Google Panda is a prominent algorithm that was introduced in 2011 and has since been updated 28 times within several years. The algorithm, which was initially known as Farmer, was intended to identify and promote high-quality websites on the organic search engine results pages. Google Panda is also capable of identifying and degrading websites that are not up to particular standards. Google claims that within a short period of time, Panda was capable of making an impact on nearly 12% of English Google search results.
What Triggers Panda?
Panda looks for several unacceptable aspects on a web page. The following are several such factors that can trigger the Google Panda algorithm.
Pages with very less or unrelated content. For instance, a restaurant website with multiple pages, each specifying a particular dish but with very little text.
Duplicate content is content that can be found in multiple places on the internet. Do not forget that Panda can also detect content that is duplicated on your site itself. For example, if you were a restaurant owner in Vancouver but have several branches in other suburbs as well, you cannot repeat the same content for each of their pages on your website although the services you offer are the same. Make sure that the pages of each branch have fresh content that has not been repeated anywhere else.
Poor Quality Content
Content that has very less value to its readers due to their lack of intelligence can also be a trigger for Panda.
Lack Of Credibility
Google representatives claim that web page owners should gain the trust of their users to an extent that the users would not hesitate to provide their credit card details. This is because Panda is triggered by content that is published by pages that are not credible.
A Huge Ad-to-content Ratio
Another trigger for Panda is sites that mostly consist of paid advertisements rather than original fresh content.
Content farming is the process of creating content with the sole intention of improving the site’s search engine results page rankings. More often than not, we come across sites that employ content writers for low wages to create content that lacks meaning and value.
User-generated Content Of Poor Quality
Sites that publish poor quality content created by their guests can also trigger Panda. For example, blogs that publish user-created posts that are full of grammatical errors and typos are an example of such poor quality user-generated content.
Poor Quality Content Of Associated Links
Poor quality content that links sites to paid affiliated platforms.
Sites That Are Blocked By Users Themselves
Web pages that are blocked by the users themselves are also a trigger to Panda as they emphasize the lack of quality of the said page. These pages can be blocked directly by the users themselves, or through a browser extension that they have installed.
Content That Are Irrelevant To The Search Query
Websites that are misleading to its users are also a huge trigger to the Panda algorithm. For example, a page that has a heading that says “Italian Restaurant in Vancouver” but when visited has content that is totally irrelevant.
How Can You Restore Your Website After A Panda Hit?
The Google Panda algorithm is claimed to be one of the Google updates that is hardest to recover from. But given that Panda is triggered mostly through the quality-related factors of content, the starting point to recover from a Panda hit should be by improving the quality of your content. The following are a few things that you can implement has a part of your recovery plan.
- Ensure that your content is relevant to your topic, has value, credibility and also is of the proper standards
- Avoid content farming at all costs
- Make certain that your ad-to-content or associated links-to-content ratios are not excessively high. Invest in both the smart way
- Avoid thin and duplicate content
- Make sure that your website’s content matches the users’ search queries
- Analyze the user-generated content prior to publishing them on your site. Make sure that the content is valuable, informative, relevant, original and error-free
- Prevent the pages with questionable content, such as duplicate content, from being indexed. You can use the Robots noindex, nofollow command to do so
For those of you whose websites have quality, fresh, original, and relevant content, have nothing to worry about when it comes to the Panda algorithm. At the end of the day, following these best practices will actually be extremely beneficial to your organization itself, since you will be able to establish your organization as a credible, valuable and informative source in the online world.