September 2014 saw Google coming out with its 27th Google Panda update, aimed at rewarding sites with thicker, longer and relevant content. The Panda’s been there for some years now. Google first rolled out the Panda update in February 2011 and was aimed at helping sites with unique and fresh content climb Google’s search engine ladder faster.
Each of Google algorithm changes has been an attempt to improve the quality of search results, and help users get more relevant results when they search. So, there is the Penguin update that focuses on improving local search results as well.
How has the Panda update changed over the years?
Up until 2012, Google Panda dealt with each site as a whole. So, if you had ten pages on the site and three of them had thin content while others were more relevant, you had a risk of Google penalizing your whole site. After the update in 2012, individual pages were accessed differently.
Matt Cutts, head of Webspam, Google present an interesting insight on what Google plans to do with the Panda versions. For one, pages need to bring in fresh and original content to the table and not just provide a different version of the same story.
The recent Google Panda update, named Google Panda 4.1, also uses Google’s new semantic search system. So, Google doesn’t look up for keywords. Instead, it looks at the content and evaluates how relevant it is to the content itself. Just told, you cannot benefit from using the keyword ‘baseball’ as a primary one if you are talking about saying ‘basketball’ all through the post.
The Panda 4.1 release commenced from 14th September to 6th October 2014. Hailed as, “soft Panda,” it makes sites of small and medium sizes with valuable content easily discoverable. There’s a catch, though. Your content needs to be longer – research suggests that content with around 1200 words or more a page and that’s relevant have a much higher chance of being featured more prominently.
According to Google, user feedback has been imperative towards the release of the update. Sites that previously ranked poorly may obtain better ratings through content improvement.
The Top Things To Know About the Google Panda Algorithm
For content marketers, the following points need to be remembered as to how sites were affected post the Panda update.
- Affiliate sites with poor content or broken links are the most hurt. It’s important to have links that point to relevant and authoritative sites.
- Sites with detailed and relevant content will outdo those sites that have information that’s unrelated to what they do.
- Credible and trustworthy content will feature more prominently than content that’s unsubstantiated. Google loves new content, and the Panda update has started its war against spun content, or content that’s machine generated and just rewrites an article to make it unique.
Frequency of Google Panda Updates:
The updates were done once in every month in the initial stages for the first two years. However, in March 2013, Google stated that future updates would be merged into the algorithm, as a result of which, the updates would be continuous but would be less noticeable.
Now that the Google Panda updates happen regularly, information on the kind of updates that have occurred is not given out by Google as it feels it is not that important now to provide updates on a regular basis. Google does recommend the website owners to have unique content of their own rather than borrowing or copying content from other websites to rank well in the search engine results.
The points below highlight the impact of Google Panda updates on SEO:
- Scope for sites with a high quality of content to rank high in search engine results pages.
- Advantage to the browsers regarding getting the best search results possible.
- Improvement in site traffic.
- Scraper sites or low-quality sites to disappear due to the latest design of Google Panda algorithm.
- Gives the bloggers an opportunity to ranked and placed.
- Users coming across many articles that otherwise would not have been found if not for Google Panda.
If you are looking to get help with your site that may be affected by Google’s Panda Algorithm, the local Phoenix SEO experts at Coronation Internet Marketing. We know the “ins-and-outs” of website content that will help avoid Panda and get you more traffic to your website.