Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Google Panda Update: How to Stay Afloat

You may have heard about the Google Panda update. This is the update that altered the search and indexing algorithm of the Google search engine. It is the update that focused on ensuring that websites indexed on the Google search engine were of a reasonably good quality.
A lot of people have tried to manipulate the Google search engine so that their website climbs higher up the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) than it should. The Panda update was supposed to put an end to this.

The Panda update helped to remove some poor quality websites

Google has a lot of definitions for what a poor quality website has or holds, and the Panda update was a big update that tackled some of those definitions. One of the more prominent things was that Google had now brought in more human reviewers to look at the websites that were riding high on their SERP. It is the human element, along with data collected from Google Chrome users that helped to determine future updates.

Have there been updates to the Google Panda update

The evidence would suggest so, as the “Google Dance” appears every now and again, which is where websites move sharply up or down the SERP due to an update. Google publishes over 30 of its updates per year so that people may see them. But, it does not publish all of its updates, which means that the Panda update may itself have been updated more than people think.

Which were the first to fall to Panda?

The content mills and link farms were the first to go, followed by websites that were buying links, and then websites that were clearly spamming links. The human reviewers still noticed that low quality sites were still getting through, so they informed Google and other updates and changes have been made to the algorithm. Below are a few ways that you can avoid being hit by the more recent changes to the Google algorithm and Google Panda?

Remove or update any low quality pages

These are the ones that you can tell are poor quality just by looking at them and reading them yourself. You know which of your pages are low quality, so here is what you do. If you are desperately clinging to your search engine ranking, then start deleting the low quality pages.

If you have a bit more time then you should blank the pages that are low quality so that your URLs show nothing on the page, or a “page under construction” sign. You may then update them later and add good quality content to them. If you have a little more time on your hands then you could routinely go through all of your pages and update the ones that are not of a very good quality.

Do not have multiple pages with the same keywords

These are primarily the keywords in the content, but also be aware of keywords in the Meta tags and in the anchor text. Obviously, a few of your pages are going to have to have the same keywords, but try not to have too many that have lots of identical keywords.

Be wary of on-page duplicate anchor text

Again, you are going to have to have a few anchor texts that are the same, but be wary of duplicate anchor text. For example, you may have one page that has lots of other pages linking to it. A lot of those pages are going to have similar anchor text because they are all describing the same page. However, if you then used the same anchor text to describe different pages then you are going to be in trouble with the Panda update.

Remove any auto-generated or spun content

Some people have news reels on their site where content is auto generated. Others have pages that update automatically with a tool that automatically generates content. You should get rid of these if you do not want to be hit by the Panda update.

You should also remove any spun content. It may fool the search engine for a while, but it is not going to fool the human users who are going to immediately flag your site and a low quality one and kick it very far down the SERP.

Be careful about pages that have little text on

If your page has just one or two paragraphs on it then it is not going to look very good in the eyes of the search engine. If that is all that the page has, along with a link to another site, then this is a classic sign of a link farm and it will have your website penalized. There are exceptions however, for example if your page is a product page, or if it is more of a page full of images or videos, then Google will understand. But, if it is just a page with a little bit of writing and then a link, you will have to change it quickly or risk being penalized.

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Thank you :)