The Google Panda update – 6 months on
It was 6 months ago that we saw one of the biggest changes to SEO in a long time – the Google Panda update. Doesn’t time fly! Half a year later, what have been the more long term effects of the update?
What is Panda?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Panda was a change in Google’s algorithm which was “designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites”.
Google hit the US in February before being rolled out to all English speaking countries in April
The effects of Panda
Many websites saw immediate changes to their Google rankings. Google was accused of purposely targeting some legitimate sites, including those belonging to their competitors. The company denied this, saying it was “absurd”.
Some of the affected sites bounced back straight away, but for others it has been a more long term process. Panda has meant that SEO has changed forever and although Google has given some hints about what it likes on its Official Webmaster Blog, it is still not obvious what has caused some sites to suddenly lose their positions.
Google loves content
The reason for the Panda update was to get rid of content farm websites – sites that take content from others to try and improve their rankings. Google wants to rank sites fairly and give credit to those sites with quality content.
This is why the written content for websites is so important. Google penalises sites which use outdated SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing and instead prefers sites with good, unique content. Having good content not only appeals to search engines but also makes your site more user-friendly, so it is worthwhile spending time and resources and getting your website