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Google Confirms Panda 3.3 Update

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by hadeska, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. hadeska

    hadeska Newbie

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    Google has confirmed a new Panda update at the same time that it?s announcing 40 search updates that happened in February (or are in progress right now).

    It would be all but impossible to fully sum up the full slate of changes here, but there are a few that seem especially noteworthy and will no doubt produce a lot of speculation among search marketers. Here?s a look at the ones that stand out to me:
    Panda 3.3 Update

    Here?s what Google says about its latest Panda-related change:

    Panda update. This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.

    This sounds very similar to Panda 3.2, which happened in mid-January and was described only as a ?data refresh? and not related to new or changed ranking signals.

    Panda was launched a year ago ? don?t miss the full background in our recent story, Infographic: The Google Panda Update, One Year Later.

    Postscript, Feb. 28th: Google tells us that the Panda data update took place yesterday, February 27th. The company declined to share any additional information about the ?link evaluation? item below.

    Evaluating Links

    Google says it?s getting rid of a link evaluation signal that it?s been using for years. This one?s sure to prompt discussion:

    Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.

    We?ve reached out to Google in the past, asking for further clarification on the items in these monthly roundups. The company has indicated that the blog post says everything Google wants to say. That, along with Google?s understandable (and necessary) reluctance to give away too many details about ranking signals, leads me to assume we won?t be getting anything more than the above about this.

    A link evaluation signal that?s been used for years is now turned off? The SEO mind races?.
    Local Search Rankings

    Here?s another one, along with the link evaluation signal, that I?m actually surprised Google would so openly reveal. The company says traditional algorithmic ranking factors are now playing a bigger part in triggering local search results:

    Improvements to ranking for local search results. [launch codename ?Venice?] This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.

    Traditional SEO has played a bigger part in Google?s local search since the launch of Places Search in late 2010. And now it sounds like that dial is being turned up a little higher, too.

    Google?s post also says local results are being improved because of a ?new system to find results from a user?s city more reliably. Now we?re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user.?
    Other Google Updates

    As I said, it?s impossible to recap the entire Google blog post. In addition to the items above, you might pay attention to these items:

    More accurate detection of official pages
    Expand the size of our images index in Universal Search
    ?Site:? query update
    International launch of shopping rich snippets

    There are also several updates related to freshness, sitelinks and related searches.
     
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  2. hadeska

    hadeska Newbie

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    And This Is 40 google recent changed query.

    Search quality highlights: 40 changes for February

    2/27/12 | 11:30:00 AM

    This month we have many improvements to celebrate. With 40 changes reported, that marks a new record for our monthly series on search quality. Most of the updates rolled out earlier this month, and a handful are actually rolling out today and tomorrow. We continue to improve many of our systems, including related searches, sitelinks, autocomplete, UI elements, indexing, synonyms, SafeSearch and more. Each individual change is subtle and important, and over time they add up to a radically improved search engine.

    Here's the list for February:

    More coverage for related searches. [launch codename "Fuzhou"] This launch brings in a new data source to help generate the "Searches related to" section, increasing coverage significantly so the feature will appear for more queries. This section contains search queries that can help you refine what you're searching for.
    Tweak to categorizer for expanded sitelinks. [launch codename "Snippy", project codename "Megasitelinks"] This improvement adjusts a signal we use to try and identify duplicate snippets. We were applying a categorizer that wasn't performing well for our expanded sitelinks, so we've stopped applying the categorizer in those cases. The result is more relevant sitelinks.
    Less duplication in expanded sitelinks. [launch codename "thanksgiving", project codename "Megasitelinks"] We've adjusted signals to reduce duplication in the snippets for expanded sitelinks. Now we generate relevant snippets based more on the page content and less on the query.
    More consistent thumbnail sizes on results page. We've adjusted the thumbnail size for most image content appearing on the results page, providing a more consistent experience across result types, and also across mobile and tablet. The new sizes apply to rich snippet results for recipes and applications, movie posters, shopping results, book results, news results and more.
    More locally relevant predictions in YouTube. [project codename "Suggest"] We've improved the ranking for predictions in YouTube to provide more locally relevant queries. For example, for the query [lady gaga in ] performed on the US version of YouTube, we might predict [lady gaga in times square], but for the same search performed on the Indian version of YouTube, we might predict [lady gaga in India].
    More accurate detection of official pages. [launch codename "WRE"] We've made an adjustment to how we detect official pages to make more accurate identifications. The result is that many pages that were previously misidentified as official will no longer be.
    Refreshed per-URL country information. [Launch codename "longdew", project codename "country-id data refresh"] We updated the country associations for URLs to use more recent data.
    Expand the size of our images index in Universal Search. [launch codename "terra", project codename "Images Universal"] We launched a change to expand the corpus of results for which we show images in Universal Search. This is especially helpful to give more relevant images on a larger set of searches.
    Minor tuning of autocomplete policy algorithms. [project codename "Suggest"] We have a narrow set of policies for autocomplete for offensive and inappropriate terms. This improvement continues to refine the algorithms we use to implement these policies.
    "Site:" query update [launch codename "Semicolon", project codename "Dice"] This change improves the ranking for queries using the "site:" operator by increasing the diversity of results.
    Improved detection for SafeSearch in Image Search. [launch codename "Michandro", project codename "SafeSearch"] This change improves our signals for detecting adult content in Image Search, aligning the signals more closely with the signals we use for our other search results.
    Interval based history tracking for indexing. [project codename "Intervals"] This improvement changes the signals we use in document tracking algorithms.
    Improvements to foreign language synonyms. [launch codename "floating context synonyms", project codename "Synonyms"] This change applies an improvement we previously launched for English to all other languages. The net impact is that you'll more often find relevant pages that include synonyms for your query terms.
    Disabling two old fresh query classifiers. [launch codename "Mango", project codename "Freshness"] As search evolves and new signals and classifiers are applied to rank search results, sometimes old algorithms get outdated. This improvement disables two old classifiers related to query freshness.
    More organized search results for Google Korea. [launch codename "smoothieking", project codename "Sokoban4"] This significant improvement to search in Korea better organizes the search results into sections for news, blogs and homepages.
    Fresher images. [launch codename "tumeric"] We've adjusted our signals for surfacing fresh images. Now we can more often surface fresh images when they appear on the web.
    Update to the Google bar. [project codename "Kennedy"] We continue to iterate in our efforts to deliver a beautifully simple experience across Google products, and as part of that this month we made further adjustments to the Google bar. The biggest change is that we've replaced the drop-down Google menu in the November redesign with a consistent and expanded set of links running across the top of the page.
    Adding three new languages to classifier related to error pages. [launch codename "PNI", project codename "Soft404"] We have signals designed to detect crypto 404 pages (also known as "soft 404s"), pages that return valid text to a browser but the text only contain error messages, such as "Page not found." It's rare that a user will be looking for such a page, so it's important we be able to detect them. This change extends a particular classifier to Portuguese, Dutch and Italian.
    Improvements to travel-related searches. [launch codename "nesehorn"] We've made improvements to triggering for a variety of flight-related search queries. These changes improve the user experience for our Flight Search feature with users getting more accurate flight results.
    Data refresh for related searches signal. [launch codename "Chicago", project codename "Related Search"] One of the many signals we look at to generate the "Searches related to" section is the queries users type in succession. If users very often search for [apple] right after [banana], that's a sign the two might be related. This update refreshes the model we use to generate these refinements, leading to more relevant queries to try.
    International launch of shopping rich snippets. [project codename "rich snippets"] Shopping rich snippets help you more quickly identify which sites are likely to have the most relevant product for your needs, highlighting product prices, availability, ratings and review counts. This month we expanded shopping rich snippets globally (they were previously only available in the US, Japan and Germany).
    Improvements to Korean spelling. This launch improves spelling corrections when the user performs a Korean query in the wrong keyboard mode (also known as an "IME", or input method editor). Specifically, this change helps users who mistakenly enter Hangul queries in Latin mode or vice-versa.
    Improvements to freshness. [launch codename "iotfreshweb", project codename "Freshness"] We've applied new signals which help us surface fresh content in our results even more quickly than before.
    Web History in 20 new countries. With Web History, you can browse and search over your search history and webpages you've visited. You will also get personalized search results that are more relevant to you, based on what you've searched for and which sites you've visited in the past. In order to deliver more relevant and personalized search results, we've launched Web History in Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Morocco, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Kuwait, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Nigeria, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Bosnia and Herzegowina, Azerbaijan, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Republic of Moldova, and Ghana. Web History is turned on only for people who have a Google Account and previously enabled Web History.
    Improved snippets for video channels. Some search results are links to channels with many different videos, whether on mtv.com, Hulu or YouTube. We've had a feature for a while now that displays snippets for these results including direct links to the videos in the channel, and this improvement increases quality and expands coverage of these rich "decorated" snippets. We've also made some improvements to our backends used to generate the snippets.
    Improvements to ranking for local search results. [launch codename "Venice"] This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.
    Improvements to English spell correction. [launch codename "Kamehameha"] This change improves spelling correction quality in English, especially for rare queries, by making one of our scoring functions more accurate.
    Improvements to coverage of News Universal. [launch codename "final destination"] We've fixed a bug that caused News Universal results not to appear in cases when our testing indicates they'd be very useful.
    Consolidation of signals for spiking topics. [launch codename "news deserving score", project codename "Freshness"] We use a number of signals to detect when a new topic is spiking in popularity. This change consolidates some of the signals so we can rely on signals we can compute in realtime, rather than signals that need to be processed offline. This eliminates redundancy in our systems and helps to ensure we can continue to detect spiking topics as quickly as possible.
    Better triggering for Turkish weather search feature. [launch codename "hava"] We've tuned the signals we use to decide when to present Turkish users with the weather search feature. The result is that we're able to provide our users with the weather forecast right on the results page with more frequency and accuracy.
    Visual refresh to account settings page. We completed a visual refresh of the account settings page, making the page more consistent with the rest of our constantly evolving design.
    Panda update. This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.
    Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.
    SafeSearch update. We have updated how we deal with adult content, making it more accurate and robust. Now, irrelevant adult content is less likely to show up for many queries.
    Spam update. In the process of investigating some potential spam, we found and fixed some weaknesses in our spam protections.
    Improved local results. We launched a new system to find results from a user's city more reliably. Now we're better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user.


