Panda Update may just be part of the new Google core Algorithm

14 January 2016

SEO and Google's Panda Algorithm

After this past weekend it was reported by various SEO websites (like Search Engine Land and Yoast) that there was a Google algorithm update. Other sources noted that search rankings for keywords fluctuated more than usual, guessing that it could be a Penguin update (the algorithm that lessens the effect of weak backlinks). It was unclear exactly which ranking algorithm was at play, but it was clearly a major update.

Google stated it was not a Penguin update, but a "core update". Eventually A Google spokesperson confirmed to The SEM Post that their infamous Panda algorithm had been incorporated into their main ranking algorithm.

“Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.”

1) What exactly is Panda

Panda is a Google ranking algorithm designed to evaluate whether a website has unique and relevant content for users. It was first implemented in February 2011, and affected almost 12% of all search results. High-quality sites (like news sites) were pushed to the top of search rankings, and weaker ones (those with huge amounts of advertising for example) were pushed down. If your website had one page or section of poor / duplicated content, that meant a search ranking penalty for your entire website.

For the first two years of its existence, Panda was updated almost every a month, and then lessened to two or three times a year just to refine it. This did mean that after you were penalised but amended your content, you had to wait a few months for the algorithm to run again before your changes could influence your rankings.

2) What does this change mean for your site?

With the change, this means your site content will be evaluated on a more regular basis. The main Google ranking algorithm is reported to be updated on a daily basis, and runs constantly. If you have poor content you will be penalised quite swiftly. On the other hand it does mean any changes or fixes you make will be processed much quicker, as opposed to the previous Panda update changes that happened only a few times a year.

This could be the main reason for the change, but it could be that Google is satisfied with Panda and thinks that it doesn't need any more major refinements.

3) How to Panda-proof your website

If your site has suffered a dip in search traffic, it's time to evaluate your site.

Determine if your site has unique content

You can utilise an online plagiarism checker like Copyscape to evaluate the content on each page of your website, checking to see if you have duplicated content. This can be a lengthy process as you have to do this page-by-page (with a 10-page limit per day) unless you purchase Copyscape Premium. With their premium offering you can also detect if other sites have plagiarised your own content.

Check the quality of your existing content

Here are few examples of how to improve your content:

  • Have a few people read through your site content to check for spelling and grammatical errors. A second option is to paste your content into a Microsoft Word file and run the spellchecker to find any faults.
  • Reading level - Ensure that your content is easy to read (for all readers to understand, no need for nonsensical or over-technical jargon). But beware that it's not too simple or Google will penalise you, for example: "I am happy. I am very happy. My website is popular".
  • When placing outgoing links (maybe when listing sources), only link to authorative websites. You can check a site's domain and page authority with Moz. We recommend only linking to domains with a MozRank of 60 or higher.
  • Make sure all your facts are up-to-date and relevant for your users.
  • All your links should be working, your images must all load. You should never have a site or page look incomplete or abandoned.
  • Every piece of content should stay on-topic. You could be penalised if your articles stray to other topics regularly, or cover a variety of topics that are not usually linked to each other. Google wants to promote sites that offer consistent and relevant content to users.
  • Your contact information should be clearly displayed on each page.
  • As an onsite display of legitimate business, include "About Us", "Mission Statement" or other similar information.
  • Display your copyright information on every page, and dates for your articles / blog posts.

There are also technical aspects your SEO provider should attend to:

  • Check for duplicate titles and meta descriptions
  • Ensure all TITLE and ALT tags are added
  • For blogs, your internal links should not be stuffed with your keywords

Add to existing content to add more value to your users

If you want Google and other search engines to consider your pages to have high-quality content, we recommend you publish each with a minimum of 1000 words. Last year Moz and BuzzSumo teamed up to analyse over 1 million articles and found that 85% of all articles contained less than 1000 words, but that articles with more content averaged more shares and links.

Article length

But remember - don't just add words for the sake of having more words - ensure that the extra content genuinely adds value to the existing writing. Also add relevant images and videos if you can as visual content can influence a user's perception of your site. Also, videos and infographics are two types of visual content that people love to share via social media.

Add more pages - Google loves unique content. It makes sense that if you have more informative and unique content, your search rankings will improve. Add more pages to your site, and have each optimised for relevant keywords.

4) Closing Thoughts

The only takeaway we have from this change is that it will result in higher-quality content being created, and that will only be good for users.

» How Fake News is Fought (and how to spot it yourself)

Learn how to report fake news, and how to recognise which stories are false....

» 5 Reasons your website is not gaining traffic (and how to fix it)

Boost your natural web traffic by improving these 5 aspects of your site....

» 6 Tools to boost team collaboration and productivity

Keep track of your work projects with these helpful tools....

