Be sure to scroll down to the many resources and tips from top SEOs on how to survive Panda, improve your site and regain some of your traffic.
All of the sites mentioned below are on the Numbers Crunchers list of the most affected domains published by SearchEngineLand.
If your site is on that list and not mentioned below, let me know in the comments and I will add it.
If your business was affected you are encouraged to leave a comment.
GOOGLE FARMER UPDATE MOST AFFECTED:
UPDATE March 1, 2011: The types of sites most affected by Google Farmer Update are:
- Article directories including Wisegeek, EzineArticles, Hubpages, Squidoo, articlesbase, CBS’s Bnet findarticles, etc.
- Competitors to Google Shopping such as TheFind, ShopWiki, BizRate, Buzzillions, Shopping.com, Kaboodle, DigitalTrends, TestFreaks, GaltTech.
- Competitors to Google Maps / Google Places that are Local Search Directories such as Merchant Circle, InsiderPages, American Towns, Manta, CitiTownInfo.
- Competitors to Google Maps / Google Places that are travel related sites include Roadside America, TravelPod, Trails.com, and MyTravelGuide.
- Answers sites including do it yourself sites such as fixya, lovetoknow, howtodothings, doityourself, answerbag.
I argue that many of these sites have great added value for users and ARE NOT “thin on content”. More details on competitors to Google Shopping and Google Maps below.
While the Google update (that occurred last Thursday, February 24, 2011) has been dubbed the “Farmer Update” because the target was supposedly content farms, the list of Sistrix’ top 100 losers includes many who are direct Google Competitors.
GOOGLE SLAPPED GOOGLE COMPETITORS:
Glancing through the tables of Sistrix data, I picked out this incomplete list of sites affected and grouped them by type. No doubt I missed a few and many similar sites will be affected.
Many are competitors to Google Maps (because they offer maps or business listings or travel information). Sites on the lists published by Sistrix and Search Engine Land of most affected sites including Merchant Circle, American Towns, Manta (business listings), InsiderPages (Local Business Listings), CitiTownInfo.com, and you could also travel sites include Roadside America, TravelPod, Trails.com, and MyTravelGuide.
Google Shopping competitors Google-slapped by the Farmer Update include TheFind, BizRate, ShopWiki, Buzzilions, Shopping.com, Kaboodle, Buzzillions, DigitalTrends, TestFreaks, GaltTech (one of the oldest sites on the Internet) – all shopping comparison or review sites that make it easy to find out who carries a specific product and compare prices.
I know many still haven’t wrapped their minds around why it is bad to have only ONE source for anything, why I believe Google IS Evil, or why I keep warning about the dangers of Google Favoring Brands and Google’s Monopoly, so here is an example.
While TheFind lists 4,401 stores with 138,507 products matching a search for business card holders, Google Shopping suggests only the five stores shown in the screen capture to the right of this text: Amazon, eBags, Buy.com Walmart and Office Depot.
When you click More they offer a total of twenty stores (fifteen additional). Something else I find interesting:
Google recently went after Overstock’s organic listings but they’re featuring them in Google Product search?
What if you were on Google Product Search and wanted to see any of those thousands of other small stores that sell business card holders?
Even though these other sellers DO list their products on Google Shopping, Google doesn’t choose to show them to us. You would have to know the name of the store and search on it specifically.
When I searched for +”business card holders” +”Executive Gift Shoppe” – a small store whose product feed I am familiar with – Google returns only THREE of their business card holders. I changed the search to +card +”Executive Gift Shoppe” and got 403 results.
So Google can broad match ppc ads for the phrase business card holder in AdWords but CHOOSES to only show three of the roughly 264 business card holders listed in that store’s feed.
Worse yet, I specifically searched for that one store, but Google showed me 403 results but that store only has about 264 business cards. That means Google probably showed me 139 results from OTHER stores (I didn’t count them manually) even though that store had exactly the same item in stock! Here is a screen capture of one of them:
Executive Gift Shoppe carries that same business card holder for $40.50 – $3.70 cheaper. So why didn’t Google Shopping show me what I specifically asked for in the store I specified? It isn’t because it isn’t there. When I search for that specific product name on Google there it is:
TheFind shows two other small stores selling that exact item. Neither of those comes up in a search for their business name on Google Shopping. SO, if Google causes TheFind to disappear from the search results, we don’t know about them to go to their site directly, and we ONLY had Google Shopping, we would not see the item in the store I specifically searched on nor the two other small stores that sell it.
We would ONLY see what Google chooses to show us.
This is simply unacceptable for shoppers and devastating for small businesses. If Sistrix is correct and TheFind lost 83% in this farmer update that could equate to a drop of 83% in their income. (Exactly how much would depend on which products got dropped, the profit margins or commissions on each product -TheFind participates in affiliate programs – and the conversion rates per project.)
No matter what the exact percentages end up being, what business can survive a massive drop in sales?
THIS IS THE FUTURE GOOGLE has planned for Small Businesses!
Are we going to let them further destroy our economy or are we going to wake up in time to save small local and online businesses? I have explained how in many posts here including these:
DIAGNOSING GOOGLE TRAFFIC LOSSES:
- XLNT: Search Engine Watch: Google Penalty or Algorithm Change: Dealing With Lost Traffic by David Harry (Jan 25, 2012)
- Hacking for SEO – BEWARE of the Crap Hats
- Stone Temple Consulting: New Clarity on Google Reconsideration Requests from Tiffany Oberoi
GOOGLE PANDA INFOGRAPHICS:
- NEW: Stay on Search Google Panda Algorithmic Update Infographic
- Cognitive SEO Infographic: What in the Name of Google is a Panda Infographic
Google Farmer Update Advice:
- Write reviews for your favorite businesses: Where to Review Businesses.
- Why Marketing is NOT Evil – includes stats and more details on why our economy is sliding and how Word of Mouth can improve our standard of living.
- What Caused the Great Depression is Happening NOW – includes many exceptional links to everything you need to know about our economic challenges.
- Priorities for Small Business Internet Marketing – offer these services or share this post with business owners.
- Techland on the Google Farmer Update
GOOGLE FARMER ADVICE:
- NEW: How CMOs Can Survive a Google Panda Attack
- Unique insights from @RobdWoods on Recovering from Panda
- Kristi Hines on Stay on Search ~ Is Article Marketing Still Effective?
- Search Engine Journal ~ Farmer Update Harmed Co-Dependent Site Owners
- Adotas ~ Google Breaks Up with Content Farms and WHOA! Google’s Farmer Update Helped eHow
- The Role Manual Reviews Played in the Farmer Algo Update
- Google Forecloses on Content Farms with Google Farmer Algorithm Update
- Google Best Weapon: Fear by Example
GOOGLE FARMER OPINIONS:
After that we could use some comic relief. I offer here a Matt Cutts video parody Google on Brands followed by AdWords Scam Ads created by Aaron Wall at SEOBook:
I hope those reading this will leave their input in the comments – and don’t forget my related posts on why I believe Google IS Evil, why I keep warning about the dangers of Google Favoring Brands and Google’s Monopoly.
- Farmer Update Update (localseoguide.com)
- Number Crunchers: Who Lost In Google’s “Farmer” Algorithm Change? (searchengineland.com)
- Google Kills eHow Competitors, eHow Rankings Up (seobook.com)
- Farmer Update: Target was SITES not content (blindfiveyearold.com)
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