Google Webspam Algorithm Update Draws Mixed Reviews From Users

    April 26, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google’s Matt Cutts has been talking about leveling the playing field for sites that don’t participate in “over-optimization”. Last month at SXSW, Cutts made something of a pre-announcement about such changes, and it looks like a major part of these efforts is now launching.

According to Danny Sullivan, who spoke directly with Cutts, this is indeed the change Cutts was referring to at SXSW, but that Cutts admits “over-optimization” wasn’t he best way of putting it, because it’s really about webspam, and not white hat SEO techniques.

Cutts himself announced a new algorithm change targeted at webpspam, which he describes as black hat techniques. “We see all sorts of webspam techniques every day, from keyword stuffing to link schemes that attempt to propel sites higher in rankings,” he says.

Link schemes are actually something webmasters have been getting messages from Google about already. The company recently de-indexed paid blog/link networks, and notified webmasters about such links.

“The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines,” says Cutts. “We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.”

Google has kind of sent webmasters mixed signals about search engine optimization. They recently shared some SEO DOs and DON’Ts, specifically talking about some white hat things webmasters can do to help Google rank their content better. And Cutts’ point about not divulging specific signals so people can’t game search results is one the company has stood by for ages. But at the same time, Google does divulge algorithm changes it makes via monthly lists, which seem to dare webmasters to play to certain signals. That’s not to say they’re encouraging the kind of black hat stuff Cutts is talking about here, but doesn’t it kind of say, “Hey, these are some things we’re focusing on; perhaps you should be thinking about these things with your SEO strategy?” Isn’t that encouraging “gaming” to some extent, rather than just telling webmasters not to worry about it?

Of course Google always says not to focus on any one signal, and just focus on making good, quality content. In fact, this new change (as in line with Cutts’ comments at SXSW) indicates that sites shouldn’t have to worry about SEO at all.

“We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all) to be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling web sites,” Cutts says. Emphasis added.

As far as black hat SEO, it’s not as if this is some big change out of the blue. Algorithmically, it’s a change, but Google has always targeted this stuff. There’s a reason Cutts has been the head of webspam. Google has never been shy about penalizing sites violating its quality guidelines. Google even penalized its own Chrome site when some paid linking by the hands of a marketing agency was unearthed.

If you’re engaging in SEO, and Google gets you on black hat tactics, you probably knew what you were doing. You probably knew it was in violation of Google’s guidelines. Of course, that’s assuming Google’s algorithm change does not make any errors. And what are the chances of that happening? Google will be the first to admit that “no algorithm is perfect.” As we saw with the Panda update, there were some sites hit hard, that possibly shouldn’t have been.

So is that happening this time? It’s still early. As far as I can tell, the change hasn’t even finished rolling out. But there are plenty of people already commenting about it.

Others are critical of Google’s search quality in general:

From the comments on Cutts’ announcement:

So far today’s search results are worse than they’ve been for the past month. On one search for a keyword phrase there’s a completely unrelated Wikipedia page, a random Twitter account for some company, and a page from an independent search engine from 1997 showing in the top 10 results. Yeah, that’s the kind of quality user experience we want to see. Way to knock it out of the park.

well now more rubbish results appearing in search than before. more exact domain name match results and unrelated websites . Google failed once again.

so many .info, .co unrelated domains ranked for respected queries. are you sure no mistake in this update?

Surely, whatever these updates are doing, they are not right. Here’s just one example. A search for “ereader comparison chart” brings up “ereadercomparisonchart dot com” on 2nd page of results and it goes “Welcome! This domain was recently registered at namecheap.com. The domain owner may currently be creating a great site for..”
While my site which provided true value to its readers is nowhere to be found.
Please fix this.

there is something wrong with this update . search “viagra” on Google.com 3 edu sites are showing in the first page . is it relevant? matt you failed .

Search Google for a competitive term such as “new shoes” — look who’s #1: Interpretive Simulations – NewShoes – (Intro to Marketing, Marketing Principles). All competitive terms have some youtube videos on the top which aren’t of any good quality even. This is not what is expected of google. Please revert.

These are results have to be a complete joke, so much unrelated content is now surfaced to the top it’s sickening.

