Getting Started with Google Panda According to Google’s official blog post when Panda launched: This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
Panda 1.0 (Farmer Update) Panda 2.0 February 24, 2011 April 11, 2011 Panda 2.1 Panda 2.2 May 9, 2011 June 18, 2011Panda updates and their Panda 2.3 Panda 2.4 July 22, 2011 August 2011 Panda 2.5 Panda 2.5.1 September 28th 2011 October 9th 2011release dates Panda 2.5.2 Panda 2.5.3 October 13th 2011 October 19/20th 2011 Panda 3.1 Panda 3.2 November 18th 2011 January 15th 2012 Panda 3.3 Panda 3.4 February 26th 2012 March 23rd 2012 Panda 3.5 April 19th 2012
So what is special about Google Panda? The changes were made to target a specific type of website, those with low quality content (article directories, like goarticles.com). The reason for this was that feedback from Google users showed that were not interested in the results from websites like eHow and ezinearticles.com. The changes were rolled out very slowly over a period of time. In fact Google is still working on this specific set of changes after nearly two months of tweaking. It is speculated that all other normal updates to Google have stopped. The impact to specific websites has been huge. Some websites, like eHow, have reported a drop in traffic by almost a third. (30% of traffic gone over night) Panda 1.0 (Farmer Update)
So what is Google Penalizing? Duplicate content “Low quality content” meaning pages with only small amounts of information Domains that are seen to be content scraping, stealing information. Websites that have a high bounce rate or exit rate. At this stage this measure is highly speculative, but Google has hinted at it. Panda 1.0 (Farmer Update)
So what can you do if you are affected? Do nothing. Don’t panic! Wait and see maybe for the next Google Updates you may see your website ranking improve suddenly. Slow down on “off-page SEO”. Again, right now you don’t know what websites will be classed as quality and those that won’t. Keep building unique content, don’t syndicate. Keep writing good content, and don’t then try to “spin” this out to article directories. Last resort: Check for duplicate content and reword what you have. Have a look at your most affected pages, and then check to see if someone has ripped off your content. Reword and rewrite the ones that you think are most affected. Again, this is a last resort, because it will not improve your ranking overnight. Panda 1.0 (Farmer Update)
Impacts all English speaking countries The original algorithm update impacted only U.S. queries. As of today, this change is live for all English queries worldwide. This includes both English speaking countries (such as searches on google.co.uk, and google.com.au) and English queries in non- English countries (for instance, for a searcher using google.fr who’s chosen English- language results).“We’re focused on showing users the highest quality, most relevant pages on the web.We’re cautious not to roll out changes until we’re confident that they improve the userexperience, while at the same time helping the broader web ecosystem. We incorporatenew signals into our algorithm only after extensive testing, once we’ve concluded thatthey improve quality for our users.” -- Amit Singhal Panda 2.0
What To Do If Your Site Is Impacted Can visitors easily find their way around? Is it obvious what topic each page is about? Is the content original or is it aggregated from other sources? Do the number and placement of the ads obscure the visitor’s ability to quickly access the content? When looking objectively at the site, is the primary focus the user need or the business goal? Is the content on the page authoritative and valuable? Does it answer the query better than other pages on the web? If some of the pages on the site are very high quality and engaging, are other pages on the site not as high quality? (Google has stated that enough low quality content on a site can reduce the entire site’s rankings, not just the low quality pages.) Panda 2.0
“Panda friendly”Panda updates do not happen at regularintervals, and Google doesn’t re-index everysite each time, so some site owners wereforced to deal with low traffic for severalmonths until Google got around to re-crawling their website and taking note of anypositive changes.
Important algorithm change targeted at webspam.Penguin is…
The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’sexisting quality guidelines.” Google mentions that typical black hat SEO tactics likekeyword stuffing (long considered webspam) would get a site in trouble, but lessobvious tactics (link incorporating irrelevant outgoing links into a page of content)would also cause Penguin to flag your site.“Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming withoutdeep analysis or expertise, but the common thread is that these sites are doing much more than white hat SEO; we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics tomanipulate search engine rankings.” -- Google
Site owners should be sure to check their GoogleWebmaster accounts for any messages from Googlewarning about your past spam activity and a potentialpenalty. Google says that Penguin has impacted about3.1% of queries (compared to Panda 1.0’s 12%). If you sawmajor traffic losses between April 24th and April 25th,chances are Penguin is the culprit, even though Panda 3.5came out around the same time.
Many in the SEO community have speculated that some contributing factors toPenguin might be things like: 1. Aggressive exact-match anchor text 2. Overuse of exact-match domains 3. Low-quality article marketing & blog spam 4. Keyword stuffing in internal/outbound links
What Rand Fishkin can say about Google Penguin? Its (weirdly) not focused on improving search quality It appears to affect some of the worst spam (but not all) and some very light forms of spam/manipulation (oddly) Not tied to on-page or on-site necessarily, though outlinks may be looked at and several other updates occurred at similar times (making it tough to reverse engineer what might have caused a penalty) Appears to affect a disproportionate number of web service industry sites (though that could be correlation, not causation) Not yet clear if this a rolling update (though there are signs it may be) Left a lot of very strange, "empty" types of results in many of the spammiest verticals/SERPsVideo URL: https://plus.google.com/u/1/+SEOmoz/posts/hHaXg8Rs5Lf
1. Overly-optimized sites will continue to be targets.Based on Googles stated interest in stopping sites that intentionally manipulatethe natural search engine results pages (SERPs) from ranking well, well continueto see future algorithm changes designed to punish indicators of over-optimization.But simply saying "Dont over-optimize your site," isnt realistic, as theres no way toknow which specific optimization metrics Google is able to measure and track. Its alsonot possible to determine where the line between effective on-page SEO andover-optimization will be drawn.
2. Visitor engagement matters more than ever.Another factor that I expect to be important in future ranking algorithm updates isthe level of visitor engagement occurring on a site. Since Google promotes the sitesthat its users will find valuable, one might assume that sites that demonstrate highengagement will be rewarded in future updates.Again, the specific metrics that the Google can detect and track in order to measurevisitor engagement arent immediately apparent. As a general rule, a few of the specificitems webmasters should focus on are the presence of customer reviews, articlecomments and social networking follow-through.
3. Content quality will grow in importance.Although Google has made no secret of its desire to reward high-value content withtop SERPs rankings, too many webmasters still rely on keyword-optimized orcopied-and-pasted content to fill their pages.Even if your site wasnt affected by the Panda or Penguin updates, you shouldntassume that youre safe. Google has made every indication that it intends to weedout low value results from the search results. Getting your content quality up nowoffers one of the best opportunities to protect your site from future changes.