The Panda Algorithm Update, first created and implemented by Google back in February 2011, was a change in Google’s algorithm that rocked the nation’s search engine results page (SERP) and shook many higher-ranking sites out of their trees—landing them much further down in the rankings and with much less web-traffic reaching their sites. This is because the first Panda was designed to crack down on sites with poor content that was neither strong nor organic—basically sites that had managed high rankings with relatively low-quality content—explained Google SEO guru Matt Cutts. This first change in algorithm was said to have affected 12% of searches, but that was far from the last Panda we have seen.
The Panda in the room is no longer one that’s gone unnoticed, especially now that it’s more of an issue of the Pandas in the room—it seems the first Panda had friends, not the “honeybadger” as Danny Sullivan joked back in February after the first Panda’s release, but one Panda that went on a world tour and yet another Panda—called Panda 2.1, or 3.0 depending on who you ask—that made an appearance in May.
As of sundown on June 7th, whispers of another Panda update began appearing over the web. Whether or not Google is in the process of another Panda right now is not clear, however, Matt Cutts did confirm in the beginning of June that there was definitely one coming soon.
What to do:
The question of whether or not the next Panda, Panda 2.2, is here is certainly an intriguing one. But the bigger, and more relevant, question for you to ask yourself is what exactly you can do about it. According to one poll, 85% of people affected by the Panda updates said they still had not yet fully recovered from the blow.
Some tips to avoid a hard hit from yet another Panda? Be careful of incorporating too many advertisements on any one page, work to create a site that is easy to loads, and runs smoothly. To recover rankings or avoid slipping in the first place, the key is to enhance content. Look to see which pages were hardest hit by the last Panda update and see if there is too much duplicate content—if so, rewrite it to make it fresh, unique, and thus more visible to Google’s new algorithm. Since this has been seen to be the focus of the Pandas of the past, including meaningful, keyword rich, and relevant textual content is essential to help you survive an incoming Panda attack. But be mindful of “over-optimizing” your site by stuffing it too full of keywords to the exclusion of good content. Work on improving not only the overall quality of your site, but focus on content, content, content.
A last and crucial way to help successfully survive another Panda is to stay in contact with an Internet marketing company, which can help you keep track of trends in SERP changes, enhance SEO, generate content and use it to your best advantage.
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