24th December 2014
Google Rolls out Panda 4.0 Update
by Paul on 24th December 2014
Google’s Matt Cutts (head of the spam team at Google) announced yesterday on his Twitter account they have released a new Google Panda algorithm version 4.0 update.
The Panda algorithm is designed to filter out sites with poor quality content to ensure only 'quality' relevant sites get to the top of the Google search results.
In this article we will cover:
- What is Google Panda?
- What counts as a high-quality site?
- How do I know if my website has been affected by Google Panda?
So what is Google Panda?
Google Panda has been around for a few years now and its goal is to eliminate websites or blogs which try to achieve higher rankings in the search engines with low quality content. Low quality content could be a page or many pages on a website with small amounts of information or spam content.
What counts as a high-quality site?
Back in 2011 Google released an article explaining what they perceive as high quality articles on Google Webmaster Central Blog, the questions they provided were a guidance to what you should think when writing a blog post or article on your website.
Please find a snippet of the questions addressed on the Google Webmaster Central Blog below:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
You can read the full article by going to Google Webmaster Central Blog
How do I know if my website has been affected by Google Panda 4.0?
The obvious sign your site has been affected by the new Google Panda update is a decrease in your website traffic for example if you average 500 visitors a day and are now getting half this amount this could be a sign you have been effected. You can check this by logging into your Google Analytics account.
If you do not currently have Google Analytics setup for your website I would highly recommend you do this as it can provide valuable information on how to track numbers of people visiting your website.
Other options to check if you have been effected are the following:
- Check Google Webmaster Tools - this will indicate any alerts on your account that can help you determine if it is Panda update or something else that is negatively effecting your Google search rankings.
- Always post good quality content - sounds obvious but always ensure any blog posts or web pages you add are good quality content and importantly relevant content to your business or service.
- Check Spelling and Grammar - this goes without saying but we see this time and time again, make sure to check once, check twice and check again for any spelling mistakes on your website.
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