Examples of Quality Sites that were Damaged by the Algo change

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  1. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/W … &hl=en

    "According to our metrics, this update improves overall search quality. However, we are interested in hearing feedback from site owners and the community as we continue to refine our algorithms. If you know of a high quality site that has been negatively affected by this change, please bring it to our attention in this thread. Note that as this is an algorithmic change we are unable to make manual exceptions, but in cases of high quality content we can pass the examples along to the engineers who will look at them as they work on future iterations and improvements to the algorithm. So even if you don't see us responding, know that we're doing a lot of listening.


    1. rebekahELLE profile image85
      rebekahELLEposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      interesting. I'm sure that forum will receive a lot of comments.

      I like what Paul E. said in his blog update about the changes; the primary goal is to make sure we really understand the changes.

      I don't think any site owner would know how to move forward clearly until the changes are understood. I changed the lay-out on some of my hubs to see if it makes a difference.

      If you're not logged in and land on some of these hubs, they do look quite spammy.

  2. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    From the thread sites that perceived themselves as unfairly effected

    expert written home improvement


    site stats: http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s29homeimprove

    10 year old proposal writer site


    Charles and Hudson


    The teachers Corner


    my 3 cents


  3. skyfire profile image81
    skyfireposted 12 years ago

    If this is an algorithmic change then google lost it's battle against scraper sites/ autblogs or splogs.

  4. SiddSingh profile image59
    SiddSinghposted 12 years ago

    For some strange reason, they are insistent that the changes have improved search quality, when they have obviously not.

    For the otherwise good looking sites (apparently) wrongly hit, all seem to have one common thread - they are all adsense heavy.

    1. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image82
      Wesman Todd Shawposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I'm still trying to comprehend how Google could want to punish sites that run adsense.

      1. SiddSingh profile image59
        SiddSinghposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        For the same reason they disable a zillion adsense accounts daily smile

        I reckon there must be a lot of bad vibes between the adsense team and the search team down at the Google HQ. Look at the showcase websites on Adsense - Askthebuilder.co, hubpages.com, labnol.org - just to name a few. All have been hit VERY hard in the Panda updates.

  5. prettydarkhorse profile image56
    prettydarkhorseposted 12 years ago

    this might be of help for your research SF!


  6. nanospeck profile image61
    nanospeckposted 12 years ago

    I guess all that google did was  reduce the priority of contents which were voted through the app in chrome. Eventually most of the popular contents which had been notified by the users were replaced by new pages with 'fresh unique content'. If those contents are of low value it's likely that the user again send poor feedbacks and the older contents will pop up back on the previous positions - IF THEY ARE OF BETTER QUALITY. This may take some feedback - iterations of the algo over the course.However, this initial step on socializing the alogithm is of huge future importance and a smart way do detect spams. We should discard this inital chaos and be happy for this if we are people who write quality contents. Since this is the initial stage google must have reduced the high paying ad-flow everywhere to protect the advertisers on loosing money for unworthy customers.

    1. lrohner profile image68
      lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Google specifically said they did not use the info from Chrome in putting together the algo, but they did use it to vet the results.

  7. Silver Rose profile image65
    Silver Roseposted 12 years ago

    They've all got Adsense on them, and in addition, some like my3cents, are thin sites (I clicked on some of their reviews and they were just a single line).

    I wonder if this algo change was based on info culled from tracking Adsense. I think someone else pointed out the Google knows more about sites with adsense than any other, and if they sense clicking within seconds of a person landing - i.e. people scan the first few lines, think the page is rubbish and click out.

    One thing that Hubpages does that EHow doesn't, is put the ads in the article. On EHow the ads are on the side and below, none in the article. EHow survived the cull - lesson there?

    1. sunforged profile image71
      sunforgedposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      There does seem to be a high proportion of sites that use adsense and also use in text placement.

      Which is a bit of a shock because i have personally received emails from the adsense team that suggested that I move adsense blocks into just those positions! in my own sites.

