|Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 10:37 AM|
I've read the FAQs and searched the help center.
My URL is: http://bit.ly/4upaq3
Ok, so, I'm 90% sure that we were hit by Panda earlier this year based on the timing. I'd like to be 100% sure though.
So um, that's our traffic below... Drop in traffic was April 20th to be exact.
Would appreciate any and all advice.
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||12/30/12 11:31 AM|
Here's a list of all updates : Take your pick:-)
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||12/30/12 11:40 AM|
Also Above the Fold and Links :
/link-to-us page and the /indie-resources and the backlink profile unnatural.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 11:42 AM|
Yes, thanks. I often check that particular seomoz resource. However, I was hoping that other experienced SEOs might chime in to confirm that this type of drop in traffic (as seen in the graph) looks to be a Panda penalty, based on the timing of the traffic drop. Sometimes it helps to hear from others to be re-assured.
Again, I very much appreciate everyone's input!
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 11:49 AM|
travler, I'm glad you're actually taking the time to look at the site. Above the Fold - you mean adsense ads with not enough unique content.... would you mind sharing with me specific pages where you are seeing this?
Backlink profile unnatural - Ours is one of the cleanest, most natural backlink profiles in the industry.... but I'd love to see examples. Backlink profile being unnatural is thrown around so quickly here in the Google webmaster forums.... although most of the time it appears to be true. But, I'd have to say, this is likely not the answer in our case.
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||12/30/12 11:51 AM|
Well I don't think that all data centers would/ could be updated immediately / overnight but from the timing it looks Panda.
And with the site's ongoing Penguin issues and Above the fold issues, any changes to fix the Panda that might have bounced you back again could have been negated by other algo runs.
Why is it so important to know exactly what hit you when? Just curious.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 11:58 AM|
Well, we're spending 90% of our time focusing on ways to get more unique content on the site and remove pages that are deemed low-quality. All this to get us out of Panda. So, I guess I wanted to be re-assured that we're working on the right thing.
"ongoing Penguin issues" - Our top 5 anchor text terms are as follows.... madeloud, madeloud.com, www.madeloud.com, made loud, http://www.madeloud.com
Surely, you can't say this looks like an unnatural backlink profile to you? Those are all branded.
I am very curious as to your mentions of Above the Fold. Would love to see examples. I thought we had addressed all of that.
Again, thank you for your help!
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||12/30/12 12:01 PM|
http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/ to see what little content there is on the home page. And on the page ending in /fans/adam-schragin/blog/cover-remix
Backlinks on https://www.majesticseo.com/ --Checking Historic, root domain (no http www etc) shows high number of backlinks/ day - that is NOT natural. And a fresh index still shows a relatively few number of domains generating a large number of backlinks. A lot were added about a month ago over two days.
How can that be natural? to get that many backlinks you'd need to run a One-Day-Only LinkToUs concert.
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||12/30/12 12:05 PM|
Our top 5 anchor text terms are as follows.... madeloud, madeloud.com,www.madeloud.com, made loud, http://www.madeloud.com
Decidedly unnatural. If I go to your site, land on an artist review page, like the article then I am likely to post that link with different anchor text altogether. Most likely something along the lines of
Great article on hootie and the blowfish here.
And then anchor the 'hootie and the blowfish' part, or just the word 'here'.
IE I would be more interested in CONTENT on the page than interested in helping you reinforce your brand.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 12:29 PM|
Right. And we actually have all sorts of external links just like the one you mention where they'll link to a review we did of their band with anchor text "here", or "madeloud", or "hootie and the blowfish review".... we've got all of that, because we didn't solicit them... they are in fact, natural. But, our brand is madeloud, so the odds that a "here" anchor text link would be used more frequently than our brand name is highly unlikely and would actually look more unnatural. Most big sites that do not do much SEO, actually have their brand as their most used anchor text, in my experience. And really, that's exactly how it should be.
|Re: Panda, no?||mcgids n#l||12/30/12 12:33 PM|
lol nice drawing. picasso.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 12:54 PM|
http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/ to see what little content there is on the home page. And on the page ending in /fans/adam-schragin/blog/cover-remix
We actually had a face to face meeting with an adsense rep about any possible ad related issues on the site. I would have to believe that we are good here now. Ah, but the blog page you mention, idk, I might need to deal with that one. But most of the pages dont have that issue. I mean, all the artist pages don't even have ads on them at all.
