The ProductWiki page moves from rank 5 to 9 being beaten out by eHow and Scribd.
The ProductWiki page contains more than a dozen reviews and a slew of comments/discussions.
Seems like we got hit as a "low quality" site while scribd and eHow didn't. Amazing.
I present another example "HP 2310m"
Major differences are that other than the CNET review the new listings are completely dominated by retailers. All the way to page 3. Compare that with the old listings where you see a mix of retailers and other product-centric sites (review sites and forums specifically).
The other major difference is the presence of a Google Products "One Box" in the new listing. I saw this in other examples as well where the Google Products section shows up a lot more often. And product centric sites are being dinged.
I'm seeing us (ProductWiki) and sites in the same space (Retrevo and TestFreaks) have been dinged. The difference between us and those other two sites is that we have unique original content from our community. Traditionally this has served us well by getting better rankings usually (we follow the make a good site and Google will reward you philosophy), but it seems like we're being lumped in with those guys now.
From an optics standpoint this really doesn't look good. Shut out the product listing sites and start promoting Google's own product listings a lot more aggressively.
Everyone seems a winner if they do this, so it seems strange they may have gone in the other direction.
Also, what's the mcdonalds coupon string in there for?
It used to be like 2 or 3 pages down below a bunch of content farms, very glad about this.
Edit: Actually, now I'm number 4 for philadelphia and number 1 for Philly, still pretty happy though.
We launched our music start-up(now dead) and it was getting few k uniques/day. Then overnight we start seeing thousands of visitors from Thailand. And each day--literally--the number would increase by a few grand. Turns out YouTube was blocked in Thailand and we were getting a good chunk of YouTube's traffic from Google. Eventually YouTube was unblocked(six mos later) and our traffic flat-lined.
Anyway, here's the downward movement since the algo started rolling out:
http://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+build+a+robot+from+scr... (-1 ranking)
So while this may have hit eHow to some degree, 4/164 doesn't seem like a massacre. That said, seoMoz only updates rankings weekly, so maybe next Wednesday will be a different story.
ReviewGist page moves from rank 1 to 5.
ReviewGist listing might not have original content but it is the most relevant and accurate. Every other page lists the best cameras under $300 for the previous years, from 2008 to 2010. Only ReviewGist page has the cameras that you should buy right now for under $300 as we update our lists every week. Ask any shop keeper who knows the latest models and they will agree with ReviewGist recommendations more than any of the sites listed from 1 to 5.
What has been troublesome over the last two years is not so much that Google seemed to look the other way (until now), but that larger media companies like AOL and Yahoo were turning to this kind of behavior as a "viable" strategy for the future. It's amazing how many people will work for very, very little an hour writing garbage as opposed to minimum wage with possible tips at a restaurant. The allure of easy money has corrupted people's incentive from the top to the very bottom.
For once I see an actual way to compete with Google. Bing could outright ban sites that produce garbage and make their search results look pretty good by comparison. The question is whether Microsoft is willing to drop the pretense of objectivity to do so. Would users care? Would advertisers?
many outdated sites are on 1st page for other terms
5: java2s.com (terrible. no content, huge ads. Thank you, flashblock)
6: tutorialspoint.com (w3schools-like. Borderline content farm)
7: stackoverflow.com (pretty relevant, good result)
8: diveintopython.org (should be the first non-python.org result)
9: diveintopython3.org (good)
10: oreilly.com (sample chapter for "Learning Python", excellent)
So, 1-4 are python.org, results 5-6 blow, and 7-10 are superb and should be nearer the top. Not a bad performance, but not perfect.
Compare to DDG:
1. An extract from a StackOverflow answer showing how to split a string into a list in python. It uses tokenize and isn't exactly what was being asked, but good.
2. python.org - A single result
3. Stackoverflow answer (a better answer)
4. java2s (urgh)
5. A shitty mailing list archive page from the dev group
6. Another mailing list archive
7. A good tutorial, should be second result
8. A forum thread that is outdated
9. Wikibooks - a good answer, should be further up
Not one result in any search engine links directly to the str split() entry in the official docs.
 Pages like this should be purged from all search engines, I hate finding them: http://bytes.com/topic/python/answers/473717-string-split
We've been trying a lot harder to get those into 0-click, but it doesn't show up yet when you put string in the middle.
ie. "python how to split", "split string python", "str split python" should all = "split python"
Did you see the wikibooks result? That was excellent, I didn't even know about it. Would it be possible to highlight that in the same way stackexchange is?
Those mailing list archive results are a real pain, they only have the answer <1% of the time and are hard to read.
DDG is awesome - it has been my default browser for a little while now. Can I just add one suggestion - put the 'make default browser search' somewhere on your homepage after detecting the user browser? I remember it took me 10+ clicks and links to work out how to make DDG default in Chrome.
Noted on the other results and thx for analyzing it so deeply. That realy helps.
There is an 'Add to Chrome' on the homepage, but it goes away after you click on it. Unfortunately, Chrome doesn't make it easy to switch providers. I wrote this up here (about 5 major browsers): http://ye.gg/addto
roseindia is still around though.its contents are usually a rewritten form of javadocs. and its like the epitome of horrible UI.
Does the algorithm update also apply to Google News?
Well, unless you count some of the badly Photoshopped pictures they've released.... See http://www.psdisasters.com/search/label/Daily%20Fail if you don't know what I mean.
But of course that is relative to the observer.