      Im not sure eHow can give us any lessons just yet .. this wave hasnt crashed yet and I wouldnt be surprised if the anti-eHow PR wagon had some effect, especially since some of their on-page optimization is directly in conflict with what is considered "best practice" by big G's webmaster guidelines, and that fact keeps being brought to light.

      1. Silver Rose profile image65
        Silver Roseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I think the Adsense teams and the spam teams are kept completely separate. I saw a Matt Cutts video where he said his team were de-indexing sites and the Adsense team got blamed, but it was actually the spam team who did it (which is why the individuals in question didn't have their Adsense accounts closed). I think they have the Chinese walls between the two teams for anti-trust reasons, so that the search side can't be accused of manipulating ranking for profit.

        I notice that squidoo don't have adsense within articles either - and they escaped too. It looks to me more and more that this is something that only Hubpages can rectify, not hubbers, who did their best to write useful pages.

        When I first joined, you could alter the adsense settings on your hubs - you could choose low, medium and high. But Hubpages did away with that and set everyone to high. Do you recall when that happened?

        1. sunforged profile image71
          sunforgedposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          they simply moved that control to the sidebar - its still there under one of the tabs

        2. kephrira profile image60
          kephriraposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Personally I'm not interested in increasing traffic by deliberately sabotaging ctr.

      2. lrohner profile image68
        lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Hmmmm... That might explain why WiseGeek got slapped. Their content (well, 99% of it anyway) is really, really good.

  8. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 12 years ago

    A thought popped into my head as I was reading this (doesn't happen often) but as I was poking around in Google Analytics recently I pressed a button that led me to some beta feature. Can't explain better than that - anyone who knows me knows I don't know my way around Analytics.

    This button supposedly showed me percentage click rates on the clickable features on my pages.

    It had things like 23% clicked on - my username,questions, liked, flagged, etc.

    I was quite disturbed at the flagged bit, but at the same time noticed the likes and flagged were the same percentage.

    I'm assuming Google uses this data, or is collecting from it.

    Could this have been part of the problem for all of us?

  9. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    Theoretically, giving Google to much data should only be a problem if your doing something wrong.

    This was a major overhaul in the entire algo - so such data if used would have played a minuscule part

    i hope

  10. Silver Rose profile image65
    Silver Roseposted 12 years ago

    Looks like ads were an issue after all. see the following thread on webmasterworld where an interview with Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal took place.


    They surveyed outside testers, quote: "There was an engineer who came up with a rigorous set of questions, everything from. "Do you consider this site to be authoritative? Would it be okay if this was in a magazine? Does this site have excessive ads?""

    They then built classifiers and a new algo around it.

    1. IzzyM profile image87
      IzzyMposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      That was the same crowd who were also asked if the site had authority, if the writer had university degrees, if their qualifications were on display etc.

      I'm sorry but I'm a writer not an engineer or doctor or whatever.

      They are basically saying you have to be one, or else writing on behalf of one, and then cite his or her qualifications.

      Oh and I can't be a writer, because I have no recognised qualifications in that either.

      Kinda stumped really, as to the way forward.

      1. Aficionada profile image82
        Aficionadaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Good Grief!!

        This is a self-publishing site.  That makes it a different animal from WebMD and Wikipedia or something like that.  C;mon, Google, you can do better than this!

        Have you all seen this:
        http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/W … &hl=en

        It was mentioned in another thread that Fiction Teller opened.

        OOPS - looks like it's the same one in sunforged's post.  I couldn't see all the number in the truncated version.  Sorry.

      2. J Sunhawk profile image70
        J Sunhawkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Google recognizes the dying dinosaurs in the print media as "authority" sites and "trusted."

        For example, if you're a chicken scratcher at the abominable and unreadable LA Times, you are automatically recognized by Google as "trusted and an authority" on whatever you write. It's kinda like sainthood and a position in a mafia family all rolled into one. That earns chicken scratchers the referee's chair in SERPs.