I happen to know that our backlink profile is quite natural. I feel like that is everyone's go-to answer these days. "Your backlink profile is unnatural". And it's very easy to view their backlink profile and find one or two backlinks from a directory or two where the anchor text is over-optimized. If you are a business owner with a website and have never heard of the term "SEO" in your life... I bet I could still find one or two backlinks that "appear unnatural" and you would then tell them "This is why your rankings went down".
Ugh, no, it's not unnatural to see something like 200 backlinks a day using Majestic. These are mostly junk links their finding. It isn't uncommon. Look at something like bestbuy.com or some other large site. It's showing them getting 20,000 links a day.... those are probably mostly links being captured from second rate search engine serps, website analytics sites, hundreds of social media profile pages, things like that.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 12:55 PM|
Yes. Good one.
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||12/30/12 1:06 PM|
Adsense and google serps are quite separate with their own objectives.
And the links I saw on Majestic were 1000/day and around 700 the next which seemed rather a lot all at one go.
But let's see if someone else has ideas. And if it is indeed Panda, then you should be fine since you've addressed issues causing a drop.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 1:29 PM|
Well, to be quite a bit more transparent... I have bought zero backlinks and am using the strategy I write about here, almost solely, to get backlinks - http://www.whatshuang.com/free-advertising/how-to-build-great-legitimate-backlinks-for-your-website/
Please feel free to skim through that, maybe you will get a good sense of what I'm doing and will agree that it's all VERY white-hat
I don't pay for them, the users are happy to link to me, I do NOT "guide" the anchor text I get from them but rather have them link in whatever fashion they like. This strategy is more natural than 90% of the SEOs out there, surely you agree?
Whatever links you're seeing in Majestic are from nothing sneaky being done. On Ahrefs, I got like about 40 or 50 new links each day... but a lot of these are from some sitewide links like blogrolls and every time they have a new page on the site it's another backlink. They're from legit sites.
|Re: Panda, no?||Marie Haynes||12/30/12 1:58 PM|
This method isn't actually white hat. You say in the article, "All we ask in return is a link back to MakeLoud". But the quality guidelines, when describing linking schemes say that one example of a link scheme is "Excessive link exchanging ("Link to me and I'll link to you")".
With that being said, that's likely not your issue. It could get you a manual warning though. Do you have any warnings in your WMT?
You haven't included numbers or dates on your graphic. This type of traffic increase or decrease, if the overall numbers are not high could just be normal fluctuation. If the website is relatively new it could be that you lost your honeymoon effect. Sometime in March or April Google devalued a bunch of directories, so if you had a lot of directory links then you may have lost a boost. They also took out a bunch of blog networks so you could have lost links from there. You may have lost link power from other sites that got their PR from these types of sources. There were Panda updates on April 19 and 27 and Penguin on April 24. If you can pinpoint the date of the drop to one of those days then those are more likely.
I agree with you that your backlink anchor text profile is not typical of a Penguin hit site so I am guessing this is not Penguin BUT it is not what I would call a natural backlink profile. Natural doesn't mean "looks natural". Rather it means that links were earned naturally without you making them or begging for them. I'm guessing your backlinks haven't caused you a penalty at this point, but as Penguin gets more sophisticated they may in the future.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 2:27 PM|
Marie, thank you for your input first off. It is actually not a link exchange. And, as an experienced SEO, you know that what I am doing is not what Google is referring to with the "Excessive link exchanging". I'd also add that the users that are linking to us are EXTREMELY grateful to be featured on the site and to add a link to our site where others can find their music and discover other similar artists.
