Google Algorithm Panda Update

A Complete Guide To The Google Panda Algorithm Update


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If you are wondering how google panda affects your content on the internet then this article is for you! Even if you are a tech enthusiast looking for a bit of information on the new Google Panda Algorithm or a newbie trying to explore various algorithm updates by Google, our blog will help you dive deep and find out everything that you need to know about Google Panda Algorithm Update!

A Brief History of Google Panda Algorithm

Let us take a look at the history of Google Panda since its creation. In 2010, Google faced a severe problem and that was the falling quality of Google’s search results. User complaints about the increasing influence of “content farms” had become a regular event. Google was losing a lot of users because of this problem. Therefore Google launched the Panda algorithm in February 2011 to combat and eliminate black hat SEO tactics and web spam. It was initially rolled out separately from the core algorithm and then later incorporated into the algorithm later in March 2012. 

This initiative was Google’s first step to prioritising user experience and quality of content. However, it was known as Farmer back then and later renamed Panda after google staffer Navneet Panda. Here’s how the algorithm made a difference:- it affected about 12% of search results in English. However, Google has been pretty consistent with the refinement of this algorithm and has released over 28 data updates between 2011 and 2015. The panda algorithm since then has classified pages, modelled after human quality ratings and in general assigned a rank to all the pages. It became a remedy to auto-correct problematic web pages that seek to enter the Google SERPs.It rewarded high-quality pages and reduced the presence of low-quality websites in Google’s search engine results. 

Given below are several factors that trigger the Google Panda algorithm:-

1. Thin Content

Any content that has little or no value to the user is known as thin content. There are several examples of these such as doorway pages, low affiliate pages, and simple pages with very little or no content. In simple words, the panda algorithm downvotes pages that have content of little to no relevance.

2. Duplicate Content

Any content on the internet that has duplicate data on its website and involves multiple pages carrying the same text is considered duplicate content. The panda algorithm heavily penalizes the promoters and downvotes pages that have no benefit or pages that have no relevance.

3. Authority

Any content that isn’t produced from verified or definitive sources is considered low-quality content. Your site should be reliable, verified and registered. This way your website won’t be downvoted by the panda algorithm.

4. Content Farming

This is the process through which a group of low-quality pages are clumped from other websites. This is mainly done by hiring writers and producing short articles with search engine queries. This is of little to no value to the users and therefore the panda algorithm thrashes it.

5. High Ad-To-Content Ratio

The panda algorithm will demote any websites that have more paid advertisements than original content. Therefore try to limit unnecessary advertisements on your website.

If your website acts as a host to paid affiliate programs then it is quite probable that the panda algorithm will downvote it. Make sure to focus on the content quality.

7. Blocked Websites

Any website on the internet that gets blocked directly by a user or in the search engine results indicates a low-quality page. It may also be blocked via the chrome browser extension. In this case, the panda algorithm will demote the rankings of the page.

8. Content Mismatch

Any website that claims to answer a query but does the opposite can be categorised under this. Pages that assure answers but fail to deliver appropriate answers can be categorised under this page. Therefore, make sure that your content is relevant and doesn’t have useless pages or ads otherwise the panda algorithm will demote it.

Certain Myths about the Panda Algorithm 

There are several myths surrounding the panda algorithm. The algorithm has several triggers and it was made for making things easier for the user. However, marketers have a very misguided notion about the panda algorithm update. Panda never deletes or devalues a site it merely demotes it or adjusts the site ranking. It simply acts as an overseer to prevent any foul play. The main focus is always on providing better rankings to sites with good content. Here are a few myths about the google panda algorithm update:-

1. Duplicate Content

The panda algorithm encourages unique content. Plagiarism and duplicate content doesn’t provide much value to the user. The algorithm will always choose to upvote sites that have unique content. Therefore, any site that has real appropriate information that is actually helpful to the user will get a better ranking.

2. Deleting Content

Deletion of content is not recommended by experts at Google rather improving the content, adding in more details and high-quality information may be of significant help. The overall quality should be significantly better so that it is seen as a reliable or trusted site. Experts at google have always suggested either improving the content or adding a noindex tag. Deleting the overall content should never be an option unless it is for branding. 

3. User Generated Content

Panda may target low-quality user-generated content. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged to use user-generated content. Make sure to avoid spammy guest posts or forums filled with spam. Logically it would be very bad for websites that rely on user-generated content if the algorithm was targeting user-generated content. A lot of sites rely on forums, blog comments and article contributions and the removal of this type of content would adversely affect the rankings and the traffic of the website.

4. Word Count

It is a common misconception that content with lower word limits may be susceptible to demotion. That’s not the case at all. As mentioned above the panda algorithm focuses on quality. Therefore it doesn’t matter how small or large your content is. As long as your content can explain a query without duplications, and in a non-spammy way the algorithm will let you retain your rank.

The panda algorithm doesn’t specifically target affiliate sites. They are demoted because of low-quality content. These sites are often hit more than other sites. The main reason is that these sites are unable to produce articles that are compelling, unique or engaging.

