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Google’s New Panda Algorithm

Back in February Google released a new search algorithm in the U.S. and later in April released the algorithm worldwide. Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts explained the update, which was nicknamed Panda, in a blog post on February 24, 2011:

“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.” source

Their main targets during this update have been content farms and, as previously stated, low-quality sites. The plan is to remove them from the upper ranks of the search engine results page so people are receiving trustworthy and relevant information.

Within days of the release, the update had affected 12% of the search queries through Google. In a blog post from May 6, 2011, Amit Singhal gave some guidance on how to work with Panda. Here are some questions to ask yourself about your website:

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?

How Are We Reacting?
Google’s new focus on “quality content” has us concentrating on delivering great blog content and verifying we have meaningful on and off site links.

Using a blog delivers quality content relative to your company or industry while also linking on and off your site. In addition, blogs are easy to update consistently, which keeps Google happy.

Along with blog content, link building has to be much more precise. If Google considers the link a“low-quality-site”, it will lead to the page rank being hurt. In addition, Panda is looking more at social sites, which means offsite linking could be a great way to help SEO.

Even though Panda has been out for a few months, people are still trying to figure out how this will affect their sites long term. We are reacting based upon our findings and feel we are successfully working with the new Google algorithm.

Extra Reading:
Wired.com’s interview about Panda with Google’s Amit Singhal & Matt Cutts.
Cnet’s Panda analysis.

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