Google Panda 20 is Rolling: Explanations and Impacts
Or A Guide to Get into the New Google Mindset for Non-techies
The gorgeous guys at Google have a gift of gab, at least Matt Cutts has. The company’s head of webspam can talk incessantly about changes in Google and make them appear like idle chat especially for non-techies.
Here is what Matt posted recently: “Google began rolling out a new update of Panda on Thursday, 9/27. This is actually a Panda algorithm update, not just a data update. A lot of the most-visible differences went live Thursday 9/27, but the full rollout is baking into our index and that process will continue for another 3-4 days or so. This update affects about 2.4% of English queries to a degree that a regular user might notice, with a smaller impact in other languages (0.5% in French and Spanish, for example).”
That news item triggers the creative juices in the gurus and experts of any seo company. But for someone like Cathrine, a hypnotherapist in Toronto who depends on her website for new clients, it was dismissed as irrelevant after seeing the words “3-4 days”, “2.4%” and “smaller”. Four days later, Cathrine’s traffic was down to zero. Her business has not recovered since then.
The “new update” is the 20th version of an algorithm update that caused changes in at least 12% of search results when it was launched last February 2011.
Now, if you are a therapist or a fashion merchandiser or a real estate broker, and like millions of internet users, you are perplexed about how the algorithm works, all you need to know are the basics of Google Panda 20. Then you can decide whether you require seo services or not.
What is Google Panda?
It is a wholesale revamp in the company’s search results ranking algorithm. It simply means that your website will move up or drop down the search results depending on the quality of your site. Google Panda works as a filter. It ensures that high-quality websites land in the top ten or top five of Google searches. So, if your website has a great design that’s not cluttered with advertising links, and your pages are filled with original, interesting content, then Panda is a giant gift for you. The first to benefit from these changes were online news sites and social networking sites whose ranks went to the top. Google offers great ideas to make your website high-quality. Take note that Google Panda affects the entire website or entire sections, so there is no use improving the homepage only.
What is Google Panda 20?
Google constantly refreshes or updates Google Panda as it zeroes in on filtering the finest websites to land in its top five. This 20th version is based on previous observations including feedback from users around the world.
Is Google Panda the main culprit why your traffic is down suddenly?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Matt Cutts, for reasons only known to him, rolled out other changes almost simultaneously with this one. For example, if your domain name is exactly the same as your primary keyword, then you will be affected by the EMD change (exact match domain). But the intent is still the same: the domain name does not anymore guarantee high search ranks; quality does.
What can you do?
One word: level-up. These changes mean three things for you:
- Improve the quality of your website especially the content.
- Revise your seo strategies and linking directions. Work with your seo company and discuss options like on-page seo.
- Be vigilant. Be constantly updated with Google Panda refreshes so that you can adjust accordingly.
The bottom line is that high-quality and original contents are your best seo allies. Many people assume that the ‘Panda’ name was inspired by the cute bear of the same name, but no, it is named after its developer, Navneet Panda.