Did The Google Panda Update Affect Your Site?

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2011-03-0246

Well, well, well. It’s been an eventful week here in the online world as Google did a rather major overhaul of the web. And there’s been quite a hullabaloo over this matter as many long-standing web pages were pulled out of their usual rankings and banished into the deep recesses of the Internet where no eyes can find them. Translation: some site owners and publishers found themselves seriously demoted by this new algorithm.

And yes, I found myself taking a hit because of this change, and at first I thought it would right itself soon enough, but it’s the kind of thing I think will take a while to shake out. In the meantime, well…. I guess I should sit tight and wait for things to blow over.

Google Panda (Farmer) Update: The Aftermath

I thought to read about this change anyway and found a lot of interesting stuff. That there were a lot of “false positives” and collateral damage in the mix. Thank goodness, because I was starting to question my own competence as a web publisher (well okay, I’m not saying I’m the best writer around, because I’m not, but I’m as far as you can get from being a “content farm” by its very definition).

What this algorithm was supposed to fight were the bad guys of the web: content farms, scrapers, autoblogs and splogs (those useless blogs that aggregate feeds from different sites), article spinners, black hats, spammers etc. In particular, Google wants to clean the web of “sites that copy others, are useless or low quality”. Yeah, I’m all for that but instead, this change seems to have caught a lot of innocent sites along the way, including a list of sites and blogs I follow, correspond with and highly respect (for their owners’ expert knowledge in their niches).

Google Panda algorithm update
Image from NewCommBiz.com.

Who’s A Content Farm, Scraper or Evil Spammer?

Next thing I did was try to figure out why I ended up triggering some of Google’s new signals. I went back to finding out what a content farm is — by definition, these are sites and companies that produce “shallow content at a massive scale” (Wikipedia definition). Hmmm…. I write around one or two posts a day. I’m a one person operation: that should dispel any notion of me being a factory or farm.

Next, am I useless, shallow or low quality? Haters may debate this… ;-), but then again, it’s all pretty subjective. Still, I’ll argue this one out and defend my hard work thus far. I can also say that I have such big plans for this site this year, and am striving to provide you with even more useful features. All I know is that I work pretty hard to produce the content I present here daily (as do many in the personal finance blogging space), and spend an easy 4 hours a day on just writing (most days).

Third, am I copying content? Certainly not! But I’ve had some unfavorable encounters with people who’ve offered me writeups that turned out to be plagiarized. And it’s not uncommon for many sites to fall into the trap of publishing a contributor’s post that has been recycled around the web many times over. I’ve discussed it before — I’m pretty strict about adhering to uniqueness and quality guidelines here. So the answer is an unequivocal NO. I would never, ever publish cloned content.

So what on earth would cause this stumble? After some investigation and analysis, I’ve discovered that I’ve been a victim of heavy scraping. Being a relatively old site (4.5 years old baby!) in the financial space, it’s not surprising that a lot of my posts have been copied and regurgitated all over the web. In fact, it looks like most of my pages have been scraped (I’ve gone as far back as last year and spot checked really old posts). The worst cases involve some of my most popular posts.

Now I’m sure there are a lot of blogs that have scrapers as well, that did not get affected by any changes, so there must be other factors in place that should be taken into consideration. Maybe it’s to do with the number of pages scraped, or maybe, just maybe, some of my articles come across like eHow writing πŸ˜‰ . But I’m banking on the more likely possibility that I appear to Google as a scraper rather than the original source.

At any rate, I can assure myself that at least, I’m in good company — here’s a list of vocal victims of this update. The poster child of this “collateral damage” furor is Cult Of Mac, a wildly popular tech blog. And its status has since been reinstated by the big G. Question is, when will it be the case for the rest of us mom and pop shops?

Any other PF bloggers snared by this search update? Strength in numbers as they say. πŸ˜‰

Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Funny about Money March 2, 2011 at 6:28 am

That’s annoying! In the past I’ve had copy scraped, too, and threatened to sue the ba*stards. Lately I haven’t been watching much — have always found out through serendipity. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to ride herd on that stuff.

No collateral damage noticed here, yet: in fact, recently FaM’s page rank went up a notch, for unknown reasons. Some months ago Google demoted FaM two notches, at the time they were doing that to a lot of sites. Now it’s rising again, for no discernible reason.

