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When one hears about Google Panda, its a wild and angry Panda’s picture that comes to everyone’s mind. One that kicks webmaster’s butt and is doing the damage world across, hitting websites on websites with Google Penalty.
Unfortunately, this isn’t true. And Google Panda is not really inspired from the “Panda” you know. Learn more.
Google does several periodic and non-periodic updates to their search algorithm in order to improve the quality and relevancy of search results. Google’s search algorithm is based on several factors, like number of backlinks to a website, page loading time, on-site optimization factors etc. And there are several changes that happen to these factors with time. Google search team’s job is to keep up with all these changing factors and tweak them accordingly so that Google users find the search engine results relevant and accurate.
Google Panda is one such tweak (or rather set of tweaks) that Google has made to their search algorithm in order to make their search results relevant and devoid of spam or non relevant/less quality websites.
This update is based on an algorithm by Google Engineer Navneet Panda, and hence the name. Quoting Google, they call it “low quality content sites”. Google Panda’s idea is to find the low quality content sites on the web and make them appear less on the search results while promoting “high quality content sites”.
While there are many definitions about what Google Panda is, nobody really knows what Google means by “low quality content sites”. Google is very protective of their algorithm, so they never reveal the details, however, we have clues and hints.
Well, while nobody knows what really a low quality site is, speculations and suggestions tell us that these are websites with less original content. It could also mean copied content. We already know that there are many websites out there that copy content blatantly from other sites and still rank high on search engine results. These sites that steal content could be one category of low quality content websites.
Another set of low quality content websites are those that churn content on the fly through automated processes. In these websites there are usually very low amount of original content.
Nope. There have been updates in Google Search ranking algorithm from time to time, some minor, some major. “Florida” was a famous one from 2003, the “Vince” Update hit in 2009 and the “Mayday” Update happened last year. As a matter of fact, Google keeps making several small changes to their algorithms every now and then, so much that users might not even notice them on the results pages.
To find out if your site has been affected by Google Panda, go to your Google Analytics dashboard.
Move the dates around to February 2011, and see if you have received any drop in traffic around February 22nd or post it. If you’re hit by Panda your organic traffic (Non Paid Search) would’ve significantly declined around this time.
Some webmasters have also noted that their traffic has increased since the Panda update around February 22nd 2011.
Yes. For several reasons.
Okay, so you’re not sure if your site is already affected but you want to make sure there are no loose strings. No problem! Let’s fix the Panda. ;)
So, there we have it. Everything you needed to know about the Google Panda. It is a minor (or rather major) update to the core Google search algorithm which checks websites for low quality content and grades pages based on quality score. The main focus here is on quality and how humans might like/dislike your website. The human factor is very prominent.
There is nothing to be scared of though. All the websites that has been penalized were mostly based on duplicate content, automation and bad UI. You need to work on these factors and make sure your site is top quality. That is all what Google need.
One thing. If most of your organic search engine visitors click the back button within the first two seconds of visiting your website, you got a Panda to tame.
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