“Panda” is the name given to the set of algorithms released by Google that are designed to filter poor content and penalize websites that do not follow Google’s guidelines. Now, the latest version of Panda began a “slow rollout” this week, according to Google sources, and is predicted to affect up to five percent of all search queries.
There are a few signals added to this new algorithm that theoretically will help small and middle-sized businesses rank higher on search engine results pages or SERPs. Here are a few pointers:
- Make the right changes to escape previous Panda penalties. Yes, you can escape your past; just make the right changes to ensure that you are compliant with the new Panda requirements and you may see some positive SERP growth.
- You could be hit even if you have not been hit before. If you escaped the last Panda penalties, you could see a drop in your results this week. However, this may not be permanent, so do not panic; simply insure that you are complying with the Panda requirements.
- Realize this is not the first, or last, Panda update. So far, there have been a grand total of 27 Panda updates, at least that we know of. Google is incredibly secretive about its search engine algorithms, so some changes may not have been announced or highlighted. Some experts believe that Google is on a quarterly cycle, but there is also evidence for monthly updates. However, 2013 saw almost no discernible updates at all. While this may be frustrating, remember that everyone else is also in the same boat, so no one really has an advantage to identifying or predicting Panda updates.
What Should I Do About Panda Updates?
Panda is all about content. If your content is thin, repetitive or valueless, you are eventually going to be penalized. Instead of spending time trying to predict Panda updates, spend your time and resources fixing your content.
Robust content that contains valuable information, is updated regularly, contains a variety of types of content such a text, video and images, and answers reader needs is the type that will score well with Panda. Remember that the end goal is user friendliness and a great user experience, so keep the user in the forefront of your mind as you work on your content to comply with Google’s Panda updates.