20 Nov 2015

Living in a Post Panda World: Weekly Forum Update

seochat-wmw-cre8asite-threadwatch-roundupRemember Google Plus? It had a hard time catching on, and this has been a rough year for it. Well, just this week it got a fancy new style and some updated features.

Can you believe it? Yeah, our communities had a hard time believing it too.

In other buzz, we’ve got a great conversation between experts on WebmasterWorld to share about living in the post-Panda apocalypse.

It’s no Fallout 4, but it’s still a fun read. On SEO Chat, users are discussing 404s and ranking regionally, and on Cre8asiteforums users are doing some myth-busting.

In addition to all that, we’ve got a healthy heaping helping of news from Threadwatch to lead you into Thanksgiving week.

So, let’s get started!

Post Panda Era And Future Strategies – Did Panda Kill SEO?

Let’s begin with our title story. For webmasters who remember the old days, like WebmasterWorld user MrSavage, there are

“two distinct periods…There is the pre Panda and post Panda era.”

For these webmasters, it sometimes feels like Panda has so completely changed the SEO scene that SEO itself – the tricks and techniques used to succeed – is dead. Other users take a more long-term view:

“…we’re still in the early days of the web. In my opinion we’re very lucky to be participating in the early period. The cost of domain registration and hosting are amazingly cheap, and this provides a huge opportunity for individuals and small groups to reach large audiences at little cost,” writes user aristotle.

User EditorialGuy wonders if it’s a truly bad thing that people can’t “SEO their way out” of problems. The results, theoretically, should be content of greater quality. What do you think? Is it the death of an era, or a rebirth?

Ranking Regionally, Regional vs National Sites

SEO Chatters are working together to clarify several different issues with regional websites and domain age in this thread. Age is thought of as a strong ranking signal but as Fathom explains, it’s more of secondary indicator.

“It is true the older a domain or page is the more chance others will find that domain or page thus link to it. If age was indeed a factor, unto itself, simply adding pure gibberish webspam and letting it sit for months or years would be a best practice.”

Are You a Google Minion? Almost Certainly.

Think your browser is free and clear of all trackers? “Think again,” writes iamlost in this brilliant thread about how we’re all unconsciously doing Google’s bidding.

“Google alone is tracking you far more than you might think by means that you probably thought benign,” such as Maps, YouTube, Translate, Recaptcha, and more. How can we actually thwart Google’s tracking attempts? Read on in this thread!

Threadwatch’s Mobile Minute!

Tick-tock, look at the clock: time for an update on all things mobile from Threadwatch! Bing has a mobile friendly test tool available now, which is not too dissimilar from Google’s tester.

Google is working hard as well, and has made maps available for download straight to your phone. This makes it handy to navigate with up-to-date information even if you don’t have an internet connection.

Google+ Gets More Than Just a Facelift

Google’s prodigal son is getting a little loving attention this week. New features and a mobile friendly theme are now available. They’re all opt-in for the moment, which means that they’re probably still testing and improving on little things.

The new features make communities, probably the most active and well-known part of Google+, a bigger feature with more support. Your individual dashboard has been suped up to provide quicker and easier access to communities you might engage with.

Take a look on WebmasterWorld for the details. And the verdict?

“It’s never gonna catch on…leave the social networks to Facebook and others, stick with search and selling ads…” writes user samwest.

Google Guidelines – October 2015 Mobile Edition

Jennifer Slegg of The SEM Post has a great write-up of Google’s October version of their guidelines. The discussion on WebmasterWorld is focused on the huge mobile emphasis that the guidelines set forth.

Also, there’s a new “Needs Met” section of guidelines that has everyone talking. What does it mean? Well, simply put, if Google thinks that your page “meets the needs” of its visitors, then your quality score goes up. But there’s a lot to debate.

Users of WebmasterWorld took interest as well in how the guidelines stress that tasks on-site should be “easy” for smartphone users to complete. What are tasks? What is easy? As always, there’s much to discuss!

404 Errors for Frequently Removed Pages

Search Console tells this user that they have too many 404 error issues. The problem is that page removals are a frequent and necessary part of their site’s function. SEO Chatters discuss whether custom 404 pages or 301s are the best solution.

User mainstwebguy writes, “…now that I think about it more, a 301 is really supposed to be used when content is MOVEd, not REMOVED. A 404, IMHO, would be the best way to go for this, unless of course you can use a 301 to direct users…to another page of content that’s relevant…”

What do you think? If you’ve got a similar site or have heard of a similar situation, drop in and make a post!

In Its First Year, Google Pirate Hurt Only the Torrent Sites

Yarrr, me hardies! Google Pirate is pulling into port after its first year as a privateer. Google promised that it would tackle all online piracy, but so far Google Pirate has only really hurt torrent sites.

Illegal streaming sites remain largely untouched and continue to be a menace.

“Are Google’s efforts in vain? What do you suppose their next step is?” asks a Threadwatch reporter. Share your thoughts in this thread!

So Very Wrong it Must be Link Bait…

Cre8asiteforums user iamlost found some inaccuracies in a recent Search Engine Land piece by Adam Audette. In this thread they and other users dissect the notion that Google makes money from organic search, that snippets can’t be manipulated, and what Google’s future is when it comes to personalized search.

Join our users for a rousing debate, or just read along for a great learning experience!

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