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Dealing With the Aftermath of Google Panda Update Version 2.2

July 22, 2011 by Dustin

In February 24, 2011 Google introduced its new method for evaluating the quality of a website. Google Panda or “The Panda Algorithm” affected a little under 12% of search results and drastically reduced page visitors for many websites. At first 12% may seem like a small percentage but when considering the size of internet the figure becomes fairly significant. Google released Panda 2.0 in April and followed with version 2.1 in May. According to Search Engine Land Google had also just recently released its newest version (Panda 2.2) sometime during June.

googlepanda1 Dealing With the Aftermath of  Google Panda Update Version 2.2

from, July 2011

The Panda version 2.2 updates are thought to be the source behind the recent fluctuation in search listings and PageRank. Whether you experienced this change back in February or the new update is finally catching up with you, Google Panda seems to be impacting a tremendous number of websites and site owners across the Internet.

Although it is commonly called the Panda Algorithm, Google Panda is more of an individual Ranking factor rather than an entire new algorithm.  Google uses a number of different factors when assigning a rank to a website.  These factors  are continually tweaked in order to provide the best user experience and return the most relevant search results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focuses on these evolving factors in an effort to increase site traffic and conversion rates. Although Google makes these adjustments to its ranking algorithm on a regular basis they usually go unnoticed or cause minor changes for most websites.  However there have been a few major exceptions similar to the Google Panda update such as the Mayday Update of last year and the Vince Update in 2009.

How does Google Panda work? Google Panda acts as a filter to identify low quality pages. According to Matt Cutts the Panda Filter is not running all the time. Instead Panda performs periodic scans that occur during each of the new releases for Panda. So far there have been four Panda releases meaning that websites listed on Google have be subject to at least four separate scans. Also, because the scans occur simultaneously with the new release any actions taken to improve your ranking will most likely not go into effect until the following release.

The effects of Google Panda seem unavoidable. If you have remained unaffected by the new addition to the algorithm then it’s probably just be a matter of time before you see some kind of impact, either good or bad. Many users who were untouched by the first few Panda releases are just now experiencing fluctuation in their rankings where as other users have been reporting changes for several months.

How to Avoid Falling in the Rankings and What Makes a High Quality Site?

According to Google you can avoid a loss in rankings if you maintain a high quality site. Google remains silent about their exact ranking factors but they do however offer the following Google Quality Considerations.

When it comes to assessing the quality of a website you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • If the information on the site trustworthy?
  • Is the author of the content trustworthy?
  • Is there any duplicate content?
  • How many pages have the same information?
  • If the content relevant to the search result?
  • Does the page seem over optimized?
  • Does your site have a high bounce rate or low visit times?
  • How many returning visitors do you receive?
  • Does the site have low quality links?
  • How many quality links does the website have?
  • Would you provide your credit card information if required?
  • Does the site serve the interests of page visitors rather than the search engine?
  • Is the content original?
  • Do the pages inform readers and provide actual value?
  • Is the content well edited?
  • Does the content contain creativity?
  • Is the site a reputable authority in that particular field?
  • Is the information comprehensive and descriptive?
  • Does the website participate in social media?

According to the Google Blog “One other specific piece of guidance we’ve offered is that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content.”

These are just few of Google’s suggestions to help you get in the mind set of determining high quality websites.  This list is in nowhere near as detailed as the algorithm that Google utilize to judge a site but it does serve as a great staring point.

Visit the links below to learn more about the Google Panda Update version 2.2:

The Google Panda Survival Guide

The Official Google Blog

Google Panda Q&A with Matt Cutts

Thanks for reading!


Internet Beacon


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