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Google Panda - A Fundamental Change for SEO


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#1 Michella

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:45 AM

Every now and again, something happens that changes the game drastically...  

You may or may not be aware that Google updates its algorithm over 300 times a year - most of these algorithmic updates are minor adjustments that only affect a small number of queries.

Recently, however, an algorithm update called the "Panda" update kicked in - This is an update that's designed to wipe out low quality sites and scraper sites (those that copy content from other sites and that don't offer any unique content of their own).

Quite simply, this update has massively changed the role of an SEO.  If you're trying to get organic traffic from the search engines, then you'll definitely need to "upgrade" your SEO knowledge in light of this particular algorithm change.

- SEO used to be about creating optimised on site content; adding keywords in "important" places such as the H1 tags, title and numerous times in the body.

- SEO used to be about building links to your site from other sites on the web - gaining link popularity made your site look important in the eyes of the search engine.

These things are still important but now we also need to look at user experience and page-usage metrics very closely.  
                            
The Panda Effect

Panda is a "heuristic" algorithm - this means that it learns.  

The problem with heuristic algorithms is that they are computationally expensive. It used to not be feasible for Google to implement a heuristic algorithm for their mass of search results because it required too much resource.

The chap who designed Panda (who is known as Mr.Panda funnily enough!) recently created a way of scaling up heuristic algorithms so that they don't require as much resource to run.

This means that Google can learn from metrics that were otherwise not really important for SEO specialists.

                           What Does This Mean for Us?

A while ago Wired magazine interviewed Matt Cutts (Google's mouthpiece and head of web spam team) and Anik Singhal (a chief engineer) about Panda...

They spoke about how they took a sample of sites and asked a number of questions about these sites.  Questions like:-

  - Would you trust information from this site?

  - Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?

- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?

Having compiled a group of sites that hard largely positive feedback, and a group of sites with largely negative feedback, they compared metrics between the two.

This allowed them to build up a metric picture of what they believe makes a good site and what makes a bad site.

       These are the Metrics that can Now be Measured and Used in Rankings

Metrics such as:-

- The number of pages a visitor views before leaving the site

- The time an average visitor spends on site

- The bounce rate of a site

- The number and position of the ads on a page

- How long it takes for a site to load

and so on...

The bottom line is this:-

SEO has changed.

SEO is no longer about just relevance and  building links.

It's now also about user experience and making sure that your site looks
good with the new Panda feedback loop that has been implemented.


                       Some More Panda Facts for You

- Panda doesn't update in real-time.  Instead it appears to be update in batch around once every 30 - 40 days.

- If your site has been hit by the Panda update - it won't recover until i) the metrics
that have caused a drop in rankings improve and ii) a Panda update occurs (once every month or so as mentioned above)

- Genuinely high quality sites have been caught in the crossfire as usual with algorithm
updates.


                                High Quality Wins

Content has always been king but in the past it has been pretty easy to create poor quality sites, through a bunch of links at them and still get them ranked.

With the Panda - this has just got MUCH harder.  Now, more than ever, your site needs to be quality.  Hiring outsourcers to write keyword rich articles a $3
a piece just doesn't cut it any more.

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#2 Selijames

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 12:20 PM

Hi,

Its a great post! a very valuable information for all the SEO experts. it is a new alogrithm introduced by the Google.It works against the website that contains low quality contents or the duplicate contents it also decide the rankings of your sites according to content and meta settings.




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