What is Panda Update and Why?
Panda, also known as Farmer, is a google algorithm update / ranking factor . Although it is not entirely a new ranking factor, the difference that makes is important to anyone hit by panda and are hoping to recover from it. In order to give people the most relevant answers to their search queries google is constantly tuning their algorithms. Panda 2.2 update is pretty big- a change that impact the SEO best practices forever.
History of Panda Updates
- Update 1.0: Feb. 24, 2011
- Update 2.0: April. 11, 2011
- Update 2.1: May. 10, 2011
- Update 2.2: June. 16, 2011
Who is Navneet Panda?
Navneet Panda is a Google engineer. Panda Update uses a machine learning algorithm created by him. He is an awesome guy basically came up with the breakthrough a few months back that made it possible.
What’s google telling about the Update
We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down. Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.
The Panda Ranking Factor
Panda is a filter designed by google to bring the low quality web pages down. If the site has too many low quality pages panda effectively flags the entire site. It doesn’t mean that the entire site is out of google. It is designed to make the better ones into Google’s top results.
Here’s how it works according to Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz. Basically, the idea is that the quality raters tell Googlers what they like.
When Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts were interviewed by Wired Magazine. They talked about some of the things that were asked of these quality raters, like, “Would you trust this site with your credit card? Would you trust the medical information that this site gives you with your children? Do you think the design of this site is good?” All sorts of questions around the site’s trustworthiness, credibility, quality, how much they would like to see it in the search results. Then they compare the difference.
The sites that people like more, they put in one group. The sites that people like less, they put in another group. Then they look at tons of metrics. All these different metrics, numbers, signals, all sorts of search signals that many SEOs suspect come from user and usage data metrics, which Google has not historically used as heavily. But they think that they use those in a machine learning process to essentially separate the wheat from the chaff. Find the ones that people like more and the ones that people like less. Downgrade the ones they like less. Upgrade the ones they like more.
Factors to be considered
- Design and user experience of the website
- Creating a brand that people are going to love and share
- Brand that people reward and trust
- Pages that are low quality on a site, can drag down the rankings of the rest of the site.
- Quality of the content
- Grammatically correct content
- User and usage metrics, Things like, when people come to your site, Are they bouncing or are they browsing?
- Click-through rate from the search results
- Diversity and quantity of traffic that comes to your site. Google can measure this through Chrome. They can measure it through Android. They can measure it through the Google toolbar. They have all this user and usage metrics.
Google can take all these metrics and put them into the machine learning algorithm and then have Panda essentially recalculate. This why you see essentially Google doesn’t issue updates every day or every week. It is about every 30 or 40 days that a new update will come out because they are rejiggering all this stuff.
Recovering From Panda
There really is no quick fix to the problem. Google only runs a panda update around once a month. With the latest Update (2.2) round now live, Google says it’s possible some sites that were hit by past rounds might see improvements, if they themselves have improved.
The latest round also means that some sites previously not hit might now be impacted. If your site was among these, you’ve probably got a 4-6 week wait until any improvements you make might be assessed in the next round.
Does you got affected by Google’s New Update? Look forward to some great comments