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What Is Panda?• Didn‘t you just hear Barry talk about it? That was originally a 3 hour speech• Search algorithm change introduced in early 2011—It‘s been almost a year!• Was meant to incorporate ―page quality‖ as a search signal; Google wants to return better quality pages to searchers, and Panda helps ‗em do it.• Affects low-quality sites/pages worldwide
What Isn’t Panda?• An excuse for everything. If you‘re site dropped in the last year, but not on a Panda date, it‘s NOT Panda.• Just for content farmers (that‘s why it‘s not called Farmer). If you have low quality pages, like tags, secondary list pages or search result pages, affects you too.• A regular, automatic algorithm update.
How Panda Works• Human quality tester sorts through thousands of websites and rates them based on certain criteria such as: • Design • Trustworthiness • Speed • Content• Based on these benchmarks set by human quality testers, computers using Artificial Intelligence are implemented to copy the behavior of the human quality testers.• Once these algorithms become accurate at predicting what these human quality testers look for, they are released across millions of websites throughout the Internet.
1. When Panda Happened Panda Update 1.0: Feb 24, 2011 • Targets Content farm and Scrapper sites.2. Panda Update 2.0: April 11, 2011 • International rollout for English based websites. • Incorporated data about user blocked sites.3. Panda Update 2.1: May 10, 2011 • Only minor tweaks were made to its search algorithm4. Panda Update 2.2: June 16, 2011 • Manually pushed out search algorithm changes • Improved on scrapper site detection5. Panda Update 2.3: July 23, 2011 • Incorporates signals on how to better differentiate between low and high quality websites.6. Panda Update 2.4: August 12, 2011 • International rollout for most languages.7. Panda Update 2.5: September 28, 2011 1. 2.5.1 – October 9, 2011 2. 2.5.2 – October 13, 2011 3. 2.5.3 – October 19/20, 20118. Panda Update 3.0/3.1: November 18, 2011 1. 3.2 – December 19, 2011 2. 3.3 – January 6, 2011 (?)
Panda Strikes!• Some sites, like the ticket retailer below, lost half their search traffic.• They weren‘t content farmers, but they did have unique pages for each concert date
Panda 2.5, In Detail• Specific details of what exactly changed are unclear, however, many websites reported major losses in search traffic.• According to Searchmetrics, Panda 2.5 is favoring sites that use video. 1. hulu.com 2. youtube.com 3. mtv.com 4. nbc.com• Losers of Google Panda 2.5 1. technorati.com 2. consummeraffairs.com 3. entrepreneur.com 4. today.com• Winners of Google Panda 2.5 1. youtube.com 2. zappos.com 3. perezhilton.com 4. wsj.com
What People Did Wrong• Every page needs a raison detre, or at least a reason to be indexed.• Many pages don‘t. Why would someone want a tag page or page four in a list of articles, instead of the article itself? Why would they want to go from a search results page to another SERP?• Do you generate pages based on keywords, even with no content to put on those pages? That‘s low-quality too.• Repackaging content? Spinning Content? Five pages with similar text with slight variations to go after slightly different keywords? All guilty.
How They Fixed It• The Easy, Temporary Fix: New Domain or Subdomain• The Real Way: • Identify the low-quality pages • Determine if the site needs them • Delete or NoIndex/Block them • Or make high-quality • Write new, relevant content for your strong pages, or your improved low- quality pages • Build more links to your strong pages, or your improved low-quality pages
How To Improve a Page• Add unique, new/fresh, relevant content• Make the page look nicer: improve the layout, reduce the ads• Change the URL; avoid words like ―tag,‖ ―results‖ and ―search‖• Add rich media, like images and video to the page• Highlight the new, improved page in your site (link from the home page)
Keep It Fresh• Events, Editorial/Release Calendar, Press, Featured Products or Stories— There are lots of ways to make new, fresh content.• Give fresh links—internally and externally—to your new content• Evergreen can be fresh! Combine your topic and tag pages for strong and fresh landing pages
Treat Google Well• Build ―High quality sites‖ that users will enjoy.• Avoid duplicate content.• Provide original content.• Provide well edited content.• (Don‘t scrape and/or spin. You‘re just not good enough.)• Avoid overuse of ads that distract from or get in the way of main content.• Avoid short articles that lack substance.• Implement rich media content, like images or video.
Moving Forward• This won‘t be the last Panda• If you suffer from these issues— low quality pages—but you haven‘t been hit, don‘t breathe that sigh of relief just yet. Preemptively fix your site before Google catches up with you• Put the user first and give each page a reason to exist