FaM’s Adsense revenues have dropped about in half since that original Great Demotion, which is frustrating but not that big a deal since the thing wasn’t earning much to start with. I sure can see the temptation to take paid links, though: Google just isn’t paying enough to get away with threatening mayhem to bloggers who take advertising from sources that do pay a decent rate.

Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers March 2, 2011 at 7:48 am

Hmm. You’d think Google could differentiate scrapers from source by the dates the articles were first indexed by Google. If you’re consistenly showing up as the site that had those articles indexed by Google first, then it should be fairly apparent that you’re the source.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 8:21 am

Thanks FAM & Kosmo. The hit here is not as bad as with other blogs I’ve heard about, but there’s still an effect. I actually did a check and found wholesale rip offs of content on fake blogs without attribution, and people backdating stuff to make it seem like I was the one scraping them!

@FAM, Congrats on the page rank rise! Wholly deserved — great writing trumps everything in the end.

@Kosmo, you’d think so, but maybe it’s not about who was indexed first? Could it be possible that they thought I’d give others permission to rip me off so I could get link backs and maybe they’re punishing that particular oversight? Not sure. Here, why don’t you try to find my post with this keyword “99er low income help”. Very simple search. All my scrapers show up in the first couple of pages except for my original article…. Go figure.

Money Beagle March 2, 2011 at 8:37 am

How do you tell if you’ve been zinged other than comparing your search traffic since the change was made? I wasn’t sure if there was a clear cut method or thing(s) to check to see whether you’ve been affected.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 8:43 am

Well I study Google analytics and for some people (not me, thankfully), it’s pretty dramatic. Like losses of 50% of traffic?! I know some top bloggers who told me this happened to them. I also know because weirdly enough, other sites I’ve been maintaining have gained noticeable traffic. So some reshuffle has happened — I just find it very strange that the bigger site was hit. Could be good for traffic redistribution, certainly, but not under the guise of “cleaning up the web of low quality content” ;-). I’d still like to think that I reserve my best content here and less favorable content elsewhere, and yet the opposite happened…. Oh the irony!!

And then the weird situation when one blog complained about being affected and being magically reinstated the next day…? They also had content cloning issues but things were resolved for them pretty quickly. It seems like this algo still needs some improvement to figure out how to handle collateral damage.

Rob Bennett March 2, 2011 at 8:44 am

The idea that everything can be done by machine is insane. Google needs to have humans (remember them?) checking things that would create great injustices if handled improperly. A human can tell a spammer from the real thing in five minutes.

There are responsibilities that go with making as much money as Google makes.


Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

There are some inroads in that direction, I believe, with browser extensions and sites like Blekko, which help with filtering. Then there are personalized search features you can already get today anyway. But as it stands, living in the online world, we are still mainly subject to the whims of search engine companies and the communities we join (e.g. social networks, etc). Thought to share an interesting discussion on reputation management and dealing with quality issues that we have today.

Neville @ Website Designer Perth March 2, 2011 at 9:13 am

Google had to do something about some of these sites. They dominate many areas of results with the most inane and useful drivel that qualifies for content. There was a good example of a 4 sentence “how to get pregnant article” which came up in the results but was so veneer thin it was laughable.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 9:23 am

Thanks Neville, you must mean this article. Okay, so let’s see — the example you gave is one that pinpoints eHow as being the content mill, which it is IMO. But again, the irony is that they actually emerged a winner on this update, and gained traffic?! So there is something frightfully amiss with what happened here…. I’m thinking that the algorithm may not be after content shallowness on its own. There must be other triggers in place that could cause the changes, which is something we won’t know for a while, possibly. Or you can also share your conspiracy theories here. πŸ™‚

At any rate, I’ll be much less forgiving of spammers, scrapers and plagiarists, going forward.

Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers March 2, 2011 at 9:38 am

“@Kosmo, you’d think so, but maybe it’s not about who indexed first? Could it be possible that they thought I’d give others permission to rip me off so I could get link backs and maybe they’re punishing that particular oversight?”

I get what you’re saying, but then why not blacklist everyone with the duplicated content, rather than just the source?

Or they could just devalue the backlinks from the sites doing the cloning.

