CTO Operations

Magazine on Entrepreneurship, Project Management, Marketing and Products

May 21, 2014
by Guntram Bechtold

Google Panda 4.0 Update Penalty

At a recent Link Research Tools event in Vienna, myself and 28 other Link Research Tools Professionals discussed how the new Panda update will affect our clients sites. Starting around 10 Days ago, we on April the 12., we have started seeing ongoing update effects that we considered to be the first pre-rollouts for the new Google Version.


What exactly is Google Panda 4.0 doing?
The Google Panda Updates are designed to clean-Up Pages that do not contribute to good user experience. They are also to water down Seos morale. Regarding the first point we can suggest suggest practical Measures.

What can be done to fight Google Panda?

Make your Site good. Get rid of Pages that do not have quality Content. No more in future you will be able to rank for these. Google Panda is about your site quality. Measurably.

  1. Panda is typically a onsite Visibility reduction due to Similar or exactly duplicated Content.
  2. Although Panda originally targeted poor quality sites, a number of larger brands have also been targeted i.e Ebay.com
    1. Remember that Panda is the only Humanly trained yet machine driven algorithm to manage user experience. Whatever you do – it has to be user friendly
  3. Learn more about previous Panda Updates and the Webmaster Central


Content is king.

Thank you to Derek and Callum, Harald and Bartosz for contributing to this blogpost.



What Google Panda Updates have been rolled out so far?

  1. Google Update 1, Feb 24, 11 (11.8% of queries; announced; English in US only)
  2. Google Update 2, April 11, 11 (2% of queries; announced; rolled out in EN and INTL)
  3. Google Update 3, May 10, 11 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  4. Google Update 4, June 16, 11 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  5. Google Update 5, July 23, 11 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  6. Google Update 6, Aug. 12, 11 (6-9% of many non-English languages; announced)
  7. Google Update 7, Sept. 28, 11 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  8. Google Update 8, Oct. 19, 11 (about 2% of queries; belatedly confirmed)
  9. Google Update 9, Nov. 18, 11: (less than 1% of queries; announced)
  10. Google Update 10, Jan. 18, 12 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  11. Google Update 11, Feb. 27, 12 (no change given; announced)
  12. Google Update 12, March 23, 12 (about 1.6% of queries impacted; announced)
  13. Google Update 13, April 19, 12 (no change given; belatedly revealed)
  14. Google Update 14, April 27, 12: (no change given; confirmed; re-update within days)
  15. Google Update 15, June 9, 12: (1% of queries; belatedly announced)
  16. Google Update 16, June 25, 12: (about 1% of queries; announced)
  17. Google Update 17, July 24, 12:(about 1% of queries; announced)
  18. Google Update 18, Aug. 20, 12: (about 1% of queries; belatedly announced)
  19. Google Update 19, Sept. 18, 12: (less than 0.7% of queries; announced)
  20. Google Update 20 , Sept. 27, 12 (2.4% English queries, impacted, belatedly announced)
  21. Google Update 21, Nov. 5, 12 (1.1% of EN in US; 0.4% INTL; confirmed, not announced)
  22. Google Update 22, Nov. 21, 12 (0.8% of EN; confirmed, not announced)
  23. Google Update 23, Dec. 21, 12 (1.3% of EN; confirmed, announced)
  24. Google Update 24, Jan. 22, 13 (1.2% of EN; confirmed, announced)
  25. Google Update 25, March 15, 13 (confirmed as coming; not confirmed effects)
  26. Google Update 26, May 21, 14 (confirmed as coming; not confirmed effects)



October 2, 2013
by Guntram Bechtold

7 Principles to highly successful products

In a recent blogpost by Ben Horowitz on Techcrunch he presented 7 Principles that make CEOs effective and therefor successful

1. Keep and drive the product vision. 

The CEO does not have to create the entire product vision, but the product-oriented CEO must drive the vision that she chooses. She is the one person who is both in position to see what must be done and to resource it correctly.

2. Maintain the quality standard.

How good must a product be to be good enough? This is an incredibly tough question to answer and it must be consistent and part of the culture. It was easy to see the power of doing this right when Steve Jobs ran Apple, as he drove a standard that created incredible customer loyalty.