Edit to add:
Let me quantify "dominated" for you. Here's the top ten sites BCC ads show on -- all stats 2/1/11 ~ 2/25/11:
Of the ones not marked as content farms or outright spam, 2 (maybe 2.5) are sites I'd be happy to have my mother visit, and the other ones are ad-filled monstrosities whose sole saving grace is that they are not MFA spam or content farms.
Sadly, all of these are quite profitable for me. cries
* Wanted to find something like BCC, ended up on those sites and saw your add.
* Wound up on those sites, saw your ad and said "oh, now that you mention it..."
In other words, is that site putting itself between you and your customers, or is it actually attracting people that might not have otherwise bothered?
Somehow, that just seems wrong.
"Tanks" is just a superfluous term that makes it seem like I personally have it out for them, when in actuality that's not the case. As an SEO, though, they (and other content farms) do compete with many of the websites I work on, so I am glad that they have dipped - although I have no particular ill will against them.
It is mostly pension and mutual funds that make up the shareholding. There aren't even any dedicated analysts on DMD atm.
It helps them that Google didn't mention any companies by name when referring to low-quality content and farms.
Anyone here willing to admit they've done this?
I'm asking because I'm a college student and don't have much money, but an opportunity like this looks good.
Buuut I also don't know enough about the market to feel comfortable making a bet like this. My main concern is if people who trade stock often can set their shorts and sell extremely early (maybe minutes after the market opens) leaving the average trader only able to buy shares once the price has fallen too far for a short to be a good strategy.
I poked around on Google but it would also be great to hear what people here think.
Same query after the update (Mahalo at #7):
Check out his response to the question: What happens if the company you’re most synergistic with turns you off? Is that something you think about? Do you have to make sure you have other revenue that isn’t reliant on this synergy with Google?
"That could happen but it would be against their best interest and the consumer’s best interest. It’s kind of like Zynga just got a $9 billion valuation. Facebook could turn them off at any time. The iPhone could have been turned off by Verizon or AT&T (NYSE: T). There are a lot of synergistic partnerships that make sense for both parties that last a very long time.
We are diversifying our traffic because the internet is moving that way. We’re aggressively focusing on diversifying traffic. We had 100,000 individual eHow articles receive traffic in December alone just from Facebook. We receive traffic from Twitter. We receive traffic from Digg. We receive traffic from all across the web. We receive direct traffic and traffic from apps like Livestrong. We are naturally diversifying our revenues—not because we’re afraid of Google but because that’s where people are spending their time."
I wonder what those domains are.
I remember them being an absolutely scuzzy site, just no useful content at all. Lately that has definitely changed, and definitely for the better.
Appropriately, the summary for eHow is: "on 3/31/2009 This article provides a high level overview of sharpening, but doesn't provide enough detail to enable a beginner to sharpen a knife ..."
Is there some tool SEO people use to compare results before/after Google algorithm changes? Would be interesting to see.
If you look now though you can see they are at #5 for [mcdonalds coupons] (which is still higher than they deserve), #6 for [how to play guitar], more than 5 pages deep for [bed bath and beyond], etc. Check ehow.com and you can see similar results no longer ranking:
Job sites, classifieds sites, news archive sites, social sites like HN or reddit etc.
There are a few legit businessmodels (as in, not against Google TOS) that feel the heat from this update.
I am all for banning scraper sites, especially if they outrank the source. But I don't like this update at all: There are still too many what-if's and classification problems (where do you stop?). Do the giants get a free pass, and do the new sites have to fight an uphill battle?
What do I tell new clients? I've seen the same with Keyword-In-Domain's outranking more established sites. What is a whitehat SEO to do, but claim a few Keyword-In-Domains. Now KID's start to become more and more greyhat. Not because claiming a KID is so bad, but because Google has problem ranking relevancy over KID's.
Having a curated content farm, in itself is not a problem and perfectly whitehat. If its a good idea after this update, time will tell. I would really like to know if curated content farms with an editorial staff will be hurt by this update. I don't feel safe right now at all.
P.S. I guess I've found the first blackhat technique to combat being classified a low-quality non-unique site. Google says to add value. So you pull in content from multiple sources, instead of a single source, you article spin the content a little, you add reviews and comments, and then you comment on/review your own stories. Content farms will turn into comment/review farms, and no one will be the wiser.
Also affiliate sites (Google always had you in her sights) and ecommerce sites that used the supplied product descriptions will have a harder time now. Realistically that would include smarter affiliate sites like hackerbooks.com (no unique content, just an Amazon storefront for all Google cares)
The Demand Media angle is really interesting too. I love the bit quoted in the Searchengineland article from the CEO, wondering how they got tagged with the "content farm" label. Pretty sure this is where I first saw it...
That eHow article actually seems quite helpful and straightforward. Is there a problem with it? Hopefully Google can rank the results on a case-by-case basis instead of condemning an entire site that actually has some useful material.
I'm really happy they are doing something about the programming/scraping sites. Asking the same question and getting the same answers from top 3 or 4 results was driving me bonkers.
Playing contrarian, though, I wonder how much of these changes are generated by actual user feelings? I am concerned that there is a very vocal minority (which is probably represented the most strongly inside the hacker community) who is now starting to determine what makes a good site or not. If Google starts getting swung around by 2% of its user base simply because they're the loudest, I don't think that would necessarily result in a better product for all -- even though so far, so good.
Only downside is that the explainextended.com article shows up below stackoverflow.com which is too bad because that article would teach you far more than the stackoverflow question would.