Not trying to be argumentative – just thinking out loud πŸ™‚

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 9:47 am

Heh, no worries, I like debates. I don’t think this change is about links as much as it is about overall perceived site or page quality. Hell, they were trying to hit content factories right? And scrapers? Also, can’t be entirely the case as my sites that are completely devoid of backlinks (or comments…) rose up in ranks and happily benefited. πŸ™‚

Amber March 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

It was nice to hear that they’re taking down the low quality content farm sites, but I’m sorry you’re getting dinged for the scrapers! I’m just glad I’ve had a good co-worker that taught me that content farms are not a good way to build value. Several “SEO experts” were insisting that they were essential to be successful.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 10:33 am

Thanks Amber, I think it’s become an all out war out here for online real estate space and bloodshed was inevitable. Here’s what I think: what i found so far about this update is that in many cases, an authority or older blog is mistaken for a content farm or scraper. I do think their algo tripped on that one.

The profile I’m seeing is that syndication issues may give the impression that you are either a scraper or a content mill that’s the source of rampant plagiarism.

So if you happen to be in this boat and your rankings aren’t restored by any old tweaks to the update, you can probably try for some kind of manual reinstatement. I’m quite certain anyone can get back their rankings but it would depend on how much of an authority they are — they may actually put more weighting on your site’s authority/trust score to determine that.

Andy March 2, 2011 at 11:05 am

Yep scrapers have been a pain for me. Also because they can aggregate so much content so quickly and apply their SEO magic, Google used to give them more credit as the source. I know of an outsourcing center in India (when I was looking for a VA) whose main job is just to scrape US pf blogs. This was in that company’s bio – so they weren’t trying to even hide it. Last I checked they were still in business.

Saw a 20% hit to my normal traffic, but part of that is due to my slow down in writing over the last month. I also think google is penalizing folks who accepted guest posts from sites that were tagged as content mills. I know a lot of us in the pf space do take guest posts, so I guess we got hit under the guilt by association (linking) tag.

Still Google’s search is not a democracy and we need to adapt to the new rules.

Bank Guru March 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

You actually had people submit a guest post that was copied? Never understood why guest posters would do that. It is in their benefit to provide you with high quality content. It not only makes you look good (and happy to possibly get a second guest post) but it generates them more traffic. Weird how some people work.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 12:01 pm

@Andy, I’ll be following up on your thoughts in another post. Stay tuned!

@Bank Guru, I get tons of guest post requests and only publish work from people I get to know. At least, my goal is to know who they are first before I even bother accepting a guest post. But to answer your question, there’s definitely a lot of questionable people out there who are hawking their $2 guest posts at blogs and I’d be very very cautious about accepting work from just about anyone. I am open to guest posts if they are a good fit for my site, are high quality and well worthy of a read, but my queue tends to be long and so I can only publish them on quite a delayed schedule and after much heavy scrutiny. That’s something I promise anyone who offers to contribute and should be proof of my commitment to quality here on my site (or any site I run).

And yeah, I am VERY OPEN to anyone wanting to call me out on anything. Please please do. If you find anything in question, let me know, and I will look at it. I evaluate everything within reason and if I don’t have a proper defense or justification for something you’ve brought to my attention, then I will make the appropriate changes. πŸ™‚

Philip March 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Excellent post, SVB. I was hit too, as you know. You clearly articulated my thoughts and emotions throughout this whole ordeal. I should go through some of my top posts and look for scrapers. Although, I’m not sure what I could do at that point. Fingers crossed that we will get back what we lost.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm

@Phil, I have no doubt, we’ll be in the clear at some point. Do let me know what you find. It may be good to show proof (say on your blog and discuss it) of what it is you’ve discovered that can strengthen your case. Heck Imma gonna do just that… .;-) . I’ve also consulted with fellow money bloggers who were hit and are comparing notes. Seems like content syndication and potential plagiarism (of your work) are strong indicators. So focus on that front!

Google made some kind of quality inspection to that tech blog that was mentioned and if they do that for one, they should be doing that for all casualties that fit that profile!

PS. Planning to go to that Chicago PF convention/conference/event you are organizing and this may be a great topic to cover! Sign me up for it.

Philip March 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Thanks, I’ll do that. I’m building an (unfortunately) massive list of sites that are scraping my 52 Ways post. I’m going to blog about that, and make my case for re-inclusion. I also submitted a reinstatement request via the Webmaster Tools, and have been all over their forums there asking questions.