» The nuts and bolts of social media marketing

Learn more about social media marketing from these helpful guidelines...

» The helpful guide to Instagram for business

Set up your own Instagram for business account and grow an engaged following with these helpful guideline...

» 11 simple SEO tricks and tools for your new website

Follow these simple SEO tricks to help increase your new site's visibility ...

» The vibrant colour psychology behind web design

How the psychology behind colour association influences web design, and how that can impact on a site's success ...

» How not having a mobile-friendly site hurts your business

Mobile browsing has overtaken desktop as the number one choice for internet users ...

» What you need to know about Google's Fred Update

Google’s latest algorithm update ...

» What's happening on Social Media in 2017

We look at the recent changes and added features for your favourite social media platforms ...

» 7 Free tools and techniques to find long-tail keywords to boost your conversion rates

Your website is all set to conquer the web, but there might be a missing element ...

» Why Content Marketing is Important for Any Business

Why content marketing is important for any business ...

» What Mobile First Means for Your SEO

Users have gone mobile. Each and every year, studies are showing that ...

» How to Build Trust on Social Media

How to Build Trust on Social Media ...

» Goodbye intrusive mobile popups

Google now penalizing mobile interstitials ...

» The latest Google SEO Algorithm Updates

The latest Google SEO Algorithm Updates ...

» WhatsApp wants to share your data with Facebook (and how to opt out)

WhatsApp wants to share your data with Facebook ...

» Ten fascinating digital marketing stats from the last week

Ten fascinating digital marketing stats from the last week ...

» 10 Significant Digital Marketing Stats from last week

10 Significant Digital Marketing Stats from last week – 21 April 2016 ...

» Optimise your Email Campaigns for Conversions

8 Ways to Optimise your Email Campaigns for Conversions ...

» Facebook Reactions

How will Reactions change the Facebook experience? ...

» Improve Business Branding

10 Social Media Tips to Improve Business Branding ...

» Online Brand Management

5 Tips to Manage Your Online Reputation ...

» Ten Tips to Increase Blog Traffics

Ten Tips to Increase Your Blog Traffic and Visibility ...

» 10 Great Tips to Promote Your Blog

10 Great Tips to Promote Your Blog

» The Perfect Blog Post

How to Write the Perfect Blog Post ...

» Facebook Trends 2016

Facebook Trends 2016: One Social Network to Rule Them All ...

» Blogging for Business

8 Reasons why Blogging is important for your Businesses (and why you’re missing out) ...

» The Ultimate Web Design Checklist

Does your website have the essential elements to succeed? ...

» Digital Marketing

How Digital Marketing can Kickstart your eCommerce Sales ...

» What is Social Currency?

What is Social Currency and how can it help your eCommerce store ...

» Optimise your FB Account for Business

Facebook is the world’s favourite social media platform ...

» How to gain more instagram followers

Instagram is a big player in the social media market ...

» Panda Update

Panda Update may just be part of the new Google core Algorithm ...

» Ridding the web of spam

Google’s latest web browser, ‘Chrome’ was released in 2008 and ...

» Digital Marketing 2011

Digital shopkeepers are changing the face of the Internet and ...

» E-commerce Boosts Economy

For many London Web Design agencies, 2010 was the year of ...

» SEO: A short Introduction

In this “SEO Hierarchy of needs” effective keywords and ...

» To Design or Not ... (Part 1)

Knowing when it’s actually time to call on a professional could be ...

» To Design or Not ... (Part 2)

Web designers often fall into the habit of screen-to-screen ...

» Organic SEO

An efficient, sustainable marketing strategy is important ...

» Agile

A project management solution that encourages inspection ...

» Bing vs Google

Online Search Engine technology is continually evolving ...

» Ruby on Rails

An open source web application framework using Ruby ...

» WordPress

The more reputable small-scale website and blog package ...

» Grid Design

Mathematics is often closely related to the art of web design ...

» Drupal vs Joomla

Open Source CMS's can give a greater level of autonomy to users ...

» Google Page Rank

Page Rank is based on the principle of importance through connectivity ...

London

12 Stukeley Street
London
WC2B 5LQ

T: +44(0) 207 631 3366
F: +44(0) 207 692 2646

E.
Reg UK: 05806347
VAT Reg No: 912 5835 27

Cape Town

502 Buitenkloof Studios
8 Kloof Street, Gardens
Cape Town, 8001

T. + 27 21 424 2797
T. + 27 21 424 2829

E.

Perth

Unit 2, Crossways Shopping Centre
Cnr Rokeby Road and Bagot Road
Subiaco,
WA 6008

T: +61 (0) 42 777 0294


E.
Lilo

more info please email us at or call us on +44 (0) 207 631 3366

Lilo London Lilo Cape Town Lilo Perth