        If you're not in this elitist clique, you could at any time, as a writer, be flushed down the Google toilet and forced to swim with the turds. You're not an "authority." You are hoi polloi.

        The Google staff is the last of the Mohicans to figure out that nobody but scribblers recognize other scribblers as "authoritative." Or relevant.

        Americans have it pegged. They use the entire production of these antiquated sob sisters to line birdcages and puppy boxes. Nothing in print is saved as a treasure or for posterity. It's all garbage, and the collective intelligence of the American people have found its final and proper use - Woof!

        It's all elitist claptrap. Each year the dinosaur print media sinks deeper into the tar pits. Google may well sink with them. Until then, we circle the bowl and wait for rescue.

        BTW, I like your hubs.

        1. Michael Willis profile image67
          Michael Willisposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I have read online the past year about Professional Writers as you have mentioned crying over the competition from amateur writers who are receiving a "piece of the pie" in the online world.

          The fault mainly belongs to these "professional writers" since they have become lazy, spinning out babble and not optimizing their own content.
          The printed newspapers and magazines have lost much of their appeal and "profits" due to the ability for readers to find information and read News online for Free!

          An advantage I have found in multiple choices for information on the web has been "different views and perspectives" from real people who write.
          There is a ton of garbage out there, but I like having the choice of reading from whom I choose to read, not be Censored by Google to read who they believe we should read.
          (Wonder how much under the table action was involved...money is money!)

  11. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 12 years ago

    I'll be honest, I hardly noticed the ads in Hubpages...and the ads in the middle (or near the top depending on how long a hub you wrote) were/are unobtrusive.

  12. Richieb799 profile image65
    Richieb799posted 12 years ago

    What seems weird is Ryan Ketts best hub dropping loads of places from 1st to 16th under particular keywords and my best hub has had its traffic cut in half! this is not good.

    1. IzzyM profile image87
      IzzyMposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It's not weird. We are all experiencing the same thing. Hupages has lost its authority, for the time being at least.

      1. Misha profile image64
        Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Just to set the record straight - I am not.
        And I attribute this totally to my diversified backlinking strategy. smile

      2. relache profile image72
        relacheposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Just to throw another spin on setting the record straight, I'm not either.  And I'm one of those folks who doesn't do backlinks.  (the little square you see near the bottom edge in the image in line with the dates is a comment marking Feb 24th)


        1. MyWebs profile image82
          MyWebsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          That looks to me to be at least a 25 - 30% decrease with a slow recovery trend and a nice spike at the end.

          I'd guess you was averaging about 7,800 visits before and now its 5,000 something, maybe about 6,000. You call that not a drop?

          1. relache profile image72
            relacheposted 12 years agoin reply to this


            My traffic didn't dip any lower than it did on X-mas Day 2010, and it's coming back up, just like it did between then and New Year's.  I'm not seeing anything that I don't encounter regularly in the course of a web year.  And while traffic is still a bit down from before the algorithm change, my daily earnings on AdSense are nearly at pre-adjustment levels even with lower traffic.

            That's not what I'm hearing from the majority of people posting on these forums, (many of whom seem to be in a blind panic) so really, I'm feeling fine about what happened and I think things aren't done adjusting yet.

            As far as backlinks go, I have a theory and in a word, that theory is "relevancy."  But that's as much as I'm going to say about that...

            1. MyWebs profile image82
              MyWebsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              It is a well known SEO fact that links from relevant content is worth much more than a generic link.

              No reason to panic, this will get figured out. I know that HP has sent internal data to Google for them to analyze from an email I got today. Adjustments will be made soon enough I'm sure.

            2. earnestshub profile image83
              earnestshubposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              I have been watching your posts Relache, as although I have been here only half as long as you and have less hubs, my experiences have been similar to yours. February was a good month for me.

        2. Misha profile image64
          Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          LOL I wouldn't say it is totally "not", but certainly much lighter than other people are reporting - which complicates the things even more smile

        3. lrohner profile image68
          lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I don't do backlinks either, but my stuff tanked. It had a slight recovery and now each day is like watching the Titanic sink.