    And here are a few more changes we've already blogged about separately:
     
  3. azolia

    azolia Junior Member

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    Any1 has been slapped by panda yet ?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. boom1

    boom1 BANNED BANNED

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    couple of big threads on this yesterday
     
  5. KevinA

    KevinA Regular Member

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    One of my sites that has been no.1 for a few months, has dropped down to no.3
    I haven't done any backlinking to it in about a year.

    Not going to make any conclusions yet though, its still way too early to judge.
     
  6. hadeska

    hadeska Newbie

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    yeah,,, sorry i can post the URL source because i can have enough post
     
  7. im4ever

    im4ever Newbie

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    As usual, bhw is a good place to come to during crisis situations like this :)

    I don't think any other forum is so up-to-date with the details.
     
  8. kasumi1488

    kasumi1488 Registered Member

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    I am slapped... From 1st page to 500+ positions....
     
  9. zohail

    zohail Newbie

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    Few months ago I were on page 3 with my keywords, but recently I am on page ten. Panda is really bad for me:(
     
  10. nikao

    nikao Power Member

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    only thing I noticed is that the localization ABSOLUTELY doesn't make any sense!
    I'm getting chinese results ranking #1 and #2 (im searching in english in google.com, from the netherlands)
    Another query returned 2 pages of results from the same site, all for the different domain extensions (domain.in, domain.es, domain.de etc. etc.)
    talking about dominating the serps!
    Maybe we need to grab all domain extensions for our sites?
     
  11. dragonworks

    dragonworks BANNED BANNED

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    This is the biggest slap you ever got.
     