Surely you can agree this is better than, say, creating some sort of scholarship page so that I can get .edu links pointing in for college students looking for "scholarship opportunities".. Or creating an article listing the TOP MUSIC BLOGS and emailing all that I've included and saying "Hey congrats, you are awesome, and here is a badge for you to embed on your site" saying you r a TOP MUSIC BLOG (that just so happens to point in to my site).... or writing guest post after guest post after guest post....
Of course it depends on what industry you're in... but from the industries that I've been a part of, our method of earning backlinks, yes I do call it "earning" even though I technically ask for them, is far more "white-hat" than most.
Sorry for the rant, but when I started this thread, I was really looking to talk about Panda. Somehow I just knew that backlinks would come up. Many respondents here jump right to that conclusion.
No, we've not had any warnings in GWT.
The website is not new, it's been around for a few years.
For the lifetime of the website, we never concentrated on directory links, blog networks, nor any other common low-quality backlink practice.
The graph actually has dates on it, but the day that traffic plummeted was April 20th, one day after Panda 3.5.
So, April 20th, this is Panda almost certainly, no?
|Re: Panda, no?||StevieD_Web||12/30/12 4:03 PM|
>We actually had a face to face meeting with an adsense rep about any possible ad related issues on the site. I would have to believe that we are good here now
Yep, you sure are. You are GREAT for Adsense.
But, sorry to burst your bubble, this forum is NOT about Adsense rather we are here to support websites for SEARCH issues, and for SEARCH your ad count is excessive and inappropriate.
Go ahead and listen to the Adsense people, your efforts with ads pay their salaries and their goals are to maximize their personal revenue and bonuses.
|Re: Panda, no?||StevieD_Web||12/30/12 4:05 PM|
>you know that what I am doing is not what Google is referring to with the "Excessive link exchanging"
ah, no we don't know that. Excessive link exchanging is a relative term and relative issue. Amazon and CNN are held to a different standard than Bob's Pizza simply because their link profile can support stupid far better than Bob's Pizza.
I suspect your site is being held to the Bob's Pizza standard rather than the CNN standard.
Go ahead and keep flogging away at building links, or maybe you listen and respect the advice that is being provided by those with no doggie in race of whether you succeed or not.
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||12/30/12 4:14 PM|
My original point was Panda by date given, and likely by now some of the Panda issues have been addressed.
But a number of pages are thin on content or have content posted years ago (out of date?).
And if traffic is still down, then look to links, above the fold, etc issues.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 4:20 PM|
your ad count is excessive and inappropriate
Sure would like to see these pages you are referring to. I def think the ads may be the issue. Um, what do you mean exactly by "inappropriate"? Are you being Retargeted with porn ads or something?
Referring to yourself as "we" is kind of offensive to the actual helpful respondents here who are actually offering useful information. I don't think they want to be painted with the same brush as a person who is clearly only here to be negative.
Also... you probably didn't read the entire conversation Level 15
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 4:28 PM|
travler, thanks for your help. I don't think 100% of the Panda issues have been addressed. If we were to test the ads above the fold and just turn off all ads... would we then be waiting on a Panda Refresh to see if it worked?
As far as thin content, I've still been trying to determine how to do deal with user profiles that are created that upload very little to zero content. Seems like SEOs have varying opinions on this.... but do you believe that NOINDEX is a viable solution for a low-quality page like this for Panda?
|Re: Panda, no?||mcgids n#l||12/30/12 4:35 PM|
i dont think the page layout algorithm is part of panda.
|Re: Panda, no?||mcgids n#l||12/30/12 4:37 PM|
sorrie that was incorrect.... yes, you will need to wait until next refresh.
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||12/30/12 4:37 PM|
Ads / little content any type above the fold is Page Layout Algo -
I noindex any pages with thin content but leave the pages in for users if merited,
On the links again:
You can have people link back to your site using your pre-made links /graphics but insert rel=nofollow in them. Users will still see the graphic linking back to your site.
That is advertising and for users. Users don't care if followed link or not. Serps gamers do.
