panda

More Garbage Google Results

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July 29  |  News  |   Ryan Clark

I was shopping for a specific watch and I think among any type of search result, shopping ones are such garbage. Post Panda you’d think things would be better off but a clear example of what should have been fixed, is well, spammed out. Duplicate pages from two sites littering the search results albiet the top few are actually form Omega. This post really doesn’t bring much substance out, more so just a quick rant from an online marketer when I’m actually in shop mode.

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Google Panda WTF Case #90,303

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November 4  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

I was looking to see where we ranked for our infographic marketing post today and was pleased to see us still ranking in the top 10. There are only a few other posts on the topic that are of any use and not just fluff, so when I saw who was outranking us, I kind of got a little pissed off. I thought I’d give an example that involves someone I know (am). Some of you may remember my rant about the buy espresso beans search results - we’ve been ranking top 10 ever since and we shouldn’t be at all.

From what I’ve been seeing in the SERPs, and I’m sure you have too, tons and tons of junk content still ranks. If you dig deeper into the actionable keywords like buy/review/best you’ll see an even scarier set of results. For the most part, the cliche “content is king” is looking like it’s 100% bollocks because links are God. I might hear from a couple of complainers that there are hundreds of ranking factors, but when it comes to tough keywords, it usually only comes down to links.

So the image below is a pretty accurate SERP result from a few different locations and people, so it should suffice for this post. As you can see, we’re ranked number 7 and right below us is a post from Mashable (which I’m surprised isn’t higher). The site that got my goat is from the Mono-Live site, which is a spam blog that is basically there to sell text links. The post has nothing of worth in it and the site is powered by tons of spam links and that’s about it….

At least Google got the first position right as Lee Oden’s post on the subject has been around longer, is well linked and as always, extremely well written. So I’d love to hear from you folks on similar cases like this where you’re getting bonked about by the SERPs but lousy content in this post Panda world. I will also be continuing my panda case studies as the year goes on, so stay tuned.

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WashingtonPost.com Advertising Fail

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November 3  |  News  |   Ryan Clark

A lot of people think ads on a website were a big factor in the Google Panda algorithm update despite a Google spam team employee stating they didn’t factor in ads. If they had, or if they did without telling us then the Washington Post needs a smack upside the head. I was doing my daily redditing and came across a link that lead me to their site and this is what I got smacked in the face with…I don’t really care but thought it would make for a funny post. Please excuse my lame ass GIMP editing skills on this picture. How’s this for user experience?

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Our Google Panda Commercial

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July 20  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

So taking some of our advice from the Fiverr post the other day, we got a fun little commercial made up for our brand. While it isn’t a $5 million dollar ad agency job, we paid a measly $5 for this quick commercial about Google Panda. This is just one example of affordable and cool marketing you can get on a microjob site like Fiverr, I mean it can’t hurt right?

 

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Google Panda On Content And Ad Ratios

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June 29  |  News  |   Ryan Clark

Panda is still causing a whirlwind of fun for people and I’m seeing a lot of noise about length of content and ad ratios being billed as a factor. Well, if you need one more reason to read Webmaster World on a daily basis, now’s the time to sign up or bookmark. I was cruising the Google section today when I came across this nifty piece of information talking about how there is no “golden” ad-to-text ratio, and that size doesn’t matter when it comes to the article. This was said by Google employee Susan Moskwa

Dude, it sounds like you’ve read too many tin foil hat “SEO” articles. As long as your site has worthwhile, original content on it (i.e. it’s not just made to put AdSense on it), there’s not a golden “text-to-ads ratio” or a word limit for ranking. I worry that you’re just looking at the trees and not seeing the forest. Optimizing your site for search isn’t about counting the words on a page, it’s about making sure that you have useful, usable content, and then making that content accessible to search engines.

I feel kind of bad for so many mis-lead site owners in the Google Webmaster Help area because so many people were saying this was a problem. It however doesn’t elude to the fact that terrible ad placement may be a problem, something that hinders usability for the reader. I can see how 3 giant ad blocks above the fold are not going to be a pleasant experience.

I have only seen major Panda problems with duplicate content for the most part, and have yet to have any clients with too many ads get a bump. I have been suspect of your link profile being a factor, but I’ve also been shot down for this idea. The sites I’ve seen get hit did have very unnatural link profiles, so it could be coincidence or just that too many companies suck at building links. Either way, I hope this bit of information helps you with your problem solving and getting passed this update and get back to making money.

