In the recent months, I’ve been noticing less traffic coming to all of my blogs from Google. Anyways, I thought it was because my site had too many ads or perhaps my content was “low-quality”.
Well, for about the last 2 or 3 weeks, I coudn’t figure it out, why are my rankings on Google tanking?
I even tried using Google Webmaster to see if I can get some answers directly from Google themself but no, I got an automated reply with a link to Quality Guidelines.
Anyways, I FIGURED OUT what Google Panda update is doing!
Google Panda is basically “deranking” any websites that have any of their articles scraped by content scrapers. Then the worst part, Google Panda ranks those scraper sites #1 for your article’s title or if you search 2-3 sentences of it. (Here’s two examples #1 and #2).
For example, if you had an article A and you let some RSS feed site host the same article A on their website, your website/article got deranked into an oblivion.
I’ve also checked out many websites at Google Forum and found that exact same thing is happening to them. Some of them are indeed low-quality and have no content but a lot of them are also genuine, website owners who’s pretty much lost all of their traffic because content spammers/scrapers are outranking them.
I believe this was the major algorithm change with Panda update, which is truly flawed as it does not work. And I have no idea why Google would want to turn up some scraped content garbage instead of the original article.
How to Fix Your Site Rankings if you’ve been raped by Panda?
I am sure Google will make it right one day but here’s how to fix the issue for those of you who’s article is not ranking on top (and some scraper website is).
Simply, you need to get rid of every duplicate content of your articles on the web. Even at Google Forums last night, one of the Google engineers replied back that, “Panda can’t tell the original website from a copy.”
The problem with Panda algorithm is that it’s “dumber” than what Google was like before. Before, Google had an algorithm that kept spammers/content scrapers at bay. Now, while trying to get rid of those spammers/content scrapers(farmers), they are actually helping them, they are ranking on top of everyone who originally wrote it.
One of the major reasons why my websites lost a ton of traffic is because I was using Zimio.com couple years back, who hosted 8,000 blog posts of mine that has exact same content. Yesterday I contacted the support team at Zimio.com and got all of it removed as many of my articles on Zimbio.com was outranking those right here at Zedomax.com.
I saw a clear pattern here too, those blogs that I run that didn’t have my content scraped had no effect from Panda update but those that did have content scraped by spammers were heavily affected.
So, how do you get rid of duplicate content that content scrapers took from you?
Simple, just send them a Cease and Desist letter, here’s an example letter I just sent out (I’ve been sending out hundreds of these now):
Dear owner of eequalsmcsquare.com
It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized use of
my copyrighted work entitled Zedomax.com (the “Work”) in
the preparation of a work derived therefrom. I have reserved all
rights in the Work, first published in April 10th, and have registered
copyright therein. Your work entitled eequalsmcsquare.com is essentially
identical to the Work and clearly used the Work as its basis.
Here’s an example:
As you neither asked for nor received permission to use the Work as
the basis for Zedomax.com nor to make or distribute
copies, including electronic copies, of same, I believe you have
willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and
could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth
in Section 504(c)(2) therein.
I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all
infringing works derived from the Work, and all copies, including
electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to me, if applicable, all
unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies
immediately and that you desist from this or any other infringement of
my rights in the future. If I have not received an affirmative
response from you by end of April 29th 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time
indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I
shall take further action against you.
Very truly yours,
Max from Zedomax.com
How to Find out if Content Scrapers are Ranking on Top of Your Website
First, go find an old article of yours and do a title search on Google. If your unique title of article doesn’t show up first, then do another search with 2 or 3 sentences from the same article.
If you see that a content scraper is ranking on top of you, you need to send him a Cease or Desist letter so Panda doesn’t think you are the scraper.
More Ways to Protect your Content On the Web for WordPress Bloggers!
For years, I’ve been using RSS Footer Plugin for WordPress, which inserts a link back to your blog article, this can sorta protect you when scraper content sites scrape your blog. BUT, I’ve seen that really good scrapers can add nofollow to these links, another reason why Panda failed at recognizing the original article.
Also, another reason why your blog doesn’t outrank spammer sites might be because of default WordPress, which gives duplicate titles for tag and category pages. According to Digital Inspiration, you can add “noindex, follow” to your tag and category pages.
Add this to your header.php before :
Basically this will add noindex to all category pages and tag pages that’s not page 1.
Has this Panda update affected your website and spammers ranking on top of you? Please leave your comments below and/or blog posts with your explanation as we will add it to our resources list. The more we let know Google what REALLY is going on the sooner they will fix this problem.
More new things I found out today (4/30/2011), it seems Google Panda dislikes duplicate content created by WordPress default tag and category pages, you might want to add noindex to those pages for sheezy, that is actually my last hope otherwise I am declaring bankrupt next week and will be officially selling this website so I can get a job at McDonald’s and don’t have to worry about Animal (not human) updates.
And oh yeah, don’t forget to hit that “like” button on Facebook, it only takes a mili-joules of your effort yet it could help me and I NEED YOUR HELP and that is why you see a bunch of Facebook stuff on this blog. That is the only way I can see. Thanks bud and don’t forget to pass that bong onto others who need it.