The bastards got me yesterday. Why? who knows…..
As of 12pm today panda , googles new algorithim has officially hit the UK and and english speaking data centres, have a read of the official google announcement here. http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/04/high-quality-sites-algorithm-goes.html
Read on what this means…
Algorithm updates are not new, Google has been tweaking their search algorithm for many years in an effort to bring the quality content to the fore and to counter-act any build up of spammy or useless content. Danny Sullivan was one of the first to coin the update as the “Farmer Update” but in recent days Google made it aware that the recent changes were known internally as the “Panda Update”. The Panda update went live in the US on 23rd February 2011 and quite a few SEO`s were reporting that it had started to take affect in the UK SERP`s on 8th March 2011.
What does this algorithm update do exactly?
While the ideal goal would be to drive down SPAM it does seem from people kicking and screaming that there has been some early collateral damage, it appears that it is more an algorithmic tweak to attribution, attribution to original content rather than directly targeting sites with little to no content that are achieving rankings on authority alone.
Its not just the thin content that the new algorithmic update seems to be targeting, other signals that a bot can pick up on such as too much advertising on the pages, trust signals and more of what we may not have discovered yet, but we will. It seems to be a blend of factors and may well be only the very beginning of a larger roll out. There is more in depth detail over on SE Roundtable covering discussion of the update from SMX.
What can we do to avoid being hit negatively by this update?
The obvious springs to mind. When providing content for your website audiences ask yourself the question;
“Will this content stand the test of time?”
Good content has always been well advised across millions of marketing sites and blogs and that will never change, if your current content provides little value to your visitors its not going to add much to the search results pages whichever search engine you use. Build out your content to add value to your visitor.
Is this content yours to begin with? Or did you go and set up an RSS feeder to regurgitate? If the answer is the latter and the Panda has not stopped by that content yet, don`t be shocked when your rankings dive. Do not duplicate content, either your own or through republication of others because if there is an attribution factor being mixed into this latest classifier then you will not receive any benefit from it in the long haul. Stop your lazy ways.
Advertising is Googles steering wheel behind their business model and while this may only be my opinion a tweak to an algo that weeds out content with overly aggressive advertising HAS to be a double win, a win for us primarily as searchers and a win for Google as an advertiser. So if you have 70% advertising and 30% content on your page, guess what will happen to the visibility of that page if we are to believe the Panda update looks at the advertising models of sites. They are generalised percentages but you get where I am coming from.
Did the Panda kick you?
You can join the conversation and view others that have been adversely affected by the Farmer/Panda algorithm update.
Further Reading About the Farmer/Panda Update
Please comment below if you have been effected ( registration NOT required )
Dean Cruddace is the owner of SEO Begin Ltd which is an SEO company in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.