When Google’s Panda Rewards Content Theft

By Hubert Nguyen and Eliane Fiolet – 04/19/2011

Google-Panda-Algorithm-UpdaIf you’re a webmaster who cares most Search Engines, you hit heard most the Google “Panda” Update. Here’s what the update was about, in Google’s possess terms:

“Google depends on the high-quality noesis produced by awful scheme sites around the world, and we do hit a responsibility to encourage a flourishing internet ecosystem. Consequently, it is essential for high-top calibre sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this edit does.” (Google)

As usual, with apiece and every update, whatever websites go up, and whatever go down. There is mostly an uproar in the numerous webmaster forums as properly. Traffic fluctuates, and we typically don’t pay too such attention to this. Nonetheless, for the 1st instance in our 5 years as a scheme publisher, we hit noticed whatever rattling freakish behaviors that another internet place owners should countenance into.


If you are newborn to this website exclusive because you are a scheme officer in wager of info most Google’s “Panda” update and potential issues and pitfalls, welcome!

Ubergizmo is a ordinary independent gadget internet place that reports most consumer electronics and well-known profession on a every period basis. We’ve been a Webby Award Nominee, a PCMag Leading 100 and occasionally we realty on Television in the USA (ABC7) or foreign (3Sat/Germany).

We’re geeks, so we’re not superior at talking most ourselves, but SF reporter king Weir is pertinent on target in his “Ubergizmo Makes Gadgets Accessible to Non-Geeks (and Fashion Accessible to Geeks!)” write-up on Ubergizmo.

Search 101

Just before we move off, we requirement you to actualise a pair of accepted things. Search engines are mainly fashioned to match a wager catchword with scheme tender content. A wager on a portion catchword ought to easily conceive the tender that contains it. If such more than 1 tender contains the rattling aforementioned text, the tender deemed by the wager engine to be the “most relevant” (usually, the creator of the content) is hierarchical at the leading.

This is an direct artefact for scheme masters to wager who’s copying content, and to attain certain that wager engines crapper evolve between warning and copied/cloned/stolen content.

With “Panda”, SPAM websites crapper beat warning content

As bloggers, we typically refer to previous articles, and we hit this usage of hunting for an senior place or checking on who is syndicating our content.  After the second Panda update, we could not locate several of our possess posts with a wager on the denomination or a distinct catchword from the article. Instead, what we discovered was that websites that *steal* our noesis do surpass greater in the Google wager outcomes, whilst our possess place deposit could not modify be found. We direct knew that whatever abstract was very, extremely wrong.

If you hit your possess internet site, do this: double the rattling prototypal line (or the title) of a post, and wager for that phrase. If this catchword is special sufficient, your article module materialize initial (if not, you module but contend with others). Here’s an warning making use of noesis from SearchEngineLand:


As expected, a wager on a unequalled catchword shows the warning communicator at the leading

You crapper wager that the warning place comes up first. Then an deposit tender from the rattling aforementioned scheme site, then another scheme sites that copy/syndicate their content. Everything seems regular â€" that’s how issues should be.

However, if we essay to show our iPad 2 analyse employing the prototypal phrase, here’s what we intend (full-size screenshot):


Numerous scheme sites double our content, whatever are lawful syndicators (TreeHugger), others are email websites

Above image: what you are hunting at are websites that either gangland our noesis (with a unification to verify Google where the warning write-up is), or websites that essentially move our noesis and delude Google into intellection that they hit warning content. i-nooz.com is a enthusiastic warning of noesis theft. It is totally automated, so if you scroll down the page, you module modify wager the Twitter information from the warning review.

Let’s essay with whatever abstract else. Yesterday we’ve posted most a Macbook Air SSD upgrade. We’re attempting to conceive it by searching for its title: “Macbook Air gets a 25% process with newborn SSD”. And here are the results:

Full-size screenshot: http://tinyurl.com/3rv8fty

That’s our post, but once more, the crowning outcomes are scheme sites that double of our noesis (Hubert’s name is modify in the byline of polaris-site.com! Nice…). Some do unification back, some do not course or credit. You would conceive that modify a containerful of course would accept Google to actualise that Ubergizmo.com is the creator of that content. This is apparently not the case.

Several offenders are using Blogspot (a Google service) hosting and Adsense (Google’s advertising network) to host email for liberated of charge, and attain “free” income with our content. They are modify utilizing our bandwidth by “hotlinking” the photos direct from our servers. However, Google’s newborn “Panda” formula believes that those pages ought to surpass higher than ours. It is a fantastic world.

Note that modify sites specially targeted by “Panda” do not hit this issue. Suite101.com is an interesting warning (note that suite101 is not an automatic email site). As you crapper see, a double was aright hierarchical in second location.

Suite101 shows up as the tender #1 for its possess content. Full screenshot http://tinyurl.com/3ebgu8w


So, what happened?

It is impossible to undergo for trusty what happened. From these tests, it appears that Google’s formula cannot recognize Ubergizmo.com as the warning source of our articles, and is treating our website as an automatic email internet place â€" yes, that sucks.

We intend it: for an algorithm, it is really hornlike to figure discover who is the actualised communicator of the content, but it was employed dustlike just before, so we crapper exclusive hold that the “Panda” update has a assistance in this.

Additionally we’re in Google News, so that could be one such more signal that our scheme place does not steal/copy content. Heck, modify Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Web Spam aggroup has linked to Ubergizmo from his blog a pair of months past (search for “Looks same that did verify place in 2009″ in that post). Surely, that’s a clew that we’re not a email scheme site. Correct?

But here we are, our noesis treated worsened than email and senior beneath those hundreds of automatic content-stealing internet sites. As technologists, we measure the travail of the task, but Google got it pertinent before. And as farther as we crapper tell, Google is gift our full internet place a “black eye” (like a Panda?), so modify newborn articles direct surpass modify than spam.

Now what?

If you conceive that you hit been affected, you crapper foregather *challenging data* to wager if there’s something course criminal same what I’ve shown above. Then essay to intend the articulate discover and inform whatever feedback to Google via the cyberspace Master scheme site. It is most probable the finest artefact to attain them semiconscious of doable pitfalls with the newborn algorithm. You crapper also countenance at “Panda attack” unfortunate tales and choose for yourself if you module requirement to verify state on your internet site.

Now, you won’t undergo if an individualist looks at -or cares about- those glitches.  Google says “We’re Working to Help Great cyberspace sites Caught by Spam Cleanup“, but points aren’t kinda as direct as this catchword would suggest. At the moment, scheme masters crapper place in this arrange of scheme officer forum, but you crapper envisage how overpowered it is precise today (1800+ posts). It is monitored by Google employees, who module passage the info to the Google Search Team and the cyberspace Spam team. In time, they *may* supply a fix/tweak, if it’s for the greater superior of the web. If not…

If you’re a lawful scheme publisher, contemplate yourself a “collateral damage” of Google’s war on email and endeavor to “guess” what could hit caused this (it is ever “your fault”, says the robot). Be semiconscious that there are “manual” penalties typically mass a complain, and there are “algorithmic” penalties that crapper not be raised by a Google employee, modify correct after a request for reconsideration.

We’re serendipitous to hit a enthusiastic accord behind us in times same this when automation fails. Unfortunately, not every mortal is as fortunate.

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