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Did Google ease off Panda and the tighten thin content manual penalty?
Written by David Harry
Friday, 19 July 2013 13:10

Earlier this week there was a confirmation from Google about a recent Panda update. As part of the news on this it seems it was 'lightened' in the sense that most of the reports coming out were about people recovering and that Google had eased off the algorithm to some degree.

Google manual penalty for thin content

Then, last night, I was wandering about the Google webmaster help forums and noticed a webmaster talking about a new manual penalty action notification I hadn't seen before, it went like this;

Google has detected that some of your pages may be using techniques that are outside our Webmaster Guidelines.
As a result of your site having thin content with little or no added value, Google has applied a manual spam action to <DOMAIN>. There may be other actions on your site or parts of your site.

Huh. I hadn't seen that one before. So, I hit the trails this morning and started asking around to see if anyone else had seen these. Along the way, Nichola Stott (of MediaFlow) mentioned she'd seen one of these a few week's back;

We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

Specifically, we've detected low-quality pages on your site which do not provide substantially unique content or added value. Examples could include thin affiliate pages, doorway pages, automatically generated content or copied content. For more information about unique and compelling content, visit

We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration

Equally interesting.

So, what's going on here? Has Google scaled back the algorithmic elements of thin content, (ie Panda) and instead started giving a manual penalty for the more egregious offenders? One might theorize there were some issues with false-positives. It's hard to say.

Anyway, I wanted to at least bring it to light in hopes of getting some kind of time-line on these. Another person I talked with, said he'd heard of them as far back as 4 months ago.

If you've seen one of these in the past, please do let me know as I have a post with the evolution of manual actions and reconsideration replies etc...


David Harry -

Hi my name is Dave and I, am an algo-holic

I am an avid search geek that spends most of his time reading about and playing with search engines. My main passion has always been about the technical side of things from a strong perspective rooted in IR and related technologies.You can find me providing SEO consulting services for Verve Developments.

You can also hook up with me via


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0 #1 Grant 2013-07-23 15:12
Seen something similar to the second message in a prospect account about a month ago.

We assessed at the time was due to doorway type geo pages

Saw more targeted doorway page warning over a year ago with client that was employing Your Amigo landing pages...

Haven't seen 'thin' noted before in GWT

Convinced Google is always testing messaging to see reaction and may use reaction / action as an additional signal

0 #2 Robby Joe 2013-07-26 12:12
:sad: exactly same thing happened with me,my page ranking dropped after google update
0 #3 zahnarztinstrumente 2013-12-11 07:30
the google panda make my site nearly destruct.
0 #4 zahnarztinstrumente 2013-12-11 07:35
Thank you for your sharing
+1 #5 Spook SEO 2014-01-26 06:07
Another same thing with me, my site was hit by Panda and it really made my site ranked down. Before Panda, I was in 2nd page of Google with my certain keywords, but after Panda, it was a big drop-down. I found my site leaving in a sticky garage.
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0 #8 Darragh McCurragh 2014-04-10 16:55
Hi, I just started reading a lot of your blog posts that often are backed up by real research unlike others who just regurgitate old "news". like your posts on deindexed directories and some other posts where you even had xls files to work on. Now it seems you have slowed down a bit, unfortunately. I'd really like to see some of your opinions on the 2014 SEO/SEM landscape, guys!
0 #9 Minnesota Designer 2014-04-11 03:56
thanks for informative sharing! Google update algorithm frequently. Therefore, no body know what will be the next update.
0 #10 درب اتوماتیک 2014-05-22 13:36
I noticed that Moz has been playing around with the Author section on all posts too. They said it was technical changes they were doing.

But yeah I think it is a sign of things to come regarding guest blogging ect.
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