Authored By: Iris Garrett
If you haven’t heard of “Google Panda,” you’re not alone. The term describes a change the search engine made to its ranking algorithm back in 2011. It aimed to prevent what Google dubbed “low-quality” or “thin” sites from appearing at the top of a user’s search results. The only problem was despite Google’s good intentions, the update also impacted many websites that contained quality content and were not just filled with spam. Long story short, it greatly reduced their rankings.
Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of The 20 Media, a content marketing agency specializing in content & data-driven SEO and PRmention, a digital PR agency, the particulars of Google’s algorithms are always changing, but many website users aren’t aware of the changes. In fact, he says many people are still under the assumption that “Google Panda’s” principles are the same as they were five years ago. Dholakiya says that is simply not the case, and he shares four myths about the search rank update that need to be forgotten.
Myth #1: A Panda Update is Coming Soon – Dholakiya says website users need not worry about a single update. The search engine is constantly making updates to its algorithm, but the changes are not always labeled “Panda”. As a result, many website users don’t even notice.
Myth #2: Google’s Duplicate Content Filter is Linked to Panda – Dholakiya says Google uses both tools, they came out at the same time, and they aim at similar results (making search rank correlate with quality). However, they are two separate things.
Myth #3: Panda Targets Sites with Too Much User-Generated Content – SEOs are now recommending that users remove the UGC on their websites, but Dholakiya says this is an overreaction. As long as your content is high quality and not crawling with people promoting a simple trick to make money online, you should be safe.
Myth #4: All Your Site’s Pages Must Be High Quality – Dholakiya says not every page needs to be perfect for your website to score a high ranking. He says even if “Google Panda” penalizes an individual page for poor quality, a site’s main pages can still rank well.
So, what will it take to arm your firm against “Google Panda”? Dholakiya says monitoring your website, whether that’s using analytics tools to find pages with low traffic and high bounce, or making sure you don’t have too much duplicate content, will help you stay out of Panda’s path.
Photo Credit: Mark Carrel