Even wordpress/ theme creators who insert their own links got dinged on that a while back.
you are offering guest posting in exchange for links - that is a link scheme and google is clear on that.
|Re: Panda, no?||mcgids n#l||12/30/12 4:39 PM|
i got a wrong webpage.... i checked matt cutts tweets. page layout algoritm is not panda or penguin related.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 4:43 PM|
I noindex any pages with thin content but leave the pages in for users if merited,
Ok, so you believe that noindexing is a solution to neutralize a low-quality page? Man, I really am not sure about that.
you are offering guest posting in exchange for links
Uh oh, where do you see this? Are you saying that we allow guest posting on our site? Or are you referring to us writing guest posts on other sites to obtain links, like this one - http://thecountrysite.com/2012/04/04/sad-country-music-a-primer/? Because we have literally done only 2 of those.
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||12/30/12 4:59 PM|
I noindex pages with little or no original content - book links affiliates, hotels affiliates, video only etc
Those pages can be linked on my own site for users to get more info/ book/ buy
they don't need to be in serps - would never outrank original site anyhow.
But that's me - I want each and every page in serps to be a good one.
As for backlinking / reciprocal linking guest posts from the link you posted
That links to your home page. The link exchange info is in a graphic - cute. How white hat is that? :-)
Thanks to him,MadeLoud.com has one of the cleanest backlink profiles out on the web.
Build a site for users and the serps and links will follow is what I do now. It's a lot easier than trying to figure out what google will do next. At least that's my experience.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 5:12 PM|
I want each and every page in serps to be a good one.
This is my philosophy as well. I completely agree.
Lol! No, I see what you're saying. To be honest, I just thought the graphics made for a better article. That site you linked to, it actually belongs to the owner of the website, which is actually not me, believe it or not. I'd be completely fine having everything in that article text-based and read by the bots.
|Re: Panda, no?||Free2Write||12/30/12 5:21 PM|
"hit by Panda"
Panda is about low-quality unoriginal content, possibly over optimized for search engines or advertisers rather than a user's benefit. If that is what you believe to be the problem, the focus should probably be more on the content and the users of the site rather than any specific algorithmic change.
"like to be 100% sure"
Nobody but Google can be 100% sure and Google will not say. Can you possibly rephrase the question to something a little more realistic with respect to the potential issues and practical changes you are willing to make?
"any and all advice"
What's a good summary of what has been said so far that reflects what changes you are planning?
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 5:59 PM|
"hit by Panda"
What I believed to be the main problem initially (few months back) was user's coming in and creating profiles and uploading no content, very little content, and/or copied content from other sites... not like maliciously, but rather copying a bio from their personal website, leaving us with some duplicate content on our site, which would read something like "mic the tiger, the Dallas-based alt-rock 4-piece fronted by ex Buck Pets guitarist/songwriter Chris Savage........"
Sorry, I would like to be 100% "confident"
"any and all advice"
Well, it appears that most agree with me that the site was affected by a Panda penalty in April and/or an above the fold advert penalty, both of which i could envision. My main concern initially was just to confirm with other SEOs that I was in fact dealing with Panda and that all my efforts weren't in vain.
As far as the changes I am planning from what I've heard here - I am fairly certain I need to make sure that all pages indexed are of decent quality. When I do a site:madeloud.com I get 24,000 results. My guess is that we really only have about 1,000-2,000 "quality" pages. I think a lot of these are being created from user profiles on the site that have little to no unique content, like this user - http://www.madeloud.com/artists/tobacco-unofficial. I believe I need to just keep working at it. Like, I think we still have an issue with people coming in to our site and copy/pasting content from other sites, like http://www.madeloud.com/fans/karkasrecords
As for the above the fold penalty that some mention, I just am not sure that we really have that many pages that include ads before the content... except the home page I guess......actually, as I'm writing this, I found this page which I guess is a culprit - http://www.madeloud.com/videos/other. And this one I suppose - http://www.madeloud.com/artists. BUT, this above the fold penalty is separate from Panda, yea?
|Re: Panda, no?||Marie Haynes||12/30/12 6:28 PM|
This has been an interesting discussion. I've been watching it on my phone and am only now able to type a response.