That’s just a sampling. There’s more in other forums, of course, such as WebmasterWorld. There is some more talk about exact match domains being hit. User Whitey says:

News just in to me that a large network of destination related exact match domains [ probably 1000+], including many premium ones [ probably 50+], ultra optimized with unique content and only average quality backlinks with perhaps overkill on exact match anchor text, has been hit.

A few of the premium one’s have escaped. Not sure if the deeper long tail network which were exact match have been effected, but they would have had little traffic.

The sites were built for pure ranking purposes, and although largely white hat, didn’t do much beyond what other sites in the category do.

User Haseebnajam says:

Ranking Increase = squidoo, blogspot, forums, subdomains
Ranking Decrease = exact match domains, sites with lots of backlink from spun content sources

User driller41 says:

I am seeing changes in the UK today, most of my affiliate sites are down which is annoying – all are exact match domains btw.

Most of the backlinks are from web2.0 sites with spun content in the downed sites.

One interesting point is that one of the sites which I had built most links to is unafected – the only differnce between this and my downed sites is that I never got around to adding the affiliate outlinks to this website – so google does not know that this site is an affiliate and thus no punishment has been dished out.

We’ll keep digging for more on the Google’s webmspam update.

Update: More on that viagra thing.

The new algorithm change is launching over the next few days, Cutts says, and it will impact 3.1% of queries in English, “to a degree that a regular user might notice.” It affects about 3% of queries in German, Chinese and Arabic, but in “more heavily-spammed languages,” he says. “For example, 5% of Polish queries change to a degree that a regular user might notice.”

  • http://robertclarkmtfs.com Robert Clark

    Google has just plum lost their mind. They are hurting more sites with good content than they are helping because the people who care the most did SEO to keep up with their competitors AND provided great content.

    • Amanda

      This is exactly my thought on the entire thing! Those business owners that CARE not only did SEO but they optimized their site for user experience, great content, and a great all arond business. It seems they are rewarding those that didn’t do anything. We have the highest conversion rate in our industry with a very low bounce rate so our users loved us but apparently, Google doesn’t because we are gone from the SERPS as of yesterday.

      • http://www.it-pathways.com Dre

        I agree, we hire researchers and run algorithms over our own custom database to publish original statistics and articles about our industry. Our competitors produce shallow flowery rubbish and are left alone?

    • Richard

      Absolutely. People who think their website is an important tool for marketing their business have spent both on building a good website and marketing it with SEO and now have been penalised for doing so.

      The only reason why SEO has become so spammy in the first place is because Google have allowed that approach to work for so long, and so, like anything else, it has evolved to fit the most effective method.

      As it is, people who got a £10 brochure website and never thought of it again may now be riding high.

      Yes, they needed to find a way to make SEO evolve away from spam, but this heavy handed approach is ridiculous, especially when they haven’t told people how to get out of the hole they’ve thrown them in.

      • Laura

        Agree 100%. Google has clearly told everyone over the last several years that the secret to ranking high in Google is by acquiring backlinks – thanks to Larry Page and his PageRank bullshit. Google has become a totally defective product and I am washing my hands of using all products from them including Search, Gmail, Analytics, etc. due to the fact that they’ve gotten out of control and can no longer be trusted – which they continue to prove to the public that has supported them all of this time. Enough… As for Matt Cutts; he’s a total f’ing idiot.

        • http://seo-mentoring.ca Reg-NBS-SEO

          Laura, if you had been paying attention to Google’s “memos” you would see that they have been downplaying links for at least 3 years.
          Back in 2009 one of the main Google engineers told us that links, which he said were a major factor in the SERPs indexing, were reduced to “one of over 200 factors”.
          Then they removed the PageRank tool and issued a notice that SEOers should not focus on this metric.

          This STILL was not enough so another Google missive was issued about how links were not an “actionable metric”.

          While this took care of links from a PageRank perspective, it still left the anchor text component of links as a strong factor in determining page content.

          I think this has been turned off as they announced one of their “Link Analysis Functions” has been removed.
          (See http://seo-mentoring.ca/google-turns-link-analysis-function-a-10.html)

          Google is on a major campaign to stamp out link spam.
          Seems they did not like having to declare PR a SERPs failure due to all the link spam.

          For those of you that think Panda is ALL about content, take a look at the linking patterns of the losers and compare them with those of the winners.