Glad you’ll be at the conference. Hopefully this will be a distant memory by that time.

Jessica March 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Content mills are very frustrating when you are searching for information, so I agree with the need. But I don’t think you have a whole lot to worry about. You have a big following. I’ll never lose you because you’re on my RSS feed.

My stats don’t seem affected at all and I do post twice a day. If its the scraping, they must fix that. How can it be your fault other sites are stealing?!?!

It will be interesting to see how this algorithm changes SEO…

Andy March 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Great debate. In regards to my point, I think most of us take quality guest posts. But if that guest poster on their site has poor or duplicate content, they get hit and so does your site (trickle down effect).

Content mill sites exist to drive visitors to their sites and click on ads, so sites that follow this model (like most commercial pf sites) get grouped in the same category. Google is probably refining their algorithims, but the fact is that there are only so many topics to write about and 100% original content on topics that can attract a critical mass is hard to do nowadays.

Personally, I think that the subscription based model (like the big sites and papers are doing now) is the future of being profitable online. This means focus on being a quality site will become more important.

There is so much to write on this topic…..looking forward to your follow up post.

Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers March 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm

@ Guru
“You actually had people submit a guest post that was copied? Never understood why guest posters would do that. It is in their benefit to provide you with high quality content”

Are you assuming that the content on their own site is their own work? πŸ™‚

I run a muti-author blog (7 of us actively writing, with others occassionally active) and busted one of my writers for plagiarism once. I was overly trusting at the time (a flaw of mine) and she copied from smaller sites for a while. Then she copied from CNN … from an article I read the previous day.

The kicker? When I confronted her, she accused me of being a homophobe (the story dealt with Britain’s treatment of gay scientist Alan Turning). No … I just don’t like plagiarism.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

@Phil, will look forward to your findings.

@Jessica, thanks so much for your vote of confidence and support. It will surely take some time for this change to fully settle and bake. But ultimately, we need to study what it is that they’re factoring in that is now the “game changer”. And why are there mistakes? I find it all rather fascinating too (being a former algo developer πŸ˜‰ ). It’s getting to the point that I don’t trust any form of SEO any longer! Anyone can in fact, overdo it and who knows what you are tripping!

@Kosmo, I remember your story…. I’ve encountered my own strange situations with defensive writers who plagiarized but claimed that they were “putting things in their own words” as well. Uhmmmm no. Just run things in Copyscape and you’ll see the extent of plagiarism. It’s another layer of quality control I make sure I have and we should all use if you are using other people’s content. Highly recommended!

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Maybe this is just me misunderstanding site layouts/structure/content distribution or even SEO, but why are my other sites up 50% while there’s a noticeable drop on this site? So odd. I will also say that there’s also a noticeable level of depth between this place and those other sites, so this thing just doesn’t compute for me. Should be enough proof that something is strangely off with the new definition of “quality”. πŸ™‚

Susan Shaw March 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm

That’s dreadful! I hope you get your traffic back! I heard that a lot of people really got battered by this one. I wish you best of luck on this. I think it’s a good direction for Google to take, to clean up the web, but it must take a lot of adjusting to make it all work right.

Wendy Piersall March 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I have to think that Google will have to tweak this algorithim change. Following some links in your post, I found a list of sites affected, including Entrepreneur.com, AmazingMoms.com (owned by Disney) and Teach-nology.com (tons of original educational content). I really don’t think Google would want to penalize sites like yours or these. It goes against what they stand for, and they get nothing out of it. I can see why they would penalize Associated Content (because of the Yahoo! acquisition), which I tend to suspect they gleefully ensured was affected by the move.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Thanks Susan and Wendy. Well, this article can give us some hope (we operate with the business model described there). When Google first announced they were going to get rid of the scourge of the Internet, I immediately rejoiced, thinking it would increase traffic to everyone else who was deserving. I take heart that their technology can in fact do the right thing and achieve that. The thing that scares me a little is that technology can’t really be without flaws.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Well, no matter what Google decides to do, I’ve decided to do a full fledged site analysis anyway. I really haven’t put my site under a microscope in a while, so I might have to spend some time measuring its true “usefulness”. Ah, it takes an upheaval of this kind to probably force us to give things a good hard look. (And I wouldn’t be surprised if I find drivel hiding in my archives somewhere…. πŸ™‚ !)

