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Google Farmer Panda and SEO
Chris: Yeah. And the title is — so it’s SMX West that was the one on the west coast. Google’s Farmer/Panda update, White Hat Cloaking and Link Building. So let’s jump into these —
Paul: And this is Google’s own words about the updates and all of the White Hat and Linking, from Google — from Matt Cutts.
Chris: And Matt Cutts said that the changes, they’re not 100% perfect.
Chris: Including that —
Paul: Ugh, not Google.
Chris: You know, I actually had a client call this week. He’s really a bizarre client, potential client, probably won’t be a client and I can assure you he’s not listening ‘cause he actually doesn’t own a computer.
Chris: And he’s not interested in owning a computer, which I don’t really know how we’re going to help him if we are able to send e-mails to — anyway so he was —
Paul: A therapist?
Chris: Yeah, so he — yeah, that one helped.
Paul: A therapist would be a good place to start.
Chris: He had a whole lot of conspiracy theories. And at one point is was like, “Well, Mr. X” and he’s like “Yeah, I know I’m a pain in the butt.”
Chris: Uh-huh. No comment.
Paul: What does the murder of JFK have to do with the build on your website?
Chris: Yes, exactly. Yeah, JFK doesn’t care about your website. Anyway, one of the things he said as I was telling him, “You know we actually target Google either Pay-Per-Click or — you know, we’re always talking about Google.” And he was like, “Well, what about Bing?” I said, “Well, interestingly enough, Bing the other day their greatest aspiration seems to be, to be able to provide results as good as Google.”
Chris: “So I really don’t see the value there.” And then he asked, “What about Yahoo?” And I was like, “Well, actually Yahoo their results are provided by Bing, so you’re really dealing with Google and another company that we don’t need to name that its greatest aspiration is to provide results as good as Google.”
Paul: As good as Google. Yeah, so it’s like Google, Google 1, Google 2 and parenthesis.
Chris: Google Prime.
Chris: So, I thought that was funny. Anyway he said, “It isn’t 100% perfect but to search a feedback is overwhelmingly positive.” I can imagine some of the things that they did, the blocking, the quality content, and I was impressed that that move is actually done with a code not with — they’re not a domain —
Paul: And to say all algorithm changes, none of it was manual. So I think — that I’ll says that that — this algorithm change would be more efficient because it was all done by a code and whatnot, no humans had to touch it so… There — you know, it rules out human error so that’s cool. We’ve actually seen how the results have changed. We’ve seen some of our pages change, some client’s pages change as a result and we’re working just — we’re taking our tip from the last podcast, “Working to make sure that we stay up to date with algorithm changes to get those back where they should be.”
Chris: And make appropriate adjustments. One of the things that they talk about is one of the low-quality things that was removed is an article where — I think the word “count” was within 1% on every article.
Paul: Yeah, they were all similar to word count.
Chris: 250 words. 250 to 260 words.
Paul: Yeah. [Laughs] So that makes me — I’ve always — we’ve heard him say this before, you got to have a minimum of 250 words on a page. A page that you want to be indexed and come up in the Search Engine Results Page so you might want — and that my whole thing like, “Does that mean I need to — and this is an article, “Does that mean I need to go out and vary my article links? I mean, I will from now on just to be on the safe side but — I mean my — well, my thought process is, “Why does that matter?”
Chris: Right, well —
Chris: — and I think the only reason it does is because it’s a good indication of a content farm, right.
Paul: Okay. So, when someone is like, “I need 250 words a thousand times.”
Paul: There you go.
Chris: A thousand articles, now you’ve got a content farm. And they’re going to — you know, if I’m the person who is quoting the actual creating of the articles, I’m going to hit 250-255 and I’m done —
Paul: Yeah, and I’m done, next.
Chris: — like what do I need to do to finish that sentence, that 250 to 255?
Paul: Yeah, put a V in there period, done.
Chris: The end.
Paul: Yeah, that’s one thing you need to watch out for. If you are writing content for your website, or getting content written, or adding new content to your website — okay, let me just say this. Everybody that’s listening to this needs to pay attention to that ‘cause everybody needs to be adding fresh update and content to their website. Be very careful of it. I don’t completely understand why they do that but I will begin to vary the article links that we have written, that we write and have written for in the site. One thing that I did notice is that — and everyone has heard this, improving the quality of the SERPs by removing low-quality content on sites. Okay, here’s what I have yet to find —
Chris: What’s the definition of a low-quality content?