          As Josh stated:
          “There is another website which is on the top who has only 7 incoming links from blogs and they are at the top !”
          And this is as it should be.
          The content of the page should not depend on links coming to it.
          Google had to structure itself with links taking a high priority when their text based algos needed help determining relevance.

          They have long since improved these algos to be able to determine relevance to a high degree, without relying on PR.
          In fact, PR itself has changed to be based on relevance ranter than PR numbers. (This was done in the Mayday update.)


    • Gen Eral

      When leaders lead followers follow and confused do sitting duck SEO.

      Sitting duck SEO = Those who hired cheap seo’s who built 1000+ fake forum profiles spam and 10,000+ blog comment spam and 100+ paid links spam on $1999.99 seo package.

    • Josh

      Totally agree Robert ! Exactly, people that do not care about their service will not do SEO or continue to work hard by linking to other websites.

      There is another website which is on the top who has only 7 incoming links from blogs and they are at the top !


      It is years that google said we must try to get links from related content, exactly what I did. Building links..

      The worst thing is that Google now considers the bad links coming to your site. And if you did for example blog commenting and soon, you will be hurt !

      Do you see what I MEAN ? Negative SEO. I tell you: I know this is the temporary solution to outrank its competitors but this absolutely unethical !

      Thank you google. Now to success a website, you only have to create mass amount of spam links linking to your competitor websites and they will fall down. Proof..check history about Dan thies outranked..

    • http://www.computer-adviser.com cossie

      Its about time Google cocked up and this time they have really done it with style, the search results are all over the place and totally inacurate, just about every webmaster i know has been affected for the worse, its odd but the ones that were never affected never had Analytics installed (maybe coincidence)


  • http://cprhowto.com Robert Duncan

    From what I can tell (some of my sites have been hit and some not); that it doesn’t matter what your onpage is, it has to do all with offpage.

    Even further, it doesn’t matter if you submit to link directories, spun content, or whatever as long as you have some high ranking PR links then your site will not be effected.

    If you have a site with lots of crappy links and no high PR links, then your site will disappear.

  • http://www.b7ry.com شات بنات

    Ranking Decrease = exact match domains, sites with lots of backlink from spun content sources
    User driller41 says:
    I am seeing changes in the UK today, most of my affiliate sites are down which is annoying – all are exact match domains btw.
    Most of the backlinks are from web2.0 sites with spun content in the downed sites.
    One interesting point is that one of the sites which I had built most links to is unafected – the only differnce between this and my downed sites is that I never got around to adding the affiliate outlinks to this website – so google does not know that this site is an affiliate and thus no punishment has been dished out.

  • http://www.seocontent.net William Gallahue

    Everyone that’s upset are Black Hat SEOs which means Google did something right. Also the comments you cited are misleading, a search of “new shoes” shows relevant results, not a marketing agency.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      With regards to the “new shows” query, I was just pointing out what people were saying in the comments. It does look from here like “newshoes” brings up the result they mentioned, as opposed to “new shoes”. It still seems odd that Google wouldn’t automatically show results for “new shoes” as it usually does when queries are mistyped.

      Anyhow, I disagree that black hat SEOs are the only people who are upset. I’ve already seen some major issues with Google’s results. See the Viagra example I linked to above. I’m getting ready to post an article about another example.

      These are issues that Google will probably correct, but it’s clear that there is more going on than just Black Hats getting penalized, whether intended or not.

      • http://seo-mentoring.ca Reg-NBS-SEO

        I think that folks are just not aware that they are doing black hat when they link build.

        There is so much talk about how to “appear” organic when link building that people forget that Google is a master at tracking patterns.

        I have a site that gets over 3000 totally organic links a month. I do not do any active marketing other than a mention once or twice a month in relevant forums.

        Since the latest Panda update the organic links have dropped by about 75%.
        Actually, due to the content I think this is appropriate.
        Strangely enough, traffic has not decreased.

    • Richard

      Depends what you mean by black hat. I’ve had a site de-indexed which was only added to some free on-line directories (40 or so), necessary to get on the ladder when all the sites above were using unnatural links of one form or another.

      It’s all very well Matt Cutts saying you should “create amazing, compelling web sites”, but you will find most small businesses (eg plumbers) may not want to run contests and chat on Twitter or have a html5 face talking to you in 3D.