The page layout algorithm initially rolled out in January. (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ca/2012/01/page-layout-algorithm-improvement.html). Now, your site could conceivably be hit in April if you had recently changed the layout, but I'm doubtful that this is your issue. If you want to test it, remove some ads and see what happens. A page layout issue is not the same as Panda where you need to wait for a refresh in order to recover. Instead, once Google recrawls your site and sees that the layout is better, then you recover.
With that being said, ads can play a part in Panda as well. The way I understand Panda is that Google assesses your site for a number of quality issues. If you've got enough quality issues then a flag gets placed on the site or sometimes on a section of the site. This page describes how Google assesses a site's quality in the eyes of Panda:
One of the criteria is, "Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?". *If* ads were contributing to a Panda problem then removing the ads would not result in recovery until there was a Panda refresh.
I am doubtful that ads are your problem. Of the sites that I have seen with Panda, duplicate content and thin content are by far the biggest culprits.
Take pages like this one: http://www.madeloud.com/artists/chad-bossman. There's essentially no content on this page. Same thing here: http://www.madeloud.com/artists/hdoubler/music - just song titles. There's no reason for Google to show thin pages like this to searchers. If you've got enough of these pages that are thin in Google's eyes then it certainly could invite a Panda flag. The answer is to either add unique and helpful content, noindex the content or remove it. Then, you've got to wait till Panda refreshes to see if you recover. Sometimes it takes a few refreshes for a site to recover. I personally believe that you can recover faster if you use the url removal tool (not the disavow tool) to remove these pages from the index...but I haven't proven it yet.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/30/12 6:56 PM|
Marie, you make some good points.
I want to have a little aside here - I personally think it's BS that a page like http://www.madeloud.com/artists/chad-bossman that you say (and I totally agree with btw) is a culprit. But why should I force my visitors to read through some silly content when all they want to do is listen to music? Ugh, whatever. But you say "There's no reason for Google to show thin pages like this to searchers" - well, I do not believe that to be true. What about a user that is looking to hear this person's music that has no need for unique textual content, they just want to hear their songs... but I get it. You need to demonstrate to Google that your page is better than the others in some way... a way that they can grasp... and btw, people spend a lot of time on the site listening to music.... sure wish they'd use that as a metric that could potentially negate a Pandalization...
Yes, I think these are the issues, these pages that have too little textual content. I guess I just need to noindex until I'm left with 1,000 pages indexed and figure out better ways to entice people to "write stuff" on the site.
Anyway, I do appreciate your input Marie.
|Re: Panda, no?||Free2Write||12/30/12 8:34 PM|
There's no reason to force anyone to do anything if the rich content or service is valuable or interesting or useful to users, especially by their word-of-mouth. Pinterest is the exemplar. Otherwise, navigation and content is indexed by text and that must be the offset to a lack of popularity. Assuming that users stay and then impulsively tell other people outside of the site about their good experiences. Without that popularity or user attraction there's a natural abhorrence to thin content or ads, but especially both.
|Re: Panda, no?||Steve -||12/30/12 9:29 PM|
Hi Steak Sauce,
Not that I'm an authority on this but my research and experience across a few websites leads me to endorse what Marie has stated.
There were algorithm changes that addressed excessive advertising even before Panda was introduced, then there was Panda, then thirdly the above the fold algorithm which is an extra potential problem for weak content in the fold (including advertising). In terms of your Google SERP you need to think about advertising from all three perspectives. I generally suggest this advice as a starting point: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/page-layout-algorithm-improvement.html
Thin content seems to be a key signal connected to weak rankings in web searches, not the only issue but a very important one. Is this reasonable or not? If you go back through postings on this forum you'll see requests for help from webmasters with; tens of thousands and even sometimes hundreds of thousands of pages of thin content; what to do? Google uses over 200 different components in creating its ranking, thin content is just one.