I think Google did the right thing about changing the landscape here to emphasize quality. In the end, they are serving their users first of all. And that should be where we set our sights — to see just how useful we are to visitors. Eh, lots of work ahead, but it’s all good!

Matthew Egan March 3, 2011 at 9:25 am

It’s really great to share new information on a field that’s constantly changing. SEO still means the same thing, but there are so many new factors Google is considering. Bounce Rate has become a huge factor. Yes, you can drive traffic to your site but if your site doesn’t have a clear call to action or functionality people are going to leave and google is considering not just links but quality user ability.

Mrs. Accountability March 3, 2011 at 10:22 am

Google dinged me page rank to NA many months ago but I haven’t seen a decrease in traffic. Mine’s gone up a bit.

Craig Ford March 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm

My main site got hit, but one of my smaller sites improved dramatically. The sad part is that I spend 12 hours on my main site for every 1 hour I spend on the smaller one. How did you go about locating those who were copying your content?

Keep me updated if you find significant factors.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Thanks Mrs A. and Craig! Yes, the effect here is to promote smaller sites (to some degree) at the expense of bigger ones who fail some interesting factors. That is something I am studying at the moment.

I am looking for patterns here. As mentioned, scraping seems to be a big one for me. If you check the title of this very post in Google search, you will find that at least one scraper shows up above me. πŸ˜‰

@Craig, I have the same profile as you do, and it may help with diagnosing issues. Have you looked at who ranks above you on your posts? My scrapers are all ahead. Second, you can check with copyscape.com and sign up for an account. It can help you identify any duplication issues.

I’m guessing that there could be other usability factors causing this change besides the duplication, enough to trigger red flags. So that’s what I’m trying to assess at the moment. Duplication may just be the final straw that keeled things over. But if it’s a strong determinant, then Google needs to do a better job with identifying original source.

Annette Berlin March 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I was really glad to come across your article. My numbers fell by about 15% this week, and I couldn’t figure out what happened. I’m still not happy about the drop, but at least now I know why!

Donna Freedman March 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Recently I had a blogger reprint one of my posts in its entirety, with a link. I wrote and asked (politely) for her to take it down, explaining why. She was surprised. She thought she was “helping” me.
On the subject of guest posts: I’ve been asked a number of times lately, with what looks like a form letter. From what I’ve inferred from your post and the comments, it probably IS a form letter and these folks are trying to sell and re-sell recycled content. Luckily, I’m just enough of a control freak to want to run my own writing only, which I know is original.
I simply respond by saying “Thanks, but I’m not looking for any guest posts, good luck with your writing” and that’s the end of it. Except once, with a writer who wrote back to say, “But why not? It’s an original post, I promise.” I replied by repeating my original reason. She wrote back AGAIN to say, “But it would be free!” And I replied by repeating my original reason. She finally took the hint.

Craig March 6, 2011 at 8:57 am

It’s damn scary that you can work on your site and build up your brand only to see it penalized, being caught in a net set out to eliminate the trash.

What I find particularly scary is the possibility that scrapers can affect your rankings. The big G should be able to tell where the original content is coming from based on publishing dates if nothing else.

What makes it all the more frustrating is that you have to jump through hoops to get rid of the scrapers. There needs to be an easier way.

By the way, in no way, shape, or form should The Digerati Life have been caught up in all of this. Your original thought and content is one of the inspirations for me.

I hope things settle for you and you get back into the good graces of the big G and gave your rankings returned.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

@Donna, I’m definitely taking a much stricter stance on guest posting now. Only exceptional writers should inquire! πŸ™‚ I think we’d all benefit if we took a harder stance against spammers and the bad guys of the web. Thanks for sharing your story!

@Craig, that’s so kind of you! Thank you for your supportive words. Eh, false positive I think, although I believe there were factors that had to be taken into combination to lead to this effect. Certain indicators we used to think were important were made less important this time.

What happened does puzzle me though, as I’ve checked a lot of “winners” and “losers” across a lot of niches. Granted, there are a lot of sites that deserved penalties, others don’t (as far as I can gauge as a human). And even MORE puzzling is how other sites can escape this… Some sites I’ve seen were CLEARLY terrible in one way or another and YET were unscathed.

