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Google Panda Update: Antitrust Connections Being Tossed Around

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Google Panda Update: Antitrust Connections Being Tossed Around
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Ah, the Google Panda update. The search story of the year. It just won’t leave the news will it?

As recently reported, Google could be facing a massive fine over antitrust complaints in Europe. The European Commission is expected to issue Google a 400-page document talking about its alleged “abuse of dominance.”

While in my opinion, it may be a bit of a stretch, a new Guardian article is drawing a connection from this to the Panda update. The piece talks about an Irritable Bowel Syndrome site that was hit by Panda back in February, and then jumps to:

Any day now, the European commission is expected to announce whether it will formally object to what some see as Google’s abuse of its power in the way that it treats smaller sites that offer the same sorts of services as it does.

If that happens, Google could be forced to comply with strictures on the way it treats rival sites offering particular sorts of search – for news, products, maps, shopping, images or videos – rather than pushing its own on the site. Alternatively, it could face fines of millions of pounds.

The piece goes on to quote Adam Raff, co-founder of Foundem, a vertical search engine who has filed a complaint against Google:

“Panda is a collection of disparate updates,” Raff says. She says that though panda was widely touted as an attack on content farms, “it also marks an aggressive escalation of Google’s war on rival vertical search services. First, vertical search services are in many ways the polar opposite of content farms” – because they link to multiple different sites, rather than containing content on one site.

…

“Panda wasn’t just deployed in the midst of these investigations; we suggest that it was deployed in direct response to them. By bundling these diametrically opposed updates together, the ‘content farm’ elements could be viewed as providing cover for the vertical search targeted elements.”

I guess that’s one point of view.

While on the topic of Panda, a WebmasterWorld member (Content_ed) has an interesting story up about moving his good content from a Panda hit site to a site that was actually boosted by Panda.

“I moved a half dozen pages that were drawing a few hundred visitors a day from Google on my Pandalized (down 80%) site to my Panda pleased (up over 300%) site this weekend,” he says. “It took a little over 24 hours for Google to start indexing the pages on the new site so I’m not sure if Monday results represent a full day. Of the half dozen pages, three were slightly above their pre-Panda level (year-over-year) on Monday, and three were around 20% under. The average Google traffic for the six pages Monday was around 250 visitors each.”

It’s something to cosider, given HubPages’ strategy of subdomaining to separate out the better stuff.

WebmasterWorld moderator Tedster had the following response to Content_ed’s post: “A lot may depend on the number of pages that each site contains. If you moved half a dozen pages to a domain that contains hundreds or thousands of other pages, you may see no changes with future Panda iterations. There’s also a chance, since Panda has a site-wide influence, that these pages were not the source of the Panda problem on their original domain. In which case, you made an excellent move.”

With that, I’ll leave you with an infographic about Panda from Cognitive SEO:

Google Panda Update: Antitrust Connections Being Tossed Around
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  • Matt

    “WebmasterWorld moderator Tedster had the following response”

    Does not make it true.

    Judging by what Eric Schmidt has said and Google’s manual rater Panda was done so small sites are all but removed from top spots and replaced with adword-paying brands. It appears that the rater program is designed to catch non-brands and non-desired-by-Google sites that escaped the algo, even if they are useful. As example, CityHotel.com type of sites that are in direct competition with Google’s latest product are to be marked as spam according to Matt Cutt’s leaked guidelines (see them at PottpieGirl,) even if they are good for the users.

    I search for stuff to buy and almost all page #1 results also have ads. Google earnings went through the roof after Panda too. Google is trying to steal from all sides, and now they have started to eat their tail.

    • Rick

      Calling B.S. on your comment – you can make anything look construed based on perspective. Just another sour grapes webmaster.

      • BS detector

        I’m calling BS on most of your comments Rick Bucich, you always seem to support Google…blindly. You owe me 15 minutes for having searched and scanned your comments on Google issues.

        Does G help you in SE rankings for being their professional defender?

  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    I’d like to hear Eric Schmidt explain the quarterly reports issued after Panda was launched that show clearly that Adsense revenue was up, but 3rd party publisher share in that revenue went down. I can explain it easily when you consider that many advertisers that were using contextual ads simply moved to search based ads, which in turn drove up the price of search ads versus contextual ads of the same exact keywords. I mean why wouldn’t you if your ad traffic suddenly dropped because the sites that you were relying on displaying your ads suddenly were not sending as much traffic anymore due to them not receiving as much traffic from Google.

  • http://www.flighthouseuk.com/flights/africa/capetown Flights to Capetown

    That’s really useful information . Can you tell me about panda’s official website where I can read updates ? Thanks

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