Paul: Thank you very much. Like, can I please get — what exactly is low-quality content? I haven’t seen it anywhere. So if someone else has, please send that to us. I’d love to see it. Matt Cutts, come on man. We’ve shouted out to you like a million times, dude, send that to me.
Chris: Cut us a break.
Paul: [Laughs] Yo, that was really good. That was really good.
Chris: Unfortunately, you are going to hear that a lot now.
Paul: Cut us a break.
Chris: Matt Cutts us a break. All right, eventually we’ll write an article and that will be the title. One of the things and I think it was in the comments that I said that was in to — these are comments to this particular article I said, “So our take away is we need to go and change the word link of our articles.”
Chris: Was that in the article or not?
Paul: Yeah, that was in the article ‘cause I guarantee when you said that everybody rang, “What’s up Chuck?”
Chris: Chuck! How’s it going?
Paul: When he said that, everybody went back, go on their computer, started adding adverbs like these and —
Chris: It was probably twitted, it was probably written in their notes. You know, task number 1 readjust the link of every article we’ve written so far so…
Paul: But I know, that’s what everybody did but —
Chris: But that was in — and I think they stressed, that’s not the take away. You just need to write quality content and we don’t know what that is.
Paul: And it keeps saying “Oh, man you want to provide a good” — we say this, provide a good user experience —
Chris: To the Google user, yeah.
Paul: Yeah. They need to provide more information about that. One thing they did discuss is add to content ratios, right? If you have ads on your website, you’re a douche bag. But that’s my own personal opinion, right? ‘Cause I just don’t like ads, right? I came here one —
Chris: You know I have tech-guy in here. And he has some sort of software that blocks all ads.
Paul: Okay. Yeah, that’s what’s up.
Chris: Interesting guys in my networking group. And he says he gets on other computers now where there are ads he’s like, “Oh, that’s what CNN looks like.” Like you know or whatever, the quarter of the page is ads and that’s all blocked on his computer —
Paul: That’s a really nice — yeah. If you have ads on your website try to make a little extra scratch by putting other people’s ads. You want to be very careful about the ratio of ads to content. Matt said that having advertizing on your site does not inherently reduce it’s quality, which I completely disagree with because I think — because I don’t like ads. Now, I think what he’s saying is that it does not reduce the quality — maybe your quality index score or reduce it in terms of the Googlebot.
Chris: Well, here’s a — ‘cause we know probably the number one thing — well, I don’t know if this is true. I feel like the number one thing that happens on the internet is research whether it’s kind of research for personal, “Oh, who sang that song?”
Paul: Yeah. Tell me about this restaurant, tell me about this business I want to do business with —
Chris: And even the restaurant though, the end game is actually — is some sort of E-commerce, a purchase or something like that. So, it kind of makes sense and of course everything that we’re doing for our clients, if we put up an article we do — in a sense, we have our own ads, right? It’s the art of the fact that is the article is on a particular website, it’s our own ad. So, I think ads and articles kind of go naturally together. I think what you’re saying and I — wholly agree with this, if you go nuts with it — you know, it just becomes —
Paul: It’s annoying, it’s very annoying.
Chris: I kind of don’t like when you read two paragraphs of the article and then you have a section of AdSense —
Paul: Oh, yeah.
Chris: — and then you continue to like, “How do I get to the other side of this?” Like you know…
Paul: I personally just don’t like that. But if you are using AdSense or putting other people’s ads on your site or any ads, be very careful about the ad to content ratio. Google says, it doesn’t affect you but people don’t like it. So they might bounce or they might spend less time on your site and so I believe that it will indirectly affect the —
Chris: And I think Matt alludes to the fact that if it’s too extreme, it is going to impact.
Paul: Yes, yes. He also goes on to talk about “slowed crawl,” if you have notice how — we watched how often Googlebot crawls our client’s website. If you’re not watching it you should be. This would be a good way to figure out how often they’re coming back — let’s say you’re adding content everyday and you get a crawl once a month you know, and then the next guy, the other website gets a crawl twice a week. We get a crawl probably about twice a week, sometimes three times a week ‘cause we’re constantly adding content to our website. It’s always moving and changing. But it says that if the — Googlebot determines that your site is not valuable to users —
Chris: By the way, this is — you know, Matt also noted that if Google determines a site isn’t as useful to the users, we would like to — again, cut us a break.
Paul: Cutts us a break fool.
