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    Smile Yet Another EMD vs Panda thread


    I've resisted getting any advice from the SEO community for a good couple of months, but now I feel it's worth a second opinion.

    I'll give you the full story. December 2011 I saw a niche, looking for an online "salary calculator" tool (calculate tax, national insurance, allowances, student loans and so on - UK specifically). Being disappointed with the results Google gave me, I set about creating my own. I launched salary calc dot co dot uk.

    I then launched apps for iOS/Android, embeddable widgets, etc, slowly building up the brand. Although I was struggling to get anywhere on the SERPs. I then changed my domain to my salary calculator co uk, and did some more minor link building efforts. Eventually, I got some fantastic results - being position 2 for the term "salary calculator". It sat there for a good three months, right up until that fateful day.

    Sept 29 onwards saw traffic plummet 90%. This was a real blow, as just days before I'd embarked on a big link building campaign sourcing some great links (using press releases for an interesting research project I completed).

    My real problem now is not that I don't rank for that particular key phrase any more, but I can't even rank for my brand name - and that is the killer. People simply just cannot find my website any more, even when they are specifically looking for it. Searching for "my salary calculator" or even "my salary calculator uk" (and that is a related search suggestion, so I'm guessing people are really trying to find the site).

    It looks like I've been penalised, as the search results in front are just so irrelevant it's untrue. I've been thrown so far back in the SERPs I can barely find it myself. I submitted a reconsideration request, but received an email saying there had been no manual actions by the webspam team.

    There has been no black hat work, and I can't really spot much in my link profile to suggest I've been negative SEO'd (although judging from the date this hit, I doubt that would be the issue as that is Penguin related).

    So, Question 1: EMD or Panda? I find it hard to believe it's quality issue, but your opinion is valued. Blog content is generally updated once every 2-4 weeks, but it is of a good standard. I've opted for quality over quantity.

    Question 2: Do you think it could be recovered? I've already waited two months, but I don't know how much longer I should wait before I should jump ship and go back to my original domain (although I'm now paranoid that even that could be affected by the EMD update). It's a great tool (the best IMO), a lot of development has gone into it and I'd really like not to lose the great links I worked hard to get.

    Thanks for reading! P.S. If you do check out the site, ignore the redirects - I've just implemented Google Content Experiments over the past few days.
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    I'll give you the full story
    Whats the deal with
    <!-- Google Analytics Content Experiment code -->
    and why did you change urls? what was wrong with the first one?
    which is still live.

    edited:
    I had to see what that experiment was, interesting, I've never heard of it.
    Last edited by Test-ok; Nov 29th, 2012 at 04:50 PM.
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    It's just a form of split testing from Analytics.

    I changed domains as I thought I was at a disadvantage by not having the full keyphrase in the domain (boy, do I feel stupid now).
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    Originally Posted by cabdesigns
    It's just a form of split testing from Analytics.

    I changed domains as I thought I was at a disadvantage by not having the full keyphrase in the domain (boy, do I feel stupid now).
    Google didn't target EMD's generally, it targeted low quality EMDs, your domain name isn't the problem.

    You might think about contacting Dr.Marie who offers a traffic drop analysis service.

    I've had a site hit by panda, it was a keywordkeyworduk.co.uk

    It still ranks #1 for keyword keyword uk, so that would tend to make me think you were more likely hit by EMD update, but that is one very specific example and I have no idea if it's generally what happens..

    ^ no help to you really I'm just waffling lol, but Marie would definetely be able to help you & I would be semi-confident if I were you that it would be recoverable.

    Another thing is why does it redirect me to

    http://www.mysalarycalculator.co.uk/?alt&utm_expid=54442659-0

    I'm not good with the under the bonnet technical jazz, but what kind of redirect is that? and is what does it do with the bots.
    I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill
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    Darren..it's the <!-- Google Analytics Content Experiment code -->
    I would assume google bots are fine with it.

    Comments on this post

    • DarrenHaye agrees : I will pretend I know what that is and why it does what it does.. lol.
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    Originally Posted by Test-ok
    Darren..it's the <!-- Google Analytics Content Experiment code -->
    Another thing to read up about.

    Comments on this post

    • Test-ok agrees : You and me both.
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    Indeed DarrenHaye, I've long suspected it is an EMD issue specifically. However, as Google reported it would only affect low quality sites, I thought I would be in the clear. What their algorithm actually determines as quality, I have no idea - as my site is much better than competitors in that niche. I have read in places that the algorithm doesn't actually take quality into account, in spite of the statement released by Google.

    I've done a lot of work to give a great user experience, and to be more focused on users rather than search engines.

    And to answer your question, it is a JS redirect all taken care of by Google Content Experiments. Yes, Google Bots are fine with it - it's their product after all! But please ignore this in terms of this thread. The split testing is just something else I've implemented in the past few days and has no relevance to the issues I discussed.
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    Originally Posted by cabdesigns
    And to answer your question, it is a JS redirect all taken care of by Google Content Experiments. Yes, Google Bots are fine with it - it's their product after all! But please ignore this in terms of this thread. The split testing is just something else I've implemented in the past few days and has no relevance to the issues I discussed.
    I'm not sure what your ranking problem is...but I will say your giving google all kinds of information about your site when using their 'free' products. So who knows how much information google has on you and your sites and how their using it. And if they are, I'm sure it's not in your favor.
    nomesayin
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    Maybe This Is Your Problem

    Look at how many variation URLs you have indexed with the same content.

    That may well be hurting you.

    Comments on this post

    • Test-ok agrees : Nice find, our dup content finder, and he's giving google the tools to see it. :wink:
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    Thanks for looking at it Darren. Indeed, that has crossed my mind before, but I really doubted that WordPress tag/category/paginated pages would have such an impact.

    I suppose there is no harm in testing the theory though (as I'm running out of other ideas). I'll get those pages noindexed and perhaps the next Panda rollout I might see some improvement.

    Perhaps this has had more of an impact on my site in particular as there aren't hundreds/thousands of articles in the first place - as I know many other WordPress installations still have this setup by default without any noindexing and they seem to be just fine.

    Nonetheless, thanks for your contribution Darren, appreciated.
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    Originally Posted by cabdesigns
    Thanks for looking at it Darren. Indeed, that has crossed my mind before, but I really doubted that WordPress tag/category/paginated pages would have such an impact.

    I suppose there is no harm in testing the theory though (as I'm running out of other ideas). I'll get those pages noindexed and perhaps the next Panda rollout I might see some improvement.

    Perhaps this has had more of an impact on my site in particular as there aren't hundreds/thousands of articles in the first place - as I know many other WordPress installations still have this setup by default without any noindexing and they seem to be just fine.

    Nonetheless, thanks for your contribution Darren, appreciated.
    It could 100% cause a problem and I think it may well be your problem at the moment.

    You should get an SEO plugin if you haven't atm, nofollow the tags and noindex the duplicate pages.

    When panda next rolls out hopefully you will see a very positive improvement in rankings.

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