Google uses a huge number of algorithms in order to help it determine which websites should be displayed when keywords and searches are entered into their query database. They also use these algorithms to help ascertain which pages offer the greatest benefit and, therefore, which should appear near the top of the search results and which should be effectively buried down at the bottom.
Updating the algorithms typically means that Google has implemented a change to their calculations. Many updates are made throughout the year and the majority go largely unnoticed, but every now and again a big change occurs that has the webmaster world all of a tither. One of the most recent updates, which was dubbed the Farmer update by marketers and website owners, but called the Panda update by Google is one such change.
When it first struck the US search results, analysts predicted that it affected a not insignificant 12% of all search results and that some sites had lost as much as 50% or more of their organic search traffic from the Google search results pages.
Pages that have suffered have included those with duplicate content as well as whole websites that include a number of pages with unoriginal content. Pages with a lot of inappropriate advertisements and irrelevant keyword targeting have also suffered at the hands of the Panda update and the question of quality content and duplicate contents has arisen once again as a result.
The key to surviving the Panda update is to ensure that your website is filled with high quality and original content. Either write the content or yourself or use a professional SEO or marketing service in order to compile high quality content.
Remove unnecessary ads, especially those that are not entirely relevant to the content that you offer. Also consider removing outgoing links if they point to irrelevant pages and if you have a lot of these, because these may be mistaken as being ads rather than useful links.
Generally speaking, Google aims to provide good quality links to its users and the Panda update is the latest attempt to improve their already burgeoning results pages. If you’ve been hit then it is possible to recover your traffic levels but it may take some time.