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July 11th, 2012, 06:23 PM #1
Recovery from Panda & a few tips
- Join Date
- April 6th, 2006
I'm going to start this thread by saying thank you to Convergence for help a couple of months ago, I owe him a beer!
There's a new Matt Cutts video going around - haven't watched the whole thing, but it's about Panda, and the ability to recover. Google Panda Update: Matt Cutts Talks About Recovery (And A Bunch Of Other Stuff) | WebProNews
Back in January, my site was hit by Panda - I have a custom-built database app that stores product recommendations (linked to content). Poor programming generated thousands of pages of duplicate content - not in the traditional sense of the word, you could just reach the same page using approx 6 different URLs. They all had multiple levels of pagination, and when Google finally caught on, the site took a major hit. My valuable content pages were in the basement.
By March, everything was fixed, and all the bad URLs were 301 redirecting to their respective canonical links. However, 2 months later, Google was still listing these old URLs.
In May, I decided to kill off ALL bad URLs.. using 404 & 410. The number of 404s reported in Google WMT started to grow at a surprisingly aggressive rate (which was actually a good thing!).
In addition to the above, I pruned CMS apps - it broke my heart, but I deleted tag clouds (something that make a lot of sense in my niche). Category listings, search results, and anything else that could be perceived as "duplicate" were flagged as "noindex"
Around June 20th, the site moved up a notch... then traffic doubled. As of last week, it moved up again. The site is still not back to original traffic, but at least I can build on these levels.
The main reason for this thread is to say there is life after Panda. It may take a few months (or more) to regain your footing, but don't give up trying.. clean up navigation, remove tag clouds (sorry, but apparently G doesn't like them!), and apply "noindex" to anything that might be perceived as duplicate.
Added: It's also worthy of mention that regular content never stopped during this time, and 6 weeks ago, a new section was launched, outside of any standard CMS.
Last edited by teezone; July 11th, 2012 at 06:44 PM.
August 2nd, 2012, 03:03 AM #2
Webmaster URL Parameter Configuration.
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
I saw the whole video and it didn't say as much about panda as I would like. But one thing I did get was (related to what you had posted) was about webmaster tools and the URL Parameters configuration. As you stated Google doesn't like duplicate content, but sometimes what Google thinks is duplicate content is not duplicate content to a person. For instance, pagination and products per page. For big sites such as my own which have 10,000s or more products, you have to allow pagination and the number of products per page to be selected by the user for their needs. You need a manageable amount of products per page so you have parameters in your url with these selections. The problem is to panda these combinations look like duplicate content since titles and descriptions are the same and also to some extent the products.
My advice (and it is working for me although it is too early to tell if this is an aboration or I'm deluding myself) is to go to the webmaster tools and limit these parameters. Only use page number 1 and select a products per page number that is reasonable. Although I allow my users to select 10, 30, 90, 200 products, I only allow Google to index the 30 product option. You should also make your own choices on all other parameters on your site.Expert who says Moo
August 3rd, 2012, 09:11 AM #3
- Join Date
- August 3rd, 2012
- Cambridge, UK
I have the same problem which, while not hurting my site per se is preventing some 30 pages being indexed. While this isn't overly large, it's still damaging to the traffic we get. As I wrote it in php, I'm now going through an modding it to provide more diverse on-screen content for each page, so that each one will be substantially different. A lengthy task, but the results so far have been very quick and beneficial.
August 5th, 2012, 12:02 AM #4
Right away I startled to get a lot of 404's from those deleted pages and directories, and then I tried to please the almighty by doing some of the things you have posted you have done...
But, I wasted my time by doing 410 redirects on my .htaccess file for those deleted directories and pages!
After seeing that the almighty still keep showing errors for those gone 410 pages everyday for too long, I decided to redirect those to a 404 page instead...
In my site logs I see that a 410 is the end of the road for my visitors, but a 404 will have a detour sign that would say how to get there, if a real visitor landed on a 404.
Btw, this may be another reason why I have become an atheist.
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