Why eBay Lost its Organic Rankings – Panda 4.0 Update

Larry Kim, Founder of Wordstream- internet marketing company researched that, eBay has lost almost 80% of its organic traffic and ranking after the Panda 4.0 update. The same has also been confirmed by noted digital professional form MOZ, Pete Meyers.

In this article I’ll inform you the possible reasons that caused the mayhem for eBay. But before that let us put some light on history of the PANDA Algorithm for those who are new to SEO.

ebay penalty panda 4.0

What is Google Panda Algorithm?

First in February 2011, Google tweaked (separate algorithm) its ranking algorithm and named it PANDA UPDATE. The aim of the change was to lower or remove the low quality and content thin websites form their search results and promote the content rich websites in the ranking. The initial update affected almost 12% of the search results in English.

Soon after the effect went global on March 2011, websites having large amounts of advertisement materials above the fold saw a drop in their ranking where social media and content rich small websites reported a surge in their ranking. At the same time publisher also found instances where the scarp sites ranked better than the sites having the original content that questioned the effectiveness of the PANDA. To help affected publishers Google released a blog post with 23 bullet point describing “What counts as a high-quality site?

Since then panda has been update form time to time before it integrated into the main algorithm in March 2013 and said to be less noticeable and continuous. The recent one is PANDA 4.0, released on 21 May 2014 which is said to be affecting ~7.5% of search queries in English.

Though Google has announced it as a softer and gentler update but Panda 4.0 must be a major update to the actual algorithm as it has affected many top ranking sites in the web. The basic change is on the algorithm aims to identify the sites that are still ranking with thin content and may be the groundwork for the future updates.

They have released 2 simultaneous updates- PANDA 4.0 and PAYDAY LOAN 2.0.

Now coming to main topic….

eBay – After a database hack, they are now slapped with Google penalty with massive fall of traffic. Poor eBay has lost almost ~80% of its traffic including another top brand ask.com. eBay is among the biggest losers from Google’s Panda update 4.0, which is believed to be softer than gentler than past updates. It is also claimed to be better for small websites having good content.

Just after the update was announced, eBay’s spotted with ranking loss for its numeric generic keywords. Yet eBay has to release an official confirmation, and Google still to confirm nature of penalty either manual or algorithmic against eBay.

Why eBay just lost its Organic Rankings – Panda 4.0 update

The two main reasons for the penalty are thin content and dooraway pages:

You can find many eBay product pages with very thin or little content used to ranking in the top and their main strategy revolved around aggressive internal linking and dooraway pages which put a question mark, where Google is trying to removes such kind of spam from their SERP results.


Some reports suggest that eBay is not impacted by Panda 4.0 but by a manual action on the same day of algorithm release, resulting in a drop in their traffic. But it is yet to be confirmed. Either way, eBay has suffered.

You have anything to share, please do the same through comments.

Google the Number Uno Search Engine

The evolution of the search engines has changed the face of the Internet over the years. Many search engines have been created in the past, but only a handful have managed to stay or top in the people’s most preferred list. One of such few coveted search engines is none other than the market giant Google.

In the race to be the most preferred search engine in the market, Google has managed to leave behind its major counterparts like Yahoo and Bing to become the boss of the US market. According to a recent report, Google holds a whopping 67.7% of the entire US search engine market share, the rest being divided between the other major search engines.

Google analytics beta

Google tied its record yet again at the start of this year owing to its staggering share percentage in the US search engine market. Google being in first position has indeed created a vast gap in between other search engines. Bing stood at a distant second with 18.7% of US search engine market share. Google dominated the market last year too with a total of 66.5% market share.

Yahoo remained at the third position with a 10% search engine queries while Ask held 2.4% of the total search engine queries. AOL remained last with a disappointing 1.3% of search queries. While Bing is strong at its second position, Yahoo seems to be slipping in the search engine market with possibility of entering a single digit number in market share percentage.

These rankings take only desktop search queries into consideration, if you consider mobile searches then Google is still clearly calling the shots in being preferred the most by the people to search their queries.

Google has been people’s #1 favorite, not just in US, but also all around the world. This search engine giant has clearly outdistanced its competitors by becoming the most used search engine in the entire world. Other search engines need better numbers to make any dent in the success of Google which seems impossible for now.

SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid in 2014

SEO is an art and it should be done correctly always, you can’t afford a single mistake these days. Below are certain SEO techniques you should definitely avoid to as they are of no use or are the reason for your downfall in search engine ranking.

SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid

  1. Using Wrong Keywords

Do you have keywords?

Don’t be crazy. We all know we need keywords to promote for the business in the internet. But have you done a proper keyword research??

With keywords, you need to be very careful, as placing the wrong ones on your site will have no effect when it comes to searching, which means you will lose many of potential customers.

  1. A Lack of Deep Links

When it comes to SEO, there are two types of links: deep links and shallow links. The shallow links are the kind of links you get from a menu without any sort of surrounding text. The deep links are links surrounded by keyword-rich content that works to create a tightly knit web and makes it easier for viewers to seek more related content on your website. A lack of these links, especially on your home page, can mean that you’re not distributing authority throughout your website. By allowing users to navigate back to the results page of their search engine, it can also increase harmful factors like your site’s bounce rate.

  1. Spam Links

Avoid using links from dubious sources, exchanging links with bad neighborhood sites or those that are known for hosting malware. Do not get involved in SEO link buying schemes. Such practices can result in permanent banning of your website.

As time changes, the search engine algorithms change and so does the ranking of your website. You should be up to date with the changing trends and techniques in SEO to always get what you desire for your website.

Google Panda 4.0 Update: The After Effect

Google’s Matt Cutts has made an announcement on Twitter. Two days back he wrote on his Twitter wall “Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.” Those who are new to Search Engien Optimization, Panda is the Google algorithm, that prevents websites with poor content from coming to top results on the Google SERP.


In March 2013, Google announced future Panda updates will not be confirmed or denied as changes in the Panda algorithm will continually take place as part of the gradual rollout feature. Despite previous year’s announcement, Matt Cutts acknowledged the 4.0 update because it is not just a token data refresh, but a major overhaul of the existing Panda algorithm.

In which ways the new update will be different?

Google Penguin and Google Hummingbird, introduced in April 2012 and August 2013, made the ranking process seemingly random. The Penguin update affected more than 3% of search queries in English and the Hummingbird update put more value on long-tail phrases that are synonymous to the targeted keyword. Importance of content was thus lifted.

Subsequently, Google started valuing content from esteemed and authentic sources and that has put the spur of small businesses on a leash as big businesses spent money and got links from reputed sites with quality content.

In such a backdrop, the new 4.0 update is relevant as Matt Cutts earlier indicated next generation Panda update would be softer and gentler. Cutts informed the new update would help small business websites fare better on the SERP. He didn’t go into the details however.

It seems therefore, the 4.0 update has some incentives for small businesses. That is the need of the hour as small business sites are facing difficulty getting high rank and the only way out for them is paid campaign.

Some sources held the 4.0 is more efficient that the previous updates as a number of websites which were performing poorly before are witnessing sudden upsurge.

As per Google, the current update has affected less than 7.5% search queries in English where the first update, introduced in 2011 affected almost 12% search queries in US style English.

Google Replaces Apple as the Most Valuable Brand

Google is the most valuable brand, according to international market research firm Millward Brown. The title was held by Apple a year ago. But Google’s brand value has seen 40% increase in just one year and the company bagged nearly $172 billion.

Benoit Tranzer, head of Millward Brown France said, “Google has been extremely innovative this year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships,” Apple’s brand value has dropped 20%. The Cupertino giant occupied the top spot for last three years due to the phenomenal success of its next gen iPhones.

In line with Millward Brown’s report, a recent study came up with the finding that a section of Apple users have become disenfranchised and the number of Apple’s retail outlets has also dropped. From an unbiased point of view, Apple’s problem lies in the perception that the popularity of its flagship iPhone has now reached to a point of saturation.

SEO Guidelines to Increase Rankings on Google

This perception however, cannot be fully entrusted as Apple has plans to introduce some exciting handsets this year. One of them is iPhone 6, tipped for fall release. The iPad Pro may also hit the stores in next few months.The device is rumored to be a cross between two of Apple’s highly successful previous installments; Macbook Pro and iPad Air.

On the software front too, Apple is eyeing for something big. The WWDC event, scheduled to take place on June 2 of this year could see the beta version release of iOS 8. The upcoming iOS 8 is reported to pack new apps such as Heathbook, Preview, TextEdit, Tips and revamped Apple Maps with map data and public transit directions. Rumors on iOS 8 have been doing the rounds in the tech circuit for some times now.

