Posted by Vikram Rathod
June 05, 2014
The internet world is going crazy over the newest update from Google in the form of Panda 4.0. Google’s latest algorithm change has made webmasters, marketers, and business owners get up on their feet and understand how it is actually affecting their existing websites and their SEO efforts. Well, if you believe Google, the doors are still open and there is nothing lost yet. This is what Google’s John Mueller had to say to a Webmaster’s comment on the Google Webmaster Help Thread when he said that all his efforts had gone in vain:
From Google’s House
John Mueller: “Your sites are ranking where they’d normally rank — there’s no specific algorithm that’s treating them in any special way at the moment. So in short, the door’s open. That said, things always change in search, be it our algorithms, what users expect, or what other sites are doing. It’s normal to see fluctuations over time. My recommendation would be to look at your sites overall and think about what you could do to significantly improve them. Maybe it makes sense to fold them all into a single site so that it’s easier to focus & implement changes? With a handful of sites, that’s essentially up to you (personally I’d try to keep things simple and put everything into a single one if these were my sites).”
What Is The Panda 4.0 released for?
Like many of Google’s other updates, Panda 4.0 also emphasizes high-quality content and websites. But, what is high-quality content and website in terms of Google and how could businesses make sure that their websites that have dropped drastically in search rankings could come up and gain visibility on the search engine and generate traffic? Let us first understand what Panda actually is and how businesses could take advantage of it:
• Fresh, quality content: If you are doing it, the Panda is always going to favour you. It was originally released to promote high-quality content. You could take full advantage of the Panda update by making sure that all the content coming out of your business house for online promotions is high quality and is liked by all. It is more important than ever to publish fresh quality content.
You will need to rethink your approach on SEO completely if you are duplicating the content, using low-quality, disengaging content that doesn’t provide any value to the readers.
• Google’s Panda Considers Quality Websites: Although the content and the information shared on the website is high-quality, a bad user experience will not give justice to all the hard work. An intuitive website structure, mobile-optimized site, user-friendly navigation and content are included in all the factors that help the algorithm in realizing the worth of your webpage, thus promoting it on the SERP’s.
The Working of Google Panda 4.0:
Just like its predecessors, The Panda 4.0 will only target websites having low-quality content, with a bad user experience. Let’s have a look at all those areas that will be targeted by the Panda 4.0 update:
• Demoting low-quality content
• Targeting over-optimization
• Doorway pages
• Poor internal linking structure and navigation
• Duplicate content
• Thin content
• Promoting Mobile responsive design
• Penalizing the sites that are dealing with risky affiliate marketing setups.
Different forms of duplicate content targeted by Google:
Duplicate Meta Tag Descriptions: These are the description of the pages on your site. If the content on your website is required to be unique, Meta tag descriptions is no exception. Make sure that the Meta tags across all the pages of the website are unique.
Mirror Pages: These are multiple pages with the same content across different URLs. This practice is also termed as deceptive by search engines.
Thin Content: These are content that is very low-quality, not informative and is only created for the purpose of SEO, with keywords stuffed in without making complete sense.
Duplicate Website Content: This is duplicate content that is prevalent across the whole website. If your website contains a number of pages that has largely identical content, it will be considered duplicate content by Google.
Duplicate Content Distribution: If the same article that is given on the website or other website is modified and distributed across all the distribution channels, it will be termed duplicate content distribution. Again, Google identifies the backlinks coming to your site, thus making your site suffer.
How to Build an Awesome Content Post Panda 4.0?
This is an old school fact. “Quality is the King”. The more you write awesome content, the better. Content is one of the crucial factors, and if you master the art of content marketing, there will be no update that could hit you.
Case studies, whitepapers, how-to-guides are all considered good resources and a great idea to generate content. Do not try to juggle with the anchor text as it will only result in the downfall of the website.
• Write longer articles, however, maintain the quality.
• Write to inspire with a unique style.
• Write to solve the queries of the users.
• Panda algorithm promotes a website that has rich content.
• Google likes the websites that frequently updates their content space
• A site with frequent, high-quality content has better chances of increasing the crawling frequency.
How to Identify a Panda Attack?
Check the rankings: The first thing, if any doubt, should be to check the rankings of your website for the key terms. One of the key tools to keep the track of rankings is a very helpful one, Authority Labs. It should be kept in mind that there are slight fluctuations in the rankings, however, if there is a major drop it means that the website has been hit by an update.
Compare the organic traffic with Algorithm Updates: If there has been a change in your rankings, examine how your organic traffic has been affected. This could be analyzed by analyzing the search traffic from Google since the Panda 4.0 was released with the help of the Penguin Tool that pulls the data from the analytics account of your website and maps it with the algorithm update dates of Google. Look out for major falls that coincides with Google’s algorithm changes.
Check for the on-site problems: If you had made any changes to your website, double-check that they haven’t caused any major drop in rankings. If old pages were replaced with new ones, make sure that proper 301 redirects were implemented. Once all the potential causes are eliminated, you will be easily able to determine if Panda is the root problem.
Check for any penalties: The next step would be to see if they fall in rankings was due to Panda or a separate Google Penalty. There have been cases when in case of a sudden, major drop in keyword rankings has been observed, however, it is not the Panda update but a manual penalty by Google. To check this, you could use Google’s Webmaster Tool and see if the site has been handed a manual penalty by Google.
How to recover from the Panda update?
1. Figure out the most common issues in terms of quality on the site by surfing all the pages and asking a simple question, “Is this page the best resource anyone could find on the Internet?”
Google’s strive has only been to give its users the best pages on the Internet. The Panda algorithm is designed exactly to help in this aspect. If there is a bulk of content on your site that is high quality, Panda will consider it to be a high-quality site. Even if all the pages on your website, except 1-2 pages, are low-quality Google will consider your site as a low-quality one.
2. Once the quality issues are determined, the next process involves correcting them across the site. The issues could vary from the content length, thin content, copied content and more. It is not only one element that will cause the Panda penalty, but it is the combination of all the elements that will determine the quality score and the penalty for your site.
3. Once you have made the required changes on the website, allow the Google spiders some time to re-crawl the site and re-evaluate the quality score. If the Panda penalty has been successfully removed from your site, you will see a traffic increase within 48 hours.