Hope this helps
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/31/12 5:26 PM|
If a set of low-quality pages are indexed, but blocked by robots.txt, that will negate any Panda effect, at least from those pages, correct?
|Re: Panda, no?||Marie Haynes||12/31/12 5:40 PM|
Not necessarily. Robots.txt tells the search engines not to crawl those pages, but if they've previously been crawled then they're in the index. They can stay in the index for a LONG time before Google decides to drop them out. If they're in the index then they likely are counting towards your site's quality.
If you add a noindex,follow tag to them then they'll drop out eventually. But the fastest way to get them out of the index is to use the url removal tool. You can remove them one by one from the index and cache, or you can remove an entire directory from the index (but not the cache) with one command. Most likely, removing the pages from the index is all you need, but I'm still not sure whether you can recover quicker if you remove them from the cache as well.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||12/31/12 5:51 PM|
Ok, and I would need to of course remove them from robots.txt first, right, or else the bots can't see the noindex.
|Re: Panda, no?||Webnauts||1/3/13 5:33 AM|
That is correct. And once you do that, you can speed up the process getting those pages removed faster using the links removals feature in the Google webmaster tools.
And you can be sure that you were not hit from the Page Layout filter, but from the Panda yes and which took place on the 19th of April 2012.
In addition I would like to add here, that adding noindex to low quality pages cannot protect you from being filtered by the Panda algorithm. It is advisable to improve the quality of those pages or removed them entirely.
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||1/3/13 5:47 AM|
Thanks but why do you say no indexing won't help it appears many disagree w that.
|Re: Panda, no?||Marie Haynes||1/3/13 6:30 AM|
interesting. Why would you say that no indexing wouldn't work? I have personally seen sites recover from panda simply by noindexing thin content.
|Re: Panda, no?||Webnauts||1/3/13 8:24 PM|
Marie, I agree with you that the first months after Panda was originally launched that worked fine. From own experience and evidence, since October 2011 it does no more work. Can you recall the time you had that success?
|Re: Panda, no?||Jyoti Burujpatte||1/4/13 12:02 AM|
I am happy what google panda is doing...its removing bad links & duplicate sites which was sitting in top position but which are quality sites they was down..but now quality sites are on top due to panda updates...
|Re: Panda, no?||Marie Haynes||1/4/13 11:27 AM|
I will admit that the case that I am thinking of was a site that was affected by one of the earlier Panda updates. I can't see how we could say that noindexing thin content wouldn't help though. I suppose that it could be true that sites that have thin content may be likely to have other Panda issues, so in those cases much more is necessary than just noindexing the thin content.
I'm not sure that I agree that those pages have to be removed rather than noindexed though.
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||1/4/13 11:34 AM|
Matt Cutts noindex, follow eg Sitemaps (thin content page)
|Re: Panda, no?||steaksauce||1/4/13 1:15 PM|
I'm not sure that he's implying that noindexing the content will save a site from Panda.....
And I'm worried that he says "it's not common" to use noindex, follow.
We have tons of scenarios where we would need to use it, and all similar sites to ours would have very similar issues. Example where we need this for our community site: http://www.madeloud.com/artists/g-blaze-f-stylez/music/tracks/tranzporter (page for an individual track we want people to see, but I fear will never be deemed a "quality" page, so i don't want G to see)
|Re: Panda, no?||Marie Haynes||1/4/13 1:23 PM|
I'm not following what the point is here. Matt is giving some instances where you may use noindex, follow, but how does this apply to Panda? Plus this video predates Panda (albeit by only a week).
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||1/4/13 1:28 PM|
My Point was that noindex is fine for pages with little content and of no use in the serps - so noindex rather than delete pages if those pages are useful for visitors but not for serps.
Yes this predates Panda but just because panda got a name doesn't mean that noindexing thin content wasn't a good practice before that.
|Re: Panda, no?||Marie Haynes||1/4/13 1:32 PM|
Ah thanks. For some reason I assumed you were using the video to argue against me rather than agreeing with me. LOL.
|Re: Panda, no?||travler||1/4/13 1:35 PM|
LOL back - will transcribe and explain better in future :-)