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EzineArticles Hit By Google Panda Update Again

Quality adjustments apparently not enough so far

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EzineArticles Hit By Google Panda Update Again
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EzineArticles was one of the sites impacted the hardest by Google’s Panda update in the U.S. back in February. As we said back then, once Google expanded the update into other countries, the sites that saw their traffic drop off would be in for an even bigger shock.

Data out now from both SearchMetrics and Sistrix seems to confirm that EzineArticles was indeed hit yet again. SearchMetrics, looking at UK search data has EzineArticles with a drop in search visibility of as much as 93.69%. Sistrix, looking at Europe, has the site as its number 2 loser with a change of -78%.

Shortly after the initial U.S. Panda update rolled out, EzineArticles CEO Chris Knight discussed it on the company blog, and started laying down some guidelines for moving forward – aimed at increasing quality of content.

Changes included: reducing the number of article submissions accepted by over 10% – articles that “are not unique enough”, no longer accepting article submissions through a WordPress Plugin, a reduction in the number of ads per page, raising the minimum article word count to 400, “raising the bar” on keyword density limits, removing articles considered “thin and spammy”, putting greater focus on rejection of advertorial articles, and submitted articles required to be exclusive to the submitter.

In early March, Knight told us, “Beyond what we shared in the blog/twitter, we’re going to return to not sharing specifics on our traffic or ranking.”

Knight did post an update on the blog in late March, saying they lost between ten and thirty-five percent of traffic. “This update went after ‘thin content’,” he said. “This is low-quality derivative content. In fact, we agree with Google on this update, and we’ve made sweeping changes to our quality review system – our editorial guidelines our internal processes.”

EzineArticles has been quiet about the new update so far. No new blog posts or tweets referencing it. They are still pushing the quality message, however. Here are the latest tweets from the EzineArticles Team:

Search for the crossroads between your interests & what your readers want. Your writing will never get “stuck” when these things intersect. 1 day ago via HootSuite · powered by @socialditto

An article title is a promise/commitment to your readers. How are you delivering on those promises? http://is.gd/jf4C6R 19 hours ago via HootSuite · powered by @socialditto

It’s worth noting, that in addition to just rolling out the same update from the U.S. to other countries, Google has made some adjustments in the U.S. as well. These new adjustments affect about 2% of queries, according to Google. They include the use of Google’s recently launched domain-blocking feature (in “high-confidence” situations).

So, in other words, if enough people have blocked EzineArticles from their search results, it is possible that Google is taking that into account. We’ve speculated that this has happened to Demand Media’s eHow property, which survived the initial Panda update, but is on the new lists from SearchMetrics and Sistrix.

Clear winners in this round of the update (based on data from SearchMetrics) are several Google properties and their competitors, as well as video sites, news sites and blogs, and even a few porn sites.

EzineArticles Hit By Google Panda Update Again
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  • http://www.orlandoescape.com Marie

    What I don’t understand is how come spam websites have come out to the top after the panda update.

  • http://technorati.com/people/mircoshields Mirco Shields

    @Marie,

    What I think about why spam websites have come out to the top after this update is that, the update itself is on the level of tweaking existing conditions on the algorithm and adding some more for extra filter, and is away from human intervention, like actual human reviewing each of the sites in the ranks. Given that, we can assume that those spam websites have, in a way, satisfied the conditions and escaped the filter, making them appear at the top.

    Let me just add that I have good experience with quality content and that those low-quality contents won’t endure forever as people that would notice them on the ranks have the choice to report them as spam, which I think why Google laid out the domain-blocking feature.

  • http://www.webhostingsites.com/ Yogesh

    EzineArticles has been slapped hard just like the web directories which were slapped 3 years back by Google. Do know what is the end of Google?

  • http://www.searchengineoptimizationjournal.com Nick Stamoulis

    Was EzineArticles the only site to get hit a second time around? I’d like to know if other sites, big and small, that got swept up in the Panda update the first time around took a second hit. And how did porn sites come out on top?

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Many of the sites that got hit the first time got hit again.

  • http://www.feelfree.co Guest

    The update helped FeelFree.co.. traffic is like +500% after the update.. Thanks to uncle Google

  • http://www.lovetonic.net what is love

    so this is why then,in past when we search for articles ezine appears at first page.now its gone!i dont think Ezine spames,its really hard to post a low quality article at Ezine