      For a long time, sites with the most begged, borrowed or stolen links have been at the top. This has meant that people have had to copy them to join in the game, and now they are being penalised for that.

      If they can detect spammy links, then Google should have simply removed the value of these links. If people’s link building methods had no effect, they would stop doing it.

      Hitting these sites with a penalty is simply going to create the idea of negative SEO becomming real.

      As it is, I’m sure the algorithm isn’t going to detect paid links, so it’s just going to put the price of SEO up, and make it even harder for the smaller companies to do well.

  • http://academicplagiarism.com Ray

    To me, this recent update functions like an antibiotic, killing bad organisms, but also destroying some good and healthy ones in the process. In theory, this is fine, but there is a dark side behind this called negative SEO. Perfectly legitimate businesses are getting wiped off the search results because of unethical practices from competitors. In other words, simply blast a competitor’s site with spam and watch it slowly drown into the abyss. Google’s response to that is “regardless of who made the spammy links, your site is in violation of blabla”. This is plain immoral and quite unethical.

  • Matthew

    “Don’t be such a Hypocrite”

    Google are so stupid if they really think they are levelling the playing field? More like giving the big named brands and those shoddy “I’m a shop but I pose as a wiki style site just to please google” sites the top spots and pushing legitimate cleanly designed genuine stores off the face of the internet.

    If anything they are not interested in levelling the playing field what they really want is simply to push small internet based stores into using Adwords. I think they need to take a good hard look in the mirror and member that phrase they once used; “Don’t be evil”.

    These are the sites that Google stupidly favour:

    Big Brand Names
    Wiki Sites
    Information Sites

    These are the sites google wants to be paying for Adwords:

    Big Brand Names
    Internet stores
    Small businesses

  • Matthew

    Bing is Beautiful http://www.bing.com/

    • Ryan Holmes

      @Matthew, I 100% agree, they’re getting very greedy and loosing the plot, as you say they just want everyone who’s selling anything online to be using Adwords, they know that Apple, Nike, Microsoft, all the big brands already pay and always will pay for Adwords, but whats $2 a click to a company that has more money than half the countries in Europe?

      They now want every Tom Dick and Harry struggling to get by to start feeding them more and more money. I can see the price of cost per click rising rapidly over the next 12 months as small businesses and companies strive to compete, left with no other options.

      It’s time for a new search engine to rise out of this.

  • Nic

    For a long time all it took was hard work to get a good ranking in google but now I think they’re seeing that as a missed opportunity to sell ad space, so that’s why were seeing these changes. They want people to buy their way to the top of the rankings.

  • http://twitter.com/parveshsareen Parvesh Sareen

    Really an unacceptable behavior by Google Search team. It has resulted into more bad rather than being little good if i take into consideration the Google statement “and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users … ”
    Well what more worst is for a user if getting such results for the queries , they are searching for.
    It really was not expected.

  • Matt

    I have some seriously good ideas for a new search engine that would actually level the playing field and wouldn’t be driven by marketing revenue greed in anyway.

  • http://www.wedgeim.com calgary internet marketing

    This is like the USA Bombing entire neighborhoods killing civilians and children to get rid of a few terrorists ….good job Google…FAIL Matt Cutts.

  • Jen Smith

    Go to google .com type in ‘Make Money Online’ (without the quotation marks), the top site, NUMBER FRIGGIN 1 SPOT is a blank site called ‘makemoneyforbeginners’

    Yeah well done Google truly compelling content.

    Greedy Google wants its Adwords money!

  • Alex

    This update was a total failure, I think google understands this. Matt Cutts will be fired one day, and who knows, maybe today. 😉

  • http://www.google.com Google

    Sorry folks, You want to run your business through organic results. That will not work any more.

    Pay for adwords and you will be in the first page,

    Even if you have a crappy, keyword stuffed, horrid user experience websites.

    * Honestly crappy results

  • Confused by Google

    I thought this update was to combat webspam. It seems to only benefit webspam so far. If you visit some Black Hat forums you’ll see plenty of people bragging about ranking increases for sites they built back links to using only Black Hat/automated methods. Or maybe their on-page content is good, so spammy BLs don’t matter. It’s unfortunate, because their other recent updates had already done a great job of cleaning up search results.

