Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Panda and websites like DeviantArt

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Panda and websites like DeviantArt Realmaverick 6/10/12 3:32 PM
Good evening, I run a couple of websites similar to DeviantArt.

Whenever there is a discussion on Panda, it always revolves around high quality content and more specifically, WORDS. "Write articles over 500 words" etc etc.

But when we're looking at websites like DA, obviously it's not about words, it's about pictures, users art.

One of my websites was hit, I believe because of a bug in the CMS causing thousands of pages of duplicate content. We've fixed the issues and waiting for the refresh.

We've improved lots of stuff too, that has cut bounce rate, increased time on site etc, but what else can such websites do, to help Google understand the quality of the page. Obviously Google can't read an image.

I see some websites in the niche, writing generic paragraphs of text, that use PHP to switch the name of the title, it's file size etc. Is this something that will help websites that are thin on textual content?

Obviously a blog can accompany the galleries, but I'm not convinced that can counter thousands of pages of "thin" content. 

Any ideas on how to improve the perceived quality and value of these pages? Perhaps without writing pointless generic text.

Many thanks.
Re: Panda and websites like DeviantArt Realmaverick 6/11/12 6:12 AM
Re: Panda and websites like DeviantArt Realmaverick 6/11/12 11:14 AM
Can of course throw image stock websites in to the mix. 

Surprised nobody has been interested to discuss it yet.
Re: Panda and websites like DeviantArt luzie 6/11/12 11:20 AM
Hi Tehk,

We can't really discuss in thin air ... we needed to see the sites in question first.

Re: Panda and websites like DeviantArt Realmaverick 6/11/12 11:25 AM
As per the title and description of the topic, the website in question is and other similar websites. As I said we can throw image stock websites in to the mix, such as

Re: Panda and websites like DeviantArt luzie 6/11/12 11:32 AM
No, no, we need to see your site, we're not gonna discuss third party sites just for the fun of it.
Re: Panda and websites like DeviantArt Realmaverick 6/11/12 11:39 AM
Well, this isn't about my website, it's about my industry.

I don't want advice specific to my website and for people to get caught up in details. To have the usual few, jump in feet first, without any understanding of the niche, making assumptions.

My question is about the industry and the thread will be much more valuable if it's kept that way. I think it's a perfectly valid question and isn't part of the reason were all here, to discuss seo stuff for the fun of it and learn in the process.

Re: Panda and websites like DeviantArt bigasssuperstar 6/11/12 2:35 PM
Well, since Google is a search engine... and people's search queries are words... of *course* the search is going to search text. What else would it search? I mean, if people could doodle something and have a search engine look for things that look like the doodle, a picture-based search could be on to something.

So, yeah -- Google's going to look at words, because that's what people are searching with.

How does that hurt image/'art'-based web sites? Obviously, if all you have is pictures, Google won't see them. Not a problem, because people are searching for words.

A roundabout way of saying people who only publish pictures probably aren't relying on text searches for people to find the pictures. If the picture-makers want people searching with text to find them, they'll need to also publish appropriate text to match the searches.

Am I making sense or not at all?
Re: Panda and websites like DeviantArt JohnMu 6/11/12 3:05 PM
Hi Tehk

As Luzie mentioned, it really helps to discuss specific sites -- and it'll help you most to discuss your specific sites, not others. 

Generally speaking, when our algorithms look out for unique, compelling, and high-quality content, that can have many forms, including images, videos, or other kinds of embedded rich-media. That said, as Scott mentioned, it helps us a lot to have context of any content like that, and we generally pick up that context in the form of text on pages that embed that kind of content. We have more recommendations at and a recent blog post at 

At any rate, having a site that is primarily focused on images is not a problem by itself.