In the face of such anticipations, it would be wrong to assert that consumers have ceased to expect from Apple. The case may have been that Apple has failed to innovate due to its shakiness to accept incisive changes. But the scenario may change as soon as iOS 8 releases.

Besides, the idea of ‘valuable brand’ is itself overcast as the research firm admitted mostly financial yardsticks were used for the estimation. Some subjective guidelines such as consumer’s reactions were also taken into account.

Google’s advantage may have lied in introducing the driverless car, equipped with cutting edge technology such as laser radar system and Velodyne 64 beam laser range finder. The company also enjoys the privilege of being a search engine. The tilts made by Google in the online marketing space are due to its indexing services. Google has been continuously making changes in its indexing algorithms so poor quality sites are removed from its result pages and advertiser’s interests stay secured.

Thus, Google’s profit increase is not surprising and the same thing applies to the company becoming the most valuable brand. AT&T, Amazon, Verizon and Facebook are some other valuable brands. There’s no surprise Facebook has ranked 21. The social network has become really unproductive these days. There’s literally no activity other than chit chats on Facebook.

How to Write a Wining PPC Ad Copy?

Ad copy is the most important component of a paid search campaign. No matter how much you bid or how good you structure your account, at the end of the day it is the your ad content that brings you the clicks.

Write a Winning PPC Ad Copy

Writing effective ad copies is beginning of any successful paid search marketing campaign. But it is not that easy. You have a very limited amount of space available to write your ad copy. Google allows total 95 characters which are distributed as 25 characters for Ad title and 35 characters each for description of the ad copy. You may feel it is not enough to write a strong ad copy but unfortunately you have to. Not only you have to write, but you have to make it meaningful and relevant to reach your targeted audience.

The article is all about how to write wining ad copies that will motivate your audience to click and visit your site. Below mentioned tips will help you in creating better and effective PPC Ads.

Call to Action:

Call-to-action is the most important component of an effective Ad.

Let me describe you. It is because, call-to-action not only asks people to complete the desire action need in the Ads, but at the same time it qualifies the visitor and reduces the expenditure on negative clicks. The call-to-action tells the visitor what they will really get when they click through your Ads.

You need to be careful while writing the call-to action. Pushy call to action like “BUY NOW” in your PPC ad may not work always. Well it depends on your niche though. So do not settle to it until you have tested it.

Also Ad extensions add more reasons to click your ad. Basically ad extensions are extra information shown about your business. You can add it manually or automatically as needed which improves your ad visibility and better clickthrough rate. And the best part is, it does not cost you anything.

You may use the ad extension as below:

  • Link to the additional landing pages
  • Business seller rating
  • To show product images
  • Display physical location in the map
  • Click to phone call number

Keywords in the ad copy

Though many people have different perception, but personally I prefer adding keywords to ad copies which increases the clickthrough rate. Google also provides special feature of dynamic keyword insertion option for advanced ad campaigns while Google automatically adds keywords dynamically at your preferred location in the ad. This is an effective way to ensure the ads to show the user searched query in the ad to make it stand out from generic ads.
Stand Out Of Competition:

Your ad copies should stand out of the competition. What it means is you should make your ad copies unique and interesting. But sometimes you may also need to follow your competitor’s ad copies. Researching on your competitors ads can help you to write a strong ad copy for your campaigns. It is always better to show your USP (also seen as unique selling proposition) to your customers. Your USP is something that your competitors don’t have, and is compelling enough to attract clicks.In the below add you can see how the first ad is different fromother ads. The first one is the only one that is having a rating displayed in the ad which is a best way to grab the attention of the visitor.

Stand Out Of Competition

In the similar way you can use special symbols that can make your ads stand out of the completion.

Writing a kick-ass ad copy in a first attempt is not possible every time. So what you need to do is to test/tweak your ads and track their success time to time.

Again if you got lucky enough to write down a great ad and getting a lot of click. But what is the next???

Appropriate and relevant landing pages are directly related to you sales or conversion. The ad and the content of your landing page are like couples. I will discuss more about landing page optimization in the next articles.

Hope the above tips will help you to develop a winning PPC campaign. You got any suggestion or want to add more tips please do comment.