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    • Richard

      Yup, and plenty of blackhats on those forums considering bringing down their rivals with spam. Way to go Google!

      • Confused by Google

        That sucks if they do! Although there’s always been talk about it for a while on such forums (even if you’re a die-hard white hatter, you should read and keep up with the darker side, it’s better to know than live in ignorance). Normally the Black Hatters are crying at each update.

  • http://www.google.com Google


    search engine

    even google does not rank first.

    • Confused by Google

      LOL that’s bad!

      Google US (I searched with pws=0&gl=us) search results has http://www.google.com/cse/ at #9. And Google UK has http://www.google.co.uk/ at #4 (gl=uk&pws=0).

      No idea what their rankings were before.

    • http://www.replica-sunglasses.co.uk/mens-sunglasses/ Lisa

      WOW that’s interesting. Google doesn’t rank even for its own result “search engine”

  • http://www.geektipsformarketers.com Daniel Deyette

    We all saw this coming indeed, but the real question is – will this unburry or bring more traffic to those of us who’ve been playing by the book all along. I’ve been seeing quite the stir in the spam forums so they definitely hit their mark.

  • http://makemoneyonlinegetstarted.blogspot.in Javed Shaikh (make money online)

    I did areal hard work to write an article and with keyword research and all the things to write a great content, within 2 days i was ranking on the first page for my selected keyword it was there for almost there for months but now its nowhere,
    I was so pissed of i deleted the entire profile

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steve G

    My rankings have improved slightly from when Panda had hit them a bit before. We dropped about 90% of our traffic, as did a lot of other sites. I’m thinking that since I’m not spamming the internet with links to my site and a lot of other sites are, then really I’m not necessarily climbing, but a lot of sites are falling. At least that would explain the extra boost it seems some of my sites have been given. We’ve been taking a fine tooth comb to our pages and fixing all these little problems and were seeing an increase in our rankings from that before this algorithm update. I think the path that Google is on is going to be systemic because of all of the noise beyond that of matching a query to a page and some user behavior stats of the performance of those pages matter, but the rest can go. This personalization is all wrong. Google needs to let me configure it how I want it to be. That way it’s guaranteed to be personalized because I told it how to personalize my searches to me. Let me choose if I want videos to be included or not in my search. I realize this will help Google learn more about me, but in return I’m able to see things that are more tailored for me from Google. When I heard search was going to be more personalized, I envisioned Google letting me take more control over my search. All I got was another bot trying to learn from my behaviors and a lot of junk results in my searches. Google can do so much better. I’ve seen their API’s and what people can do with them and how the teams over at Google create such wonderful things with them and push themselves to improve upon them and even add new features. Wonderful stuff.

    And whenever Matt Cutts gives a percentage based “How many queries will this affect” response we’re still talking about billions of queries. I want to know of the top million queries how many will any algorithm affect percentage wise, not of all queries, just the ones that could actually matter.

  • http://lookclassifieds.com.au Australia

    I have read almost articles regarding to Google webspam Algorithm. I have strong felling that google want to kill seo for more promote google ad-words networks. One hand google say that used googlw webmaster tool for site and other side said even no search engine optimization. If you want to stop seo then why need google webmaster tool. thanks

  • http://surfographie.com Stephen

    Google is driving everybody nuts,including me, my website does well and the next day not…

  • John

    My site is very nice and my visitors often compliment. Good unique content with images. Nothing spun nor keyword stuffing or anything. Followed the rules 100%. Now moved 6 pages down for most keywords. Here is why I know Google cannot do anything right at the moment.

    1) All my competitor who has not updated their site for more than 1 and sometimes 2 years are still on page 1

    2) Competitor who has white text on white background are still on page 1 and no navigation menu.

    3) Competitor with only 10 post, no update for 1 year and 600 backlinks from an irrelevant (which happens to be a SEO site) site is still on page 1

    4) Competitor with lots of BAD backlinks and only 4 pages with less than 300 words on each page but still has 3 Adsense ads on are on page 1

    5) Competitor using “dirty” redirect is still on page 1

    6) Number on page one has a metadescription with only keywords

    Hmmm So lets see. I get pushed down 6 pages with more than 100 quality pages/post which you do not only need to take my word for as my bounce rate is less than 6% and page visits is 5.44 and 45% is returning visitors.

