Thursday, July 12, 2012

Panda and Penguin, very potent web traffic killer


The recent Panda and Penguin updates has severely affected many web site traffic. Being very busy myself, I have not the time to do a proper cleanup of the Panda and Penguin traffic killer factors. So much to my dismay all the hard work of getting website traffic is now going down the drain and not many people has much clue as to how to gain back the traffic.

Basically, Panda is more about content and on page ranking factors while Penguin is about off page ranking factors particularly about inbound linking. When Google came up with the plan to limit the effects of these factors and come out with penalties, many websites were affected.

This blog of mine was affected very much by Panda due to short content. After all this is just a simple blog talking about anything that comes into my mind. And then when Penguin was rolled out, initially it whacked this blog again, but later the traffic bounce back to pre Panda traffic volume, probably due to other website getting the Penguin penalty but this blog site was left alone. As I didn't do much inbound SEO (there wasn't really any point, it's just a personal blog about any subject matter), the lack of Penguin penalty made it climb back up again.

In addition, Google mentioned it needs fresh content in order for the website to remain afloat in the search engine. So blog sites, such as this gets the benefit of this ranking factor because of frequent posting.

My other sites weren't faring so well because I didn't get to clean up the Panda effect fast enough, plus the Penguin penalty was very difficult to undo. Inbound links are still important and yet it need variety on the inbound links, so the link exchange weren't working anymore. At the same time, being an authoritive site, it requires more research and thoughtful article writing, so creating regular updated articles was not so easy. Then there was the similar pages issue (Panda penalty), where similar content pages, one would be sandbox over the other. All the various small little factors add up to really kill the website traffic.

Plus now, exact match domain became another Google penalty target. I found it curious to see my own (domain) name faring poorer than my other social websites! How could my FriendFeed and LinkedIn account out do my very own website with Twitter catching up just below? They don't even have good content to begin with! Most of their content was derived from my blog itself! Whatever I post here would be fed out again via RSS. So is Google  in favor of fresh quality content (articles with at least 500 words and above with photos and diagrams) or do they favor social website short one liner contents (as in a page filled with one liners clump together) despite being derived from the blog? Intriguing!

Anyway, it is not so conducive for me to earn a side pocket income from Google Adsense as it has dwindled a lot since the heydays of pre-Panda and pre-Penguin. I'm sure many internet marketers are getting frustrated too, and yet we need our website to gain prospects. For my offline work, I still rely on website to generate leads. But I find it might be better to concentrate on generating income from the real world while using the virtual world for lead generation rather than for virtual income via click through advertisement. Because once I get a customer, it becomes a repeat customer that don't rely on website search anymore. Well at least for my line of work.

Anyway, to have a website is still important despite Google reducing its ability for promotion of your goods and services. So all the best out there and hope I could find a way for good alternate income generation.

[update]
Here's a list of Panda updates obtain from an SEO newsletter that I subscribe



Panda 1.0 (Farmer Update) on February 24th 2011
Panda 2.0 on April 11th 2011
Panda 2.1 on May 9th 2011
Panda 2.2 on June 18th 2011
Panda 2.3 on July 22nd 2011.
Panda 2.4 in August 2011
Panda 2.5 on September 28th 2011
Panda 2.5.1 on October 9th 2011
Panda 2.5.2 on October 13th 2011
Panda 2.5.3 on October 19/20th 2011
Panda 3.1 on November 18th 2011
Panda 3.2 on about January 15th 2012
Panda 3.3 on about February 26th 2012
Panda 3.4 on March 23rd 2012
Panda 3.5 on April 19th 2012
Panda 3.6 on April 27th
Panda 3.7 on June 8th
Panda 3.8 on June 25th
Panda 3.9 on July 25th
Panda 3.91 on Aug. 20, 2012
Panda 3.92 on Sept. 18, 2012

The effects are rather potent, and most cases caused my site traffic to tank, and sometimes there a is small cheer when my site traffic went back up, but just a little. So the bad effects still out weights any good effect.

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