3. Be the integrator

When Larry Page took over as CEO of Google, he spent a huge amount of his time forcing every product group to get to a common user profile and sharing paradigm. Why? Because he had to. It would never have happened without the CEO making it happen. It was nobody else’s top priority.

4. Make people consider the data they don’t have

In today’s world, product teams have access to an unprecedented set of data on the products that they’ve built. Left to themselves, they will optimize the product around the data they have. But what of the data they don’t have? What about the products and features that need to be built that the customers can’t imagine? Who will make that a priority? The CEO.

5.Write it; don’t say it

If there is something that you want in the products, then write it out completely. Not as a quick email, but as a formal document. This will maximize clarity while serving to limit your involvement to those things that you have thought all the way through.

6. Formalize and attend product reviews

If teams know that they should expect a regular review where you will check the consistency with the vision, the quality of the design, the progress against their integration goals, etc., it will feel much less disempowering than if you change their direction in the hallway.

7. Don’t communicate direction outside of your formal mechanisms

It’s fine and necessary to continue to talk to individual engineers and product managers in an ad hoc fashion, because you need to continually update your understanding of what’s going on. But resist the attempt to jump in and give direction in these scenarios. Only give direction via a formal communication channel like the ones described above.


July 10, 2013
by Guntram Bechtold

Motivating a Scrum Developer Team

It happend just the other day.  My coffee cup slowly filled up at our espresso machine while mark and I had a chat. How and why we got here and whats the point of this project at all.  Mark told me that he always was looking for a job in some other industry sector but somehow was stuck in this position. Stuck. There it was again. Stuck, a word I was really surprised about.

What does stuck mean? I started to dig deeper and also researched myself how highly educated people with well paying jobs can consider themselfs as stuck.

Yes, you can be stuck if you have some kind of disablilty, some kind of limitation or .. what? What else can it be? Self Motivation or empowerment? Fokus or skill?

Being a teamlead and projectmanager, instantly the question of motiviation came to my mind. Therefor some ideas and thoughts on motivation


Are you in the position to motivate people?

Projectmanager or Scrum Master: Yes and No. No since significant decisions are made outside of your universe. Typically as a Scrum Master you do not set up goals, deadlines or paychecks.

Yes, if the things mentioned above are „okay“ then your job gets important. If they are not okay, these things need to be resolved before that. It is helpful to know what the industry standards and requirements for your team members are. It helps if you get an idea about project costs, budget things, pay, work goals, expectations and other benchmarks.

Teamlead: Yes, you have to set your team up in a way that it can perform. Major factors like paychecks, know how, project goals, team organisation and team roles need to be defined by you. More over you can do a lot by empowering your team members to do their job well.

How can you motivate brainworkers?

The short answer is: let them organize their work themselfs. At least for a limited amout of time. Timebox tasks and assign them to people. Timeboxing is better than deadlines since it is less precise and more flexible. Timebox your people only to 80% of their capacity.

More to come

June 27, 2013
by Guntram Bechtold

Page crawled but not indexed

I’ve seen that a significant amount of pages we offer to google via sitemap appear in Google Webmaster Crawling Statistics as “crawled” but “not indexed” on one of our Projects.

What is the indexation Rate?
Googlebot crawls every Page as soon as they can somehow get a grip on that pages.
Yet, they don’t want to mess up their index instantly. So depending on the trust of your website, the time until a site is allowed to be indexed is a matter of seconds (Newssites) or Weeks (Newly Built Sites). Surely more factors are relevant for getting a site ranked in google, but in this blogpost I’ll just consider the indexation.

Now the question is: What is the Problem?
In Webmaster-Help they explaing short what is the most likely cause for this:
The reason is either that content is duplicated, available via 2 or more similar urls and missing canonical Tags. Second option is the site lacking relevant content.

  • Pages are duplicates or non-canonical
  • almost always the Indexation is significantly smaller than the crawled Pages

Both things were not true for us, since we found the following:

  • We got pages that are indexed, but to have less content
  • We have set up all cononcial tags right
  • We have pages with content, but are not index

On the other hand we see that indexation is significantly smaller.
Having done more research, I found out that some Content is quite well hidden inside the application.