    I am been angry that these outdated competitor using all kind of dirty tricks has been above me. I was hoping Google would fix it but no. They pushed me down instead. I honestly mean it when I say this. The visitor/searcher is not getting a good experience with the current Google algo or even the old one. I want change but this actually made it worse. 

  • http://matrix7i.com Jyoti Pani

    This update sucks to the core….another example of how bad the google engineers are. My grandma with a programming for dummies could have done better than that. I mean seriously google pays top dollar to its software devs and in the end they churn out such horrible code. This update was aimed at beating spam i think the engineers got it all wrong. I see more spam than ever…..And matt cutts not to mention the face of google has till now not said anything about the update. I think he should come up and clarify the situation….

    google.com – The spam search engine

  • http://carissued.com/ Badboys

    Google is a business they care their business not you. google is more like shit now !

  • http://EarningFreeMoney.com Louida

    My website dropped from search engine yesterday and now I’m pissed! I’ve worked hard on my website and never cheated to be #1 on search results and now I feel like I’m being punished for it! Now when I make searches on Google, what’s #1 is pure spam websites. Google needs to fix this and fix it soon, I’m now losing money because of this!

  • Michael

    One of my client’s website’s has gained 20% in organic search volume each quarter…in Bing, with no change in rankings. Could this be indicative of more people utilizing Bing? I sure hope so. I know that I, for one, have changed my homepage to Bing.

    I’m actually pleasantly surprised at the quality of SERP’s Bing returns and I’m kind of embarrassed I didn’t make the switch earlier. I think Google is banking on the fact that many people are creatures of habit and won’t abandon their brand out of either sheer laziness or convenience.

  • http://seed-bank-reviews.com Seed Bank Reviews

    So pretty much we need to do our best to NOT optimize our websites now? I wonder how this is affecting companies like submitedge and the like. Their clients ranking is odds are in the tank because while they provide white hat methods I am pretty sure google is gunna call that a link scheme or overly optimized.

    complete b.s. is my thoughts on it BUT some of my sites that I don’t even work on went UP UP UP due to this however the sites that I actively write unique content for went POOF.

    O well.

  • Laurel

    Well, What Google has to understand here is that, there are people put there who’s income depends mainly on website traffic.

    I cant believe google is playing with the income of these people making some freaking algo changes good for nothing. I am sure more than 80% of the users as well as the website owners are disappointed with this.

    Google better fix it, Facebook is waiting for one such mistake of yours.

  • Marcus

    For all this time to get the top of google you had to have alot of backlinks, sites with the most backlinks were at the top giving the rest of us two choices, build backlinks (FROM RELATED SITES) or remain at the back of the bus!

    So if you wanted to be seen you had little choice but to build legit backlinks, which I did for all my clients. Overnight most of them have vanished and my income has gone, so now im going to lose my house and my kids will have no where to live. Nice work Matt! If you think about it logically the people who put the most work into thier SEO probably had the best sites! Now all I see is awful looking NON W3C compliant websites that look like they should be from the 90’s! If you wanted to clean up the web google why don’t you go after the poorly coded sites that don’t conform to the W3C, At least you will know the W3C site will render properly across all browsers thus improving a users experaince. Total joke, my family is screwed!!!

    • http://seo-mentoring.ca Reg-NBS-SEO

      Marcus, that is not true unless you completely failed to understand what Google wanted.

      Top listings are built from onpage factors and not off page.
      Google has seen to it that PageRank has no visible effect on SERPs.

      The last remnant of linking power, anchor text, has been turned off.

      Now all I see is awful looking NON W3C compliant websites that look like they should be from the 90’s!

      You mean sites that turned up in top positions because PageRank was not being gamed?

      A site does not need to conform to W3C. It only has to display well cross browser.


  • Beverly

    So far, I notice that my site’s ranking for my keywords has fluctuated but not by much, BUT, my traffic stats have mysteriously lowered by a scary percentage. I’m trying to comprehend how my keyword ranking has remained within the same range, a few going down the page, but still on page 1 and 2, but such a dip in the number of new visitors to the site. This past Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, I had an increasing amount of new visitors, yesterday I was down to 30%, and today’s traffic is even more slugglish; but I cannot find where my rankings have changed drastically, and therefore I don’t understand the dip in traffic? All my SEO is white hat, I don’t do a lot of aggressive linking, always slow and quality and my site has a lot of high quality content. Does anyone have any idea how your keywords (including long-tail) could be in tact but the traffic is so slow. And it has to be the algo change because everything changed yesterday…..

