Google Panda Update

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The Google Panda Update is an improvement of Google’s ranking algorithm. Affected are websites with less good content or poor quality.

Definition

The Panda update from Google was introduced in 2011 and pursues the goal of not placing bad content too prominently. This roughly means that this content will receive lower rankings in the SERPs.

Where does the name come from?
The update was named after Google employee and IT engineer Navneet Panda.

The new filter aimed to detect weak content and place it lower. Such content had managed to achieve a “top position” in the search results for certain queries, even though it had little to offer readers.

From 2011 to 2015, Google regularly updated the filter, which also caused new websites to be ranked lower.

However, as of January 2016, Google announced that Panda is now a core part of the algorithm. While Google has confirmed that this does not mean that the filter will be updated in real time. However, it is used to evaluate the quality of a website in determining its rank.

How do I avoid a Panda penalty?

Penalties were imposed for the following, among other things:

  • Duplicate content – i.e. duplicated content
  • Sites that have a poor ratio of ads to content, the content-ad ratio
  • Pages with too general information
  • Content that offers little information

When analyzing the Google Panda update 4.1, which was released in the fall of 2014, we found that the update even affected a number of well-known websites that have these extensions, for example:

  • co.uk, probably for a bad content ad ratio
  • com, probably for too general or thin, uninformative content

On the other hand, websites such as NYTimes.com and OrganicGardening.com benefited from the update. These were already focused on highly informative content with a relatively small number of advertisements.

What to do if I have already been punished?

If you’re affected by a Google Panda update penalty, you’ll notice a steady decline in traffic, followed by stabilization. It’s important to note that if you get penalized by Panda, it will impact your entire website. So if you’re seeing a drop in all your keywords, it’s likely you’ve been hit by Panda.

Sistrix offers the following traffic report as an example of a site that was penalized by Panda:

Panda update

If you notice such a decline, here’s how to recover from it:

  1. Check your site for duplicate or additional pages that offer little to the user. It’s best to search for duplicate title tags as well. These will serve you as an indication of duplicate content.
  2. Delete or update these pages so they add value to the reader.
  3. Use robots.txt on pages that are duplicated but needed on your site.
  4. Make sure your website provides a positive user experience and doesn’t have too many ads.

Writing “Panda compliant content” is quite simple

While you’re maintaining your website, it’s best to make sure you’re producing content that adds value to your visitors and isn’t stolen ;)And that’s how you produce Panda-friendly content:

  • Every page should have a purpose for the user, not just to rank for a specific keyword. It’s best to keep a specific buyer persona and customer journey in mind. This will help you achieve the level of quality that your audience and Google want to see.
  • Regularly check for duplicate content.
  • Pay attention to your content ad ratio to make sure your load time and user experience aren’t affected by too many ads.
  • Use Google Webmaster Tools to make sure the site is performing optimally and providing the best user experience possible.

Conclusion

Since 2011, the Google Panda update has been working to provide users with high-quality content. At the same time, it should minimize the presence of websites that do not provide the answers users want.

Monitor your traffic regularly to watch for possible hits on this penalty. Always focus on quality and user experience when producing content.

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