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Why You Should Follow Rand Fishkin On Twitter

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May 12  |  News  |   Ryan Clark

Ok, strange title I know. While it makes me look like the world’s biggest ass kisser, I do have a good reason for the post title. I was just finishing up the friggin amazing article by Richard from SEOGadget on building high quality sites to kill it in the SERP’s Post panda, and then came the comments. So what does Rand have to do with this? Well I missed this amongst the millions of Tweets in my feed, but this is just on of a thousand good reasons to follow him on Twitter. This one will just make all the panda haters rage hard;

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How Long To Recover From Panda?

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May 9  |  News  |   Ryan Clark

While no one really knows how long it takes to recover from Panda, or even how to, I’ve just read something that might help. Tom Critchlow from Distilled got a few moments out of Matt Cutts via Twitter and asked him these few questions. Thanks to Webmaster World for catching this and sharing. I’ve been trying to break down what all is inclined for a recovery, and so far from testing there hasn’t been much in the way of a solution.

Ever since I posted our help with Google panda recovery service we’ve been getting an influx of emails from businesses all over. We’re seeing a whole whack of issues from ultra poor content, thin content backed by bad linking techniques and the odd site that has us stumped.

So for those wondering how long does it take to see some positive gains from your efforts, here’s a conversation on Twitter that should enlighten a little. While I’m sorry there’s not much more, this should elude to the fact that another round of updates could hit for the good….or for the worse!

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Google Panda & Your Link Profile

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May 4  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

While not much has been said publicly about your backlinks and the Google Panda/Farmer update, I thought we could get something going. We’ve been helping and discussing problems with many sites via Google Webmaster Central, and we started seeing a pattern. While the majority of issues with the Panda update have been due to thin/scrapped/junk content, we have seen a lot of sites that got hit have paid links among other types. While we cannot disclose the sites we’ve looked at and dealt with, you can see dozens of examples on Google’s Webmaster Central. There are literally dozens every day coming forth with issues!

Photo Courtesy: Brad Beamana

Panda Food For Thought:

We all know by know that content is king, and now if it’s not you’re getting put in the dungeon. So what about all the sites getting effected that have unique quality content that’s quite abundant on their website? Well this was something we were seeing quite a bit, which you can imagine has left a lot of businesses stumped and in the dark. Matt Cutts has talked a lot about what they’ve changed, but not once have I ever heard links get brought up.

It is absolutely true when I say paid links and anchor text abuse is still a plague, and dominating any big SERP in Google. It is actually rare for a site to rank top 3 for a tough keyword without tons of paid links. Don’t believe me? Then prove me wrong!  This is why our team, and others have been speculating that the next big algorithm change will be focused on this very topic.

Now onto the issue of whether or not links were a factor within the Panda update. From what we’re seeing we have a deep down burning feeling that they most definitely took part. Like with paid/spam links, you don’t always see every or even many sites get hit, but sometimes you get stung. From the 4 dozen sites we’ve spoken with on GWC, the ones that had excellent content, social media participation and great designs were still hurt.

What was a common factor in just about all of them? Paid links and very obvious link schemes! A lot of the businesses were very large ecommerce websites that had been around and ranking well 10 years or more. This is a life changing punishment for a lot of people and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst of enemies.

What stuns us the most is how they didn’t expect to ever feel the sting with a majority of these types of links? Even looking at their competitor’s who either stayed ranked or moved up still had paid/spammy links. The difference? They also had a really good mix of other types of links, anchor text diversity and a healthy follow/nofollow ratio.

The Solution?

If you have no idea where to start, then consider getting a link audit from us to identify the problems. If you have looked at your links and have finally realized you got an issue, then it’s time to start cleaning it up! This isn’t a fun process and it will take time in both the clean up process, and the Google healing time…and that’s if you ever recover.

Removing the offending links from low quality sites is the first step, secondly stop worrying about anchor text links. Go into the future with a sound on page setup that’s for the user, and not the search engines. There are hundreds of quality ways to attract links, so start getting smart about your link building tactics.

If you’re having issues and you think it’s link related, post up in the comments. I’ll leave this as an open forum for discussion if you so choose, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions. For those needing private help, we’re just a phone call away so do get in touch for a free consultation.

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