          I don't do backlinks. I did try RedGage at one point and backlinked a couple of my hubs that had almost no traffic. But I don't do the SheToldMe/Snipsley/whatever game. So I really question how much backlinks devalued content.

          1. Misha profile image64
            Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Whether you do backlinks or not, every hub has a plethora of internal backlinks - from your profile, countless hot-best-latest lists, and other hubs. They are here without you lifting a finger.

            Sunforged's idea is that those links got devalued - because of the deflation of inflated trust google assigns to web2 sites - which leads to a disaster of your kind if you don't have a variety of external backlinks.

            My data seem to confirm this hypothesis, and Relache's - contradict it. However, if Relache naturally acquired a plenty of backlinks during her many years here - this might explain the contradiction.

            Hope this clarifies the things a bit. smile

            1. lrohner profile image68
              lrohnerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              My top-earning hub has been hit. The only backlink I ever gave it was from one of my blogs, but it's got quite a few organic backlinks from good-quality sites. So, not sure that backlinks were the be all and end all to this Google dance. Unless I wasn't hit and was just outranked by sites with more backlinks? I'm way too tired to try to figure that one out. smile

            2. Marisa Wright profile image87
              Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              I'm sure Relache's content has acquired a heap of natural backlinks, I've come across some of them myself. So I think you're right!

  13. MyWebs profile image82
    MyWebsposted 12 years ago


    My weekend valley is more shallow and the weekday peak is right there with the best prior peaks. If anything my traffic has increased about 20% I'm guessing even though the hub that 90% of this traffic comes from dropped from #1 to #2 on google.com. AdSense seem to of took a hit though. Red dot is the 24th.

    EDIT I take that back... My average daily earnings more than doubled. eCPM up 50%. CTR virtually unchanged(-.02%)  avg. clicks per day up 33%. I compared the week since update to the prior week before. Granted my earnings are small no matter how you cut it.

    1. Misha profile image64
      Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Do you do backlinks?

      1. MyWebs profile image82
        MyWebsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        When I wrote my hubs initially about a year ago I mostly hit up web2 sites. Then for the rest of last year I did nothing. I never created more than 10 incoming links to any hub.

        I will start adding more again on a slow drip system starting tomorrow.

        1. Misha profile image64
          Mishaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Than you have a much stronger case against backlinks than Relache - unless of course your link baiting worked smile

          1. MyWebs profile image82
            MyWebsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Yes the hub that gets all the traffic was good link bait it seems after looking at stuff. If only I could replicate this about ten or twenty more times I'd be set here.

  14. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    "So I really question how much backlinks devalued content."

    "I don't do backlinks either,(so)  my stuff tanked.

    As would I! Many are suggesting the opposite, we  had a chance as Hubpage publishers to beat out our competitors due to the weight that HP carried in domain authority and the inlinking structure.

    Without that support in play we are now playing by the same rules as any other webmaster, if you "dont do" backlinks then you need organic backlinks from somewhere .. even post update, links are and will be very important for rankings - some just hold less value then they once did.

    People dont link to product reviews at a very high frequency so chances of significant organic links are very slim( i  realize your portfolio isnt strictly product hubs)

    And its still very much theory and its not mine its aggregated from gleaning the webmaster forums for sources that impressed me with their analytical approaches.

    I would imagine Relache does have  a significant backlink profile as many of her topics correspond with very popular topics that select people are very passionate about. (Just off the top of my head)

    1. Mutiny92 profile image64
      Mutiny92posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Two things:

      1)  From the article "Cutts: If someone has a specific question about, for example, why a site dropped, I think it’s fair and justifiable and defensible to tell them why that site dropped. But for example, our most recent algorithm does contain signals that can be gamed. If that one were 100 percent transparent, the bad guys would know how to optimize their way back into the rankings." 

      I hope that question was asked, answered, and may be shared with the community here.

