Google’s latest and greatest algorithm change might sound like a cute little fluffy animal, but it is actually a beast that has affected millions of websites around the world. Many sites that have been affected by the change didn’t even know it until they saw their website traffic drop significantly. Many ran to check Google and Bing and saw that they had dropped off the face of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), from page 1 to page 3 or lower.
So what is this sweet sounding algorithm looking for and how can you make sure your site isn’t affected by it?
Panda was introduced in February 2011 and was Google’s attempt to drop “low-quality sites” out of the top search results and replace them with higher-quality sites with valuable content. Like every Google update the intention was to make sure people who were using the search engine were finding what they were looking for. Google did not want content farms or sites full of bogus links showing up higher than the majority of sites.
Google has made more than 20 Panda updates since the launch and with each one the algorithm improves. Google published a bulleted list of questions to ask when trying to determine if a site is high quality or not. Here are a few basic questions, out of the more than 20 that Google lists on its blog, that you should ask yourself when trying to determine if your site is high or low quality in Google’s eyes:
- Trustworthy: “Would you trust the information on this site?”
- Unique: “Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?”
- Quality: “How much quality control is done on content?”
- Editing: “Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?”
Google Panda affects the entire site and not just individual pages and that forces webmasters to do complete site audits to make sure that a few pages won’t drop the entire site.
Google continues to update and improve Panda and as long as your site produces high quality and unique content that your customers or visitors find valuable then you should be safe from the Panda.
While “content is king” and very important there are many factors that go into making sure your site ranks high in search results. IHS Website Solutions can help you optimize your site, which will increase traffic and make sure your customers are finding you. Better search results means more traffic, better leads, higher sales and overall better results.