What is Google Panda?

Google the leading Search Engine is always introducing changes to its Search Algorithm, but back in February 2011 it made a significant change. For the first time user metrics were introduced to identify and push down content which Google considered Shallow or poor quality. We are a leading UK ICANN accredited Domain Registrar with our own in-house SEO team.

Why Panda?

Google gives each of its more significant updates names and this one was named after an Google engineer named Navneet Panda, hence its name. Navneet has published several scientific papers on the use of decision trees, and this thought process can be seen in action in Google Panda.

Monthly Updates and now everflux

Initially Google did not have the resources available to run the Panda update in real time, so it crawled the web, downloaded the data, crunched it offline then re-loaded it back again. This resulted in a series of approximately monthly updates. The results could be very dramatic, with websites seeing losses and recoveries involving 90% losses in traffic and of course associated income.

Here is an example from a leading content publishing site called Hubpages, they typically enjoyed multi-million dollar income levels prior to Google Panda.

Hubpages traffic after Google Panda

Do you notice their dramatic drop in traffic / income? Ouch!! They lost around 50% of their income in the space of a few months, though they have recovered significantly since, they are not anywhere near recovering all of their lost ground. The figures on the left hand axis show daily visitors in thousands.

The monthly update has now been subsumed within Google's rolling algorithm update process, which is known as Everflux.

What does Panda target

Google decided that too many lower quality pages were gaining prominence in the Search Results and designed the Panda Algorithm to identify it. They used a human team of users to evaluate a large number of pages, then created a machine learning process that sort to replicate this opinion.

It targets pages that have the following characteristics.

If too great a proportion of a websites content is flagged as lower quality based on the above factors then the whole website is pushed down.

I think I might have been hit by Google Panda what to do?

If you use analytics you can cross reference your website traffic or page specific traffic to the known update dates that Google Panda has announced, since the move over to Everflux this is not so clear.

If you have seen a dramatic drop then there are ways you can improve your site to recover. A good thing about Panda is that it is not permanent, if you improve a page so that it scores better you can push that page back above the Panda threshold and recover or even potential gain more traffic than you had before.

The sorts of things you should be looking at.

I need help to sort out my issue

We can certainly help, our team has first hand experience of Google Panda issues and can help you to re-work your website or improve specific pages with a long term goal of recovering / gaining traffic in the post Panda World.

Adrian Lawrence is the author of this article and is one of the webmasters at Discount Domains. https://plus.google.com/u/0/106088322856862782725/posts

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