    • Marcus

      Reg-NBS-SEO, dude….

      you said “Top listings are built from onpage factors and not off page”

      Yet you leave a nice backlink for your own site on this *relevant* thread? This is a joke right?

    • Marcus

      Reg-NBS-SEO, dude….

      you said “Top listings are built from onpage factors and not off page”

      Yet you leave a nice backlink for your own site on this *relevant* thread? This is a joke right?

  • http://landscapelightingideas.org Jesse

    Going on the 3rd day of this “update” and results are terrible, both for search and my sites. All of my 3 dozen sites have lost a lot of ground in the SERPs. Done all the things Google says we must do to provide a “good user experience, and then we get this. Just pitiful and pathetic.

    I hope Bing gets a big boost out of this fiasco. Google is too big and powerful and needs to be brought down. What’s ironic is that Google’s demise might be its own fault.

  • http://Www.ehomeservices.com.sg Elvin

    We always try our best to provide best content for
    Our users and ways delivering best service and value to our customers.

    It is a pity we got hit this time.
    Looks like many of our employees will be out of the company soon looking for new jobs.

    Go and try the search results.
    It is displaying many sites that are irrelevant and also are very small. Imagine a spike of enquiries from these company and they cannot handle the traffic and strong company like us who has many employees are hit with no business out of a sudden.

    Many people will be out of business.
    Many so called lucky site cannot deliver the service
    Google will lose its audience.

    It is very stressful and it is a nightmare!

    So much hard work all gone.
    I certainly believed that everyone of us here are hardworking people going the extra miles for our customers. Really disappointing.

    Looks like the economic will go down soon.
    It is a pity the giant sneeze and we are out of business.

  • dynamind

    there’s just one problem I see and google needs to proof it’s just a collateral damage: it’s rather forbidden to release public relations nor marketing your products & services in other ways than adwords.

  • http://www.euro-traveller.com Malcolm

    Last week the above web site had it’s keyword phrases in the top ten. This week they have disappeared entirely. I have had this site for long time – over ten years and as I have changed so my business has changed so a lot of the links are not relevant to what I do now.
    Last year I put a new site up with a more relevant name both sites are listed in DMOZ and have page ranks of 3. Both sites have the same content could it appear that I have ‘disappeared’ because I have two sites with the same content – it would all seem a bit drastic on the part of google

  • James

    Negative seo and more spammy search results are rising in a massive way. How could this not have been thought about before making such a change? Penalties for unnatural links is really, really dumb, it’s backfiring in a massive way. And the search results are better now? Well! Bing, Yahoo etc, what an opportunity they have to capitalize on some market share. I mean, Buzzle articles appearing on page one over previously listed quality sites. For real?

  • http://www.jaynekopp.com Jayne Kopp

    I’ve noticed some major differences in my readership, particularly yesterday.

    I’m not a guru, not hugely into SEO and don’t build backlinks … much, but with that said, I get a ‘decent’ amount of traffic to my site daily but yesterday and today it’s sucked royally.

    Has there been another change on Googles end again… as in yeserday?

    As someone said above, adwords is crazy expensive now and half the ads are not even relevant to the keywords they are targeting. It seems to me that Google is being unreasonable on one end and hurting decent sites… allowing magazine listings and much of the same to occupy the first page… and letting anyone and their dog advertise on adwords… providing they pay through the nose.

    I know in the past I used adwords and could get many words for under 50 cents per click, now these same words are in come cases over $8.



  • http://www.change.org/petitions/google-please-kill-your-penguin-update-l John Dorpish

    Calling all Webmasters!!!

    A petition to Google has begun on Change.org to reverse it’s recent Penguin update. This change has forced out independent publishers and limited access to information. Additionally, it has destroyed the livelihood of several small-mid-sized publishers, and boosted the rankings of multi-million dollar publishing platforms like eHow, Amazon, WikiHow and Yahoo Answers.

    Please protect independent publishers ability to be found in search. Do your part and sign this petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/google-please-kill-your-penguin-update-l

  • alexander

    There is no update of algorithm , it is just a huge problem with data-centers , a huge failure of data-centers databases, they just louse allot of data , there is no update guys.