Chris: Let us know what you think is not useful to users. How do you guys determine that ‘cause we might make adjustments to what we’re doing. The other interesting thing is that it points out the take away for the author of this article which I don’t even remember who it is.
Chris: Vanessa. The take away for Vanessa was, “Understand how often Google crawls so that you don’t expect changes to happen in 10 days if you know Google is not crawling every 30 days.” I think that’s wrong. I think the take away is, “If Google isn’t crawling you except for every 30 days, it’s because Google has decided what you’re providing isn’t useful to users” —
Paul: Is irrelevant, yeah.
Chris: — “reevaluate what you’re providing and make sure it’s useful to users.” And really — you know, take a step back and say, “Am I providing a good experience to the Google user or my user in general?” And I believe that there are probably some things that are really useful to some kind of very niche industries and Google may say, “You know what? That’s not that useful to the population at large.” And so I may not crawl that very often, and it’s not an indication that you’re not providing a good experience to your users it’s just the average Google user can’t get anything out of what you do so it’s considered — I won’t say useless.
Paul: We’ll just say irrelevant. Absolutely —
Chris: [Laughs] Absolutely.
Paul: — factually, definitely irrelevant. But it’s useful.
Chris: But don’t take that personal.
Chris: It’s okay.
Paul: I don’t want to say, not useless. To all of our friends overseas, what’s up Darren? What’s up my main man — in Ireland, I cannot — was that PanRudkevich or I can’t remember his name, but I know we got a cat in Ireland, my main guy in Israel, this is for you guys. Everything we’re talking about hasn’t happened yet in your country so you’re probably like, “What? Why you people keep talking about this?” Roll out as U.S. only but it is coming overseas shortly.
Chris: Yeah, I think — didn’t you say some of it. It’s been tested internationally already so you may see some kind of wonky results like we did with our SEO podcast page that was — you know, page one and then disappeared, and then went back to page one and disappeared so…
Chris: Interesting. That just shows you the importance of monitoring ‘cause it was kind of that hopping back and forth and then seemed the article that really heed me into exactly what happened. You know, if we weren’t monitoring it it’ll be like, “Oh, we just fell off and maybe other people beat us on content.” Or whatever and we would have made adjustments but not knowing specifically what to change.
Paul: That’s a good point monitoring. We haven’t talked about that in a while. We did a couple of podcasts on monitoring and what softwares that we use. You should be monitoring your website, not just your traffic but also your keyword positioning but we’ll go to that — we’ll go back to the last — go back to one of that podcasts and listen to that.
Chris: You got some Blank Stare Charles?
Paul: I don’t remember which one it was.
Chuck: No, not right now.
Chris: I have three.
Paul: He goes on further talking about other algorithm changes that are happening. He says, “They’re working on identifying scrapped content.”
Chris: And that’s what happen to us.
Paul: Okay, okay. Yeah.
Chris: Yeah. ‘Cause we had just taken, you know kind of the base information for the podcast and stuck it on our podcast page, and that made up fully — probably 50% of that page, and even though it was a different podcast and it wasn’t just one — you know, let me copy all the content from this page and stick it here. It was individual podcast and you know, it wasn’t even 1, 2, 3. It was probably like 1, 5, 7 or whatever, that’s scrapped content.
Chris: I mean it wasn’t malicious and — intentionally malicious —
Paul: And it was our own content.
Chris: And that was our own content. We just happen to have, initially hosted our PodOmatic and PodOmatic get presidents in terms of the — you know, the content initially showed up there. So we’re in fact scrapping our own information and so — in a sense that information — you know, frankly, yeah we wanted users to look at that information but frankly that was there for content relevant to SEO and it’s probably a good call that it wasn’t on the first page.
Chris: Because that content — now of course everything we do belongs in the first page.
Paul: Of course. So, they’re working on other changes, they’re working on scrapped content obviously getting rid of content farms and people just overdoing it on content. But what does this mean for the SEO industry? There was an algorithm change in October, we’ve had another one come in February so… Does that mean that the — as an SEO or someone is trying to do SEO themselves are you going to have to constantly change your efforts to be on the first page? My thought, yes. Matt Cutts, no.
Chris: Yes and no, right? The yes is, yeah we’re constantly tweaking stuff and monitoring. The no is, if you’re providing a good experience to the Google user then you don’t have to — if that’s your goal, then you don’t have to change anything, just keep doing that and you’ll succeed.