Surviving the Google Panda update

Our IT Director, Lee Stretton explains the impact of Google’s recent Panda update and how you can lessen the impact on your website’s search rankings.

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. 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 update occurs that has the web world all talking.

One of the most recent updates was dubbed the ‘Farmer update’ by marketers and website owners but called the Panda update by Google.

When it first impacted on US search results analysts predicted that it affected 12% of all search results. Some sites had even lost as much as 50% or more of their organic search engine 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 keywords 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.

So what are the key ways to survive the impact of the Panda update?

One key thing to do 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.