  12. wade32

    wade32 Newbie

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    I'm not that savvy on how the Google algorithm works. I have just recently started a business online, getting articles and backlinks and everything, and just when I think I'm getting to understand how it MAY work, they up and change it! Did anyone get the Google Analytics email about how SEO reports to now reflect the first position of a link to your site, and how they had previously reported the average position of all links to your site? What the heck? I don't even understand what this means...they are turning off a portion of their link evaluation I know that, but will they now choose only one link to your site? Anyone explain this?
     
  13. mariok

    mariok Newbie

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    I lost all rankings on very competitive keywords a week ago I was #5 and #13 for keywords with over 900 million competing pages now they went to the #200 area. Most of my content was spun articles and RSS feeds from yahoo and Google I did recently do a couple of Fiverr gigs for article backlinks and edu and gov links not sure what caused the drop content or the links.
     
  14. marcus528

    marcus528 Regular Member

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    Holly sh*t some people got hit hard, I am going to manually check mine right now. The people that did get hit, what do you think caused it?
     
  15. SaraJ

    SaraJ Junior Member

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    I'm not sure what has caused it. I lost about 2/3rds of my traffic in October and another 2/3rds or so with the recent update thus far.

    I have used systems with "linking pyramids", diversified anchor texts, and really slow link building to the money pages (less than 1 link per day on average). It's effective to get rankings but I always lose rankings with these updates.

    I have added in social traffic from social networking sites, improved time on each page, and added additional features like video/audio but nothing has worked properly.

    My larger sites (100+ pages) and small ones (5 or less pages) all seem to have about the same graph in terms of lost traffic. I have no clue what is going on. :confused:

    Don't lose hope. I do have traffic methods that don't depend on google which accounts for about 20% or so of my traffic. It's not enough to live on at the moment but I think it can grow over time.
     
  16. stressfree

    stressfree Senior Member

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    It's a frustrating game trying to "game G". Just when you thik you have it mastered wham. I hope many have learned it's a long, stressful, unhappy life trying to do this. Move on. Mcdonlads is hiring!
     
  17. ahappynugget

    ahappynugget Registered Member

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    BLAH BLAH BLAH
    obscure reference to what the algorithm really is...
    BLAH BLAH BLAH

    -Signed Google
     
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  18. Ravi546

    Ravi546 Registered Member

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    my site actually went up from 7th to 4th
     
  19. Sacrilege

    Sacrilege Regular Member

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    I have reason to believe that the ranking factor that was eliminated is anchor text. The Google post indicates that they got rid of a "link characteristic". Anchor text would be a prime candidate because in all honesty, anchor text on a "natural" backlink is rarely optimized. It's just something that we do when promoting our websites and Google surely knows this.

    I found evidence for this theory both on my own sites and a rather well-known example:

    If you search G for "Santorum" - you'll notice that his official campaign site is now rank number one, followed by wikipedia. As of one week ago, the "Spreading Santorum" site was number 1 and had been for quite a while. This was a rather famous example of SEO manipulation where a liberal made a smear site and defined Santorum as the "frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex" - this garnered 90,000+ facebook likes and a lot of liberal bloggers bombed it with links using the anchor text "Santorum" to push it to number one. The fact that this dropped in just the past few days supports my theory that anchor text was eliminated as a ranking factor.

    I also noticed that my sites that had natural links without anchor text optimization did not drop or moved up. Among my sites that did have anchor text optimization, a few of them dropped but most remained the same - but my link profiles look pretty natural for the most part.

    Anyway, that's my completely unproven "gut estimate" - would be great if others could corroborate their experiences.
     
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  20. manny521

    manny521 Supreme Member

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    I think your gut estimate is pretty good here. After my site got slapped, I started to very aggressively add more anchor text variation that includes a lot of raw url's...etc...

    I still have not seen any improvement, but its only been 14 days. There is a penalty on my site right now, so I don't think anything I do will bring the site back until the penalty is lifted/expires.

    I have been talking with many people who have been penalized in the past for "unnatural links" and they say usually the penalty will last for 60-90 days.