So the behavior was like this:

  • Google finds subpages, but it takes quite a while
  • So internal linking might need to be strengthened.

So we will add also subpages to our chronological page-index.
That should help to make these pages crawlable more easily.

May 25, 2013
by Guntram Bechtold

Design should be Flat an Basic

Great Post why design should be basic:

The only reasons to embellish content should include

  • To enhance context
  • to enhance contrast
  • to enhance clarity
  • to provide counterpoint
  • to describe or articulate rhythm
  • to provide visual interest (limited)
Visual interest is no small thing.
In fact, it can be quite dangerous. 


May 22, 2013
by Guntram Bechtold

Spotting Google Penguin 2.0

Update 23.05.2013:

Sistrix has ran a great analysis about the guys that were hit hardest by Google Penguin

Domain Change SI Before SI After
lasik-koeln.info -66% 4,65 1,57
fewo-von-privat.de -60% 9,36 3,72
travelantis.de -60% 4,22 1,69
home24.de -59% 11,36 4,63
hochzeitskleideronline.de -54% 5,40 2,48
baby-markt.de -50% 7,24 3,60
vomfachmann.de -50% 3,25 1,64
erbrecht-heute.de -49% 3,66 1,85
akku.net -49% 6,83 3,52
goldankauf123.de -47% 3,22 1,70
einfach-sparsam.de -47% 8,81 4,69
lotteriespiele.com -46% 4,29 2,30
travel3.de -46% 3,30 1,78
wettpoint.com -45% 4,69 2,57
wandtattoos.de -45% 3,95 2,18
girokonto-vergleich.net -43% 6,28 3,55
gamesbasis.com -43% 16,30 9,37
geschenk.com -40% 3,21 1,94
spruchreif.info -39% 4,97 3,04
tarifcheck24.com -38% 7,82 4,87
luxusuhr24.de -37% 3,81 2,39
kostenlosspielen.biz -37% 8,33 5,25
discount24.de -37% 3,25 2,05
grusskartenkoenig.de -35% 3,42 2,21
baumarktfinder.de -34% 3,25 2,15
tagesgeldvergleich.com -32% 6,54 4,46
fondsvermittlung24.de -31% 4,27 2,93
reisen-experten.de -31% 4,43 3,07
spiele-umsonst.de -31% 18,02 12,51
geburtstag-abc.de -30% 4,66 3,25

SI: Sistrix Visibility Index
23.05 1:20 PM , by Sistrix.de – via www.sistrix.de/news/penguin-2-0-erste-daten/




During the last 2 Days think that we have spotted the Changes of Pinguin 2.0, Googles new SEO Updates. What changes were visible?

  • Serps provide more Content Websites.
    • Websites with Reviews. Detailed Text-articles. Rich Media.
    • Blogs and Newsrelated Sites are Winning
    • Authorities are winning. Brands and Strong PR Domains.
  • Shops and thin Content Websites appear to pushed back
  • Content-sharing Portals rank (e.g. Sites like Yumpu.com are gaining)
  • Google Books is more and more starting to Rank for 2 and 3 Keyword Phrases
  • Generic PDF Documents appear to be on first page more often
  • Ranking Changes are primarily in Resultpositions 6 – 10+
  • We’ve started to see the Update is rolling since Wednesday, 10:30 AM GMT

Please add your Comments for Verification or counter Argumentation

Best regards,



These Result appears typical for rolling Changes:

  • Last Week: Right Side
  • Current Results: Left Side


Pinguin 2.0 Changes

May 11, 2013
by Guntram Bechtold

The three most important pieces of advice you can give to someone who is new to social media?

  1. Every Network is different. Register to 5 Networks and find out how “normal” users are interacting
  2. Find out “Hot” Content of every platform. Hot for average users. What are “normal” people with average following posting? What generates interaction? Find away to emulate or repost similar things
  3. Engage in existing Communities: Find active Communites and engage there. Be where the discussion is already running. Get recognition by adding a new take or relevant edge on that subject. be helpful. be kind. have an opinion.

Suggested Networks to look into:

  1. Facebook: Personal Friendships
  2. Twitter: Short, fast News-style discussions
  3. Youtube: Video and Personality
  4. LinkedIn: Professional
  5. Instragram: Stunning images