My take is that this ain’t over yet…. but this time next year, hopefully the web will be a better place to work and play in πŸ™‚ .

Monevator March 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Sorry to hear of your hit SVB, I hope and am sure you’ll be back on top soon.

The scraper issue is infuriating, nothing is more galling than seeing pingbacks to your own site from content you wrote, and realizing someone has ripped it all off!

I must admit I was under the impression Google was already filtering out / demoting scraped content somehow, I’m sure I read Google saying something to that effect. Let’s hope they succeed, since tracking it down and tackling it is an utter PITA!

All the best!

Jane March 7, 2011 at 5:09 am

I know Google is a ‘website’ so in theory they can run it how they please, as long it is within the law. But surely it can’t be right that at flip of swtich they can put thousands of people out business, just like the last update has?!

Silicon Valley Blogger March 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

@Monevator, thanks so much! Yes, I’m getting good vibes that things will get better (it already seems to be!). Looks like there’s been some acknowledgment that G made some errors here and are working to remedy things. It’ll probably be a bit shaky for a few weeks or so but hopefully things will indeed, right themselves. It’s a good wake up call though, that anything in business can happen! For those of us who are business owners, we all need to be on our toes if we’re to survive long term.

@Jane, there’s been some interesting talk about Google’s “power”. And big adjustments like this always result in a lot of debate and questions. The disgruntled will get into the blame game and who knows where that could lead? Too many of us who provide a service through Google are not prepared enough to handle the “volatility” (to coin a market term) that comes with existing in this environment. Not everyone has the resources, so yes, the weak get weeded out and the strong survive. The key is how well we can adapt. At the same time, nobody wants a monopoly, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. But these are some examples of issues that come to the fore whenever there’s a huge jolt like this in Google land.

Nick March 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Thanks for the article. I am a new small site and write post 1-2 articles a week. Some are higher quality than others, but I wouldn’t put any of them on my site if I wasn’t proud of them because I want to be in the fitness business for years to come and don’t want anyone to think I write low quality stuff. Anyway, my site dropped off the first page for a few, low search volume, but important to me keywords and my site hits have dropped to about a fifth of what they were. Hopefully they fix me eventually!

Kosmo @ The Soap Boxers March 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I wrote an article regarding Google and their power a while back for another site that might be of interest. (Yeah, I guest post all over the place).


red March 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I still see some farm content in first page search result and it make mad. I do not know where to report the farm content

Chris March 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

Don’t think Google can really do the impossible here!

Kasey March 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

SVB – that’s a bummer.

I’m not exactly an SEO expert but I’ve got access to some smart people and have been looking into the Google algorithm changes too – So here’s my take:

It may not be about what Google thinks you are – but just that you had so many links pointing to your site from the less desirable sites. All those trackbacks we honest bloggers get from the splogs do pass a little juice. (External links are a big part of SERP rankings as I’m sure you know.)

When pages that used to rank higher or have higher PR get knocked down a peg – I’d assume that would effect more than just that one particular website.

Take EZine articles as an example. They’re sort of borderline content farm – some is useful – some is crap. But they claim to have been pretty dramatically affected by the algorithm change – and now they’re scrambling to make changes of their own.

If you did article marketing to promote Digerati Life – that could also have had an effect. It’s like the circle of web life or an online ecosystem – there are a lot of connections out there and it gets complicated fast.

Just my thoughts – hopefully things change for you. And lucky for you – there’s already a pretty good audience on this blog πŸ™‚

I think all we can do is keep creating original content. Google’s bots just read text – they can tell if it is original, but not if it is good. Your readers and social network are the only ones who can do that.

Silicon Valley Blogger December 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I thought this infographic was interesting, if not cute. It’s a nice summary of what this algorithmic update is all about. There are a ton of resources on this now, after so many months, and hopefully some of you are getting back on your feet after being “slayed” by the Panda earlier on. For those who are still suffering, I can commiserate.

As I mentioned, the duplicate content issue is a big one and Google is still trying to wrap its massive brain around it. The whole Panda change is also a signal to publishers that we should work harder to improve what we’ve created, in order to be truly deserving of the traffic we receive.

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