      2) My traffic tanked and has not bounced back.  I had been focusing heavily on Amazon hubs and most of mine are fairly recent (after the success of the 60DC2).  I say that as it seems to support the theories proffered above regarding internal and external links, time the articles have been published, etc.

      My only problem with that is the potential outcome.  If that theory is true, then the answer from those impacted may be to aggressively backlink.  Some of that is ok, but I can see where there may be more pressure for additional spam/black-hat techniques to get more backlinks out there to make up for this adjustment.

      I am not advocating this course of action, but it does seem to be a probable outcome.

      I do hope that the ad placement/quantity is a more powerful factor as that seems to be the easiest to resolve on a site-wide basis.

  15. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 12 years ago

    from most of the search results I've seen, I throw my arms up.
    garbage results on much of what I've searched for the past few days. I just read the most pathetic article on examiner, the second result. the first I had never heard of.

    it's bedtime.. the weekend is here.. g'night.

  16. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago
    1. prettydarkhorse profile image56
      prettydarkhorseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      nice post,

      Under the first topic "Beautify The Web And Dump The Free Stuff", I can understand the rant of the author of the site about "beauty of the page" vs. satisfaction with the content of the page. It is not a contest like a "beauty pageant" but of course credibility (plus authoritativeness) count. 

      About the sub topic "How Google And eHow Will Save Bookstores". I agree to his take about it, but then the tweaking of algo is not final yet (as I can see it), but for the meantime people can always buy books if they can't get the info they want. (or just change the search engine and go to yahoo or bing)

      Under the topic "eTextbooks And Replacing DRM With College Distribution" the students will benefit form it as etextbooks  will become cheaper of there is a middleman to distribute it in college level.

      As for the last sub article entitle "Will Authors Become The New Fiction Gate Keepers?", About 'kindle" publishers, it make sense that they can publish without even being rejected and make money for it. Self published authors will def make money until the field is saturated again.

      I was looking for a thread yesterday about PDF "Panda" research paper, cant find that thread now.

      I am just confused with all of the G algo changes. Did they used that research paper by Panda et al. in the latest algorithm changes? Did they first got the qualitative data from the testers (being site authoritative etc.), incorporate it in their learning tree paradigm? So does this mean there is no end to the tweaking and until when will the computer learn the correct answer??? Maybe that is why some keywords have different rankings when you are in different places? Is this the reason also why traffic is like a seesaw? The tweaking is ongoing and can never be final???

  17. sunforged profile image71
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    That was just a pet theory. there is no proof that the paper I linked to or any of the google patents are direct influences in recent changes,

    We do have proof that an attempted purge of dupe sites and a manual review/human factor that seems to put an inordinate amount of weight on trust/brand authority over  actual content was implemented. Not necessarily effectively! but planned.

    I predict a rise in programmed autosurfing, performing searches, selecting planned results, staying on page set durations, change ip, rinse and repeat

    I appreciated the fonerbooks page and the publishers input - but I only listed it as an example of a site that would fit our "quality" standards but did not fit googles!

    1. prettydarkhorse profile image56
      prettydarkhorseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I understand it more now. I see branding, credibility/integrity of the site and the author come into play as subjective and qualitative variables which are scalable.

      I think still that the research paper by Panda et al is currently used in this G algo (just my hunch not an educated analysis). The timing is right there, the paper was released in 2009, coinciding the time they said they thought about cleaning out contents which are of low quality because they are spewed out in a manner that they are cluttering the net. I can see that this is an ongoing algo tweak that we can't say when it is going to be final because it is being rolled out at different times and country. This means that outcome of G searches will be local specific and ones that will know your preferences according to the sites you visited. It means really that keywords will rank differently in different places.

      Thanks SF. I like it that you give links which are thoughts to ponder, but the Panda research paper, I can't dig it except for the general concept it conveys, LOL...

  18. qeyler profile image64
    qeylerposted 12 years ago

    YOu're missing it. 

