Google Panda 3.3 Update

A little over a year ago we saw Google release the Panda update in the US.  The aim of the update was to remove ‘low quality’ sites from Google’s results.  What that essentially meant was sites that steal content from other sites, smother the page in advertising or generally offered little or no useful information to users were pushed down the results.

That was the aim – the reality was a bit of an outcry from website owners that their site had plummeted in the results with the resulting loss of visitors and/or revenue.

However, Panda is here to stay and Google has released updates over time, with the latest update today.

My view is that three things are essential to overcome the Panda update:

1. Fresh content.

This isn’t actually specifically relevant to Panda, but in the updates that Google has produced, fresh content has been at the top.  If you have a news page or a blog page, keep it up to date as it will affect the whole site if it’s not.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/giving-you-fresher-more-recent-search.html

2. Useful content

Don’t just steal something from another site and change a few words.  It’s difficult to add content regularly and to make it really interesting and new, but if you write for your readers (rather than worrying about Google) then you should be able to produce some good content on a regular basis.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html

3. Duplicate content

I’ve seen it in a few sites and Google is punishing it more.   Again, this isn’t a specific Panda requirement but Google doesn’t like duplicate content – either on your site or spread around other sites.

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html – see the 3rd bullet point.

There’s a useful infographic here about the Panda update: http://searchengineland.com/google-panda-update-112805

And for diagnosing any duplicate content issues – check out this site: http://www.copyscape.com

Panda is here to stay, and they’ll continually add updates.  In the long term it’s a good thing, but be prepared for a bit of initial pain if you’re pushed down the rankings!