Signs that your website has been penalized by the Panda algorithm 

If you are suspecting that your website has been penalized there are a few ways to know that. However, there might be several as to why your website may be underperforming. Given below are a few ways to determine if your website has been demoted by the panda algorithm.:-

1. If your site isn’t indexed and it has lost its rankings chances are that your site is most likely banned. The best way to deal with this is to verify with the google search console and then file a reconsideration request. However, please make sure to remove the problematic content before sending in the reconsideration request.

2. If your site hasn’t retained its rank for its domain name chances are your site has been hit with a penalty for manipulative linking on on-site spam. Make sure to remove weak outbound links, paid link campaigns that violate google’s guidelines and any on-page issues. Then go to the google search console to verify and then file a reconsideration request.

3. If your site cannot be seen within the first 10-20 search results chances are that your links have been wiped off their value. The best way to come back from this is to go to Google’s spam team IDs and eliminate the link equity. Then go to Google search console. Verify your content and then submit a reconsideration request. Then rebuild your website and regain your rank by forming efficient and high-quality natural links.

4. Analyzing the traffic pattern can also help you in figuring out if your website has been struck with the algorithm’s penalty. Looking up google’s traffic trends and then comparing the data with yours can help you figure this problem out. A massive drop in traffic for one to two days continuously can be a sign of a panda penalty.

One of the major ways to notice penalization is the sudden drop in organic traffic and search engine rankings. However, there may be several reasons why it may have happened. Not all cases have been the end result of a google panda’s penalization. It may be because of rising competitors in your niche. Manual penalties may also be another issue and there are expected season dips in interest. 

What to do to recover your site?

The best way to deal with all of the above is to get high-quality content and review your search engine optimisation efforts. It is a known fact that recovering from the algorithm’s strike is difficult. However, if your website is recovering from the Panda algorithm strike there are a few remedial actions that may help:-

1. Content farming including both automated and manual methods must be avoided at all costs.

2. Modernize or overhaul website content for quality. The focus should be on relevance, authority, appropriateness and trustworthiness.

3. The website should not be dominated by ads or affiliate links. Review your ad and affiliate content and minimise their existence.

4. The content on your website should match the user’s query. It should have relevant content to answer the user’s query.

5. Duplicate content should be avoided and the removal or overhauling of content should be practised.

6. User-generated content should be closely monitored and it should be verified for originality,error-free, efficiency, usability and where it can be applied.

7. It is essential to use the noindex, nofollow command to block duplication or near duplicate website content.

How exactly does the Panda Algorithm help?

Google panda puts the user’s preference before anything else. It will strictly dismiss any site that wastes the user’s time. Here’s how Google Panda helps:-

1. Promotes transparency- The algorithm targets websites that are into illegal practices of using content from other sites. Specifically, sites that copy and paste from other sites. Therefore, it upvotes sites that produce original high-quality content and demotes sites that indulge in unethical practices.

2. Better Utilization of Time- The panda algorithm enables the search engine results to be more relevant and appropriate. It serves the right information at the trite time whenever a user asks any queries. This way it saves up a lot of time for the user.

3. Enhances Experience- The algorithm filters out all kinds of irrelevant, inappropriate, unnecessary and unwanted content. The user gets only accurate and appropriate answers to their queries and this way it enhances the experience of the user.

4. Rewarding efficient SEOs- Google Panda has a strict policy when it comes to black hat SEOs.It rewards hardworking and honest content creators and strikes hard on organizations that use unethical means.

To Sum It Up

Google Panda Algorithm is an immense help to all users. It keeps a close eye on duplication, copied content and fraud. This algorithm is a remedy to problematic web pages that tend to enter the SERPs.It is also a very consistently updated algorithm. It has an extensive public record for associated updates. Even though initially it wasn’t a part of Google’s core algorithm its data was updated frequently and rolled out sequentially over the course of many months. This way it was abruptly ending the industry-wide impacts caused due to its updates. The most widely hit sites had less attractive designs, more ads, extensive word counts with repetitive content, low quality,  repeated phrasing, poor research and in general untrustworthy content. Now, Panda is a fully embedded machine learning algorithm and doesn’t have a standalone upload. It focuses on three main things while striking a website for penalty:- 1. Acute lack of authority and authoritative sources. 2. Uninformative, thin and poorly researched content and 3.Questionable links and contents that are untrustworthy in nature. Therefore it is a well-established fact by now that Google Panda is the industry standard when it comes to judging high-quality and organic content and it is a major boon to all the users.

Written By
Digital Scholar

Digital Scholar is a premier agency-styled digital marketing institute in India. Which offers an online digital marketing course and a free digital marketing course worldwide to elevate their digital skills and become industry experts. Digital Scholar is headed by Sorav Jain and co-founder Rishi Jain, who are pioneers in the field of digital marketing. Digital Scholar’s blogs touch upon numerous aspects of digital marketing and help you get intensive ideas of different domains of digital marketing.

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