  • Josh

    The proof of NEGATIVE SEO IS HERE:

    Send it to Google this will broke a fair competition.

  • http://www.hiskingdomprophecy.com Angus MacKillop

    After approx 1.5 days of the new Google algorithm my total visitors are down 15+% while percentage of return visitors has changed +7%.

  • Michael

    So what if a competitor decides to build some nasty blog network links or other links over a monthly period to a whitehat website, do you think Google will overlook that???

  • http://www.historyofthecellphone.com John

    I have a site that I set up back in 2005. Over the years I have gradually added content and backlinks to the site. Up until a few days ago, the site was on page 1 of Google for a few relevant search terms – a position that it had held for about five years. Now, it’s on page 6. A good site that offered useful content is now nowhere to be seen. Well done Google – that’s real progress !!

  • chipzy

    This is all about Google Shopping results pulling in the dollars for Investors. After all, it obviously targeted all domains with affiliate links, in the so called “Webspam April update”. Whether you are using nofollow, or blocking directories in robots.txt to redirect affiliate links, Googlebots will discover. If you monetise your website loosing your rankings makes more money for Google; who have become INCREASINGLY SAVVY on showing more product shopping results (now with images), pushing down organic listings further. Way back Google shopping results where product names, now most long tail searches have shopping results. It is as if, for all searches, you get Wikipedia or G’ shopping results to buy stuff.

    In a nutshell, it is stealth Google TAX. If your website is there to make money, buy Adwords or f’off. My parked domains are on page one today… useless, someone should get fired.

  • http://www.mind-expanding-techniques.com Socrates

    Probably my site identified as webspam… My traffic went down from 500+ per day to 80. Everything written in it is genuine written from me. I have bleed to write these articles and to build traffic in this site. I used to get positive feedback nearly every day from my visitors just before this f..ing update which vanished my site from the SERPS.

    This isn’t good, this is an epic google failure! So much work and time got lost in just one night… 24 April is the death of my existence as a webmaster. Congratulations google! You did great…

  • http://www.dollardealshopping.com Dollardeals

    Once again the almighty is streching their muscles “google”. Remember we are humans and get bored when things are going normal and nothing is broken. So we start to tinkle with things thinking we are making it better when in fact we are just making things worse. As the old saying goes if it aint broken leave it alone. Also one thing that is soooo true about people; the most inteligent are usually the most stupid, like a horse that only see’s forward and not what’s going on around them. These are googles dev. team. Just like this great country is falling I think it’s google turn to start falling and the new dominant players will eventually step up.

  • Robert Andrews

    Terrible Search Results! Great sites with good content have disappeared altogether:( People are out of business OVERNIGHT and they did absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever. I’m switching to BING!

  • http://www.awesomemedical.com Richard Bonn

    I would compare this to “New Coke”. Has Matt Cutts and Google lost their minds?

  • http://seventhman.com/ Shaleen Shah

    Thanks for sharing this update and I’ll definitely keep an eye out. Looks like things got messier this time? I hope I’m wrong. There will always be folks who will try to game the system and in the end, the decision will lie with you – smart consumers. Stay vigilant!

  • Bill

    The following my is opinion only…please consider your own course of action appropriately.

    Possible courses of action if you have been negatively affected by Penguin and believe that unfair business practices are taking place.

    1. Remove Google Ads from your website – if your site is black hat enough to be penalized why is it still white hat enough to retain Google ads.

    2. Contact the FTC with examples of poor search results.

    3. Contact state government officials explaining loss of business and investment in their state.

  • http://www.freeminutescall.com Callie

    All of my blogs badly affected, my traffic 90% dropped but still i’m trying to find the reason. My finding results seems to be I should sit in the corner and should do nothing on my site, then maybe after two years I could meet this panda update requirement. Otherwise I’m not sure what to do.

  • http://www.encountersnepal.com Rishi Pd Nepal

    hi web master
    so how to search engine optimized? google panda 3.5 crawl all data entry was spam
    please let me know

  • http://banat-masr.com/ شات بنات مصر

    After approx 1.5 days of the new Google algorithm my total visitors are down 15+% while percentage of return visitors has changed +7%.