant Robot. Look at all your pages in the index. site: www(dot)example(dot)com to see if the googlebot has been indexing pages it should not have been. Sometimes it gobbles and gobbles blindly and ends up on empty pages or pages you forgot about that shouldn't have been in the index.

    Good Luck. Pandalized sites usually stay pandalized for good 3-5 months. So don't expect any of your efforts to show results right away. Those are some of the things that worked for me but they may not apply to your site but thought it may help. My main site has suffered in 1.0 and got most of traffic back but somehow earning has not kept up. So also working on those datafeed pages that are the money makers....


  21. #19
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianDave View Post
    My take-away on this is: enjoy the traffic when it is there but remember that it will never stay that way forever. Plus, having a bunch of different niched sites on different hosting accounts is key to long term stability.
    I hear ya. I took a huge hit about 2 years ago and can't recoup from it. It wears me down to keep trying to find the solutions. They say one thing, but seem to have their favorite sites, and the sites do not always follow G's teachings. Basically the message seems to be develop quality sites that are user friendly, without thin affiliate links, don't confuse visitors with banners, have good contact info. and a privacy policy...and you might......maybe...........might.......show up in search somewhere. Oh..and keep updating it.
    leeann


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