    To give it the proper flavour, hop some hubs for a few minutes.  Out of every 100 random Hubs there are maybe 3 readable articles, about 80 chunks of Spam and the rest is more usually found in those Xian tracts passed out at the Mall.

    Adsense actually pays for views.  So xyz people viewed this piece of Spam.  What is it? It is free Advertisement for Namebrand sneakers.  Adsense is paying to put their ads on the page which happens to be an Ad.   

    For those xyz people who viewed the Ad they have to pay the 'writer'.   

    This doesn't sound like good business, does it?

    So that's the first point.

    Have you ever done a Google and received crap results?  This is because there are a bunch of SEO jockeys who load their crap with these 'flavour of the day' words.

    Let's suppose there's this sudden report that bizanthaphiers (this is a made up word) enhance female orgasm.   

    Everyone is now doing a Google on bizanthaphiers.  The SEO jockeys immediately edit their cowflop and add the word five times and slap it into the tags. 

    Google keeps tossing up these pages.

    You know the pages...

    "Today everyone is interested in KEYWORD.  All over the world people are asking about KEYWORD.  It is not difficult to find out about KEYWORD.  All one has to do is search for KEYWORD. But do you really know what KEYWORD is after the search?

    "If you Buy CRAP I'M SELLING you will get a full understanding of KEYWORD....."

    Hence sites like Hubpages which offer bed and breakfast to this kind of crap will be slapped down by Google. 

    Stuff on Wikipedia, in respected News media, Scientific sites, Academic venues, will rank first.  Stuff posted on Hub Pages and other Content farms will be at the end of the queue.

    This is what the algorithm change means.

    1. sunforged profile image71
      sunforgedposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      You are missing it smile

      This thread is for examples of quality sites that were damaged by the algo switch.

      ..and your evaluation is a bit naive, you describe publicly stated intention not actual results - try reading the thread wink

      there are a dozen open ones for any "google is great" comments you would like to share

    2. prettydarkhorse profile image56
      prettydarkhorseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      this is early nineteenth century approach you are talking about, positivistic approach in learning, we are now in the new millenium where the new social paradigms are based on relativistic approach and not solely based on quantitative scientific information. Individual preferences/tastes and experiences are important, not only scientific and without personal touch account of what is happening in the real world. Of course scientific based info are important but in sense of product reviews et al and bringing to the people what is the product all about in actual experiences - this counts a lot - the human touch which is subjective.

  19. Niicks profile image67
    Niicksposted 12 years ago

    I hope that all of you have read this line by Amit Singhal — the Google Fellow who oversees the Google’s ranking algorithm — He said "Sites that believe they have been adversely impacted by the change should be sure to extensively evaluate their site quality. In particular, it’s important to note that low quality pages on one part of a site can impact the overall ranking of that site. Publishers who believe they’ve been impacted can also post in our webmaster forums to let us know. We will consider feedback from publishers and the community as we continue to refine our algorithms."

    So this means that if there are some low quality or spam contents which has not been deleted or removed in the hubpages then everyone is going to suffer. If these are removed from the hubpages then the overall ranking will improve to some extent.

    1. Niicks profile image67
      Niicksposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I also think that Hubpages team should start removing some spam low quality content of spam users which lies in the site and at the same time monitor the search ranking improvement  in google. If the results is positive then this experiment can be fully implemented.

      1. livewithrichard profile image73
        livewithrichardposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I think this is the key issue.  SPAM!!!! and very low quality low word count hubs that offer nothing new.

        Here is a great evaluation of what has happened over the last week: http://www.potpiegirl.com/2011/03/my-th … #more-1770

        Potpiegirl tested 7 spammy phrases over 4 sites, 3 of which were hit hard, and the 4th site (eHow) was unscathed. Check out the stats on the spammy phrases for each site and you will see that eHow had the fewest.

      2. qeyler profile image64
        qeylerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        there is no question that hub pages is full of spam.  The spammers are upset.  Imagine having a free full page ad and getting paid by Adsense for running the Ad?

        200k hits for a chunk of Spam!
        And they're proud of it.


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