It’s been 5 years since Google launched the infamous Panda, and Penguin updates, and later their future iterations. ! Those two algorithm upgrades was bound to happen soon and many are saying it’s long overdue. After many miniseries of updates for Panda 1.0 was being released this new upgrade to 2.0 has got many wondering what exactly the changes Google implemented are. The upgrade was announced by Matt Cutts last May 22, 2013. At this point, we can only speculate and make assumptions based on what’s been released so far. Before you continue reading this post please keep in mind that the following are based on my guesses only with the recent changes Google made with Panda 4.0 and how you and I can best handle and recover from it. I am positive that new data will continue to be revealed as the days pass by and more observations can be made.
Panda and Penguin updates completely changed the SEO scene and turned it around. It is no surprise now that whenever changes are announced and released many webmasters collectively hold their breath and desperately try to quell the anxiety they are feeling.
If you have noticed that your site was hit by the recent changes and a considerable drop in your ranking has been documented, first of all, DO NOT PANIC. Keep in mind that there are many steps one can take to easily get back on track in no time. Website owners who employ black hat SEO techniques will be the first to be penalized by the new Panda 4.0 upgrade according to Matt Cutts, while websites who offer real value to its visitors will be rewarded. Websites that have articles that people like to link and share and websites people often visit and explore should not be affected negatively. There is great news for many people who have websites for their small or medium sized businesses if they play by the rules and avoid black hat SEO. Websites who provide generic, recycled information will have decreased rankings while authority sites will gain traction. But looking at things, it seems nothing has really changed with Google’s SEO wheel with the introduction of Panda 4.0 rather it seems Google is just tightening their algorithm even further with this new upgrade so users will have access to high-quality and relevant search engine results. Nothing in this business is really fool-proof though and admittedly, with Panda 4.0 released, there may be legitimate webmasters who will be greatly affected by this change. Do consider these factors when building links in the new Panda 4.0 environment. Link Quality and Value – Sometimes having high numbers is not enough to get the results that we need. Take for example the links we obtain. If the links you get are coming from “untrustworthy neighbours” then it’s not really going to help your site. Focus and concentrate on getting links from reputable sites. Getting links from manipulative sites can give you a negative impact. Check a site’s credibility by looking up its PR. You can use a tool like PR Checker to do it. PR Checker will quickly check the page rank of any site. Pages ranked as 4 or higher are generally suitable if you are backlinking. Keep in mind that the higher the page rank the better your reputation will be.
Page rank though is not completely fool proof. Always look at the website’s content and evaluate if what they are about is relevant to your site and content as well. Check a website’s Facebook and Twitter followers’ numbers. The higher their numbers the greater indication it is that their content is being appreciated by others as well.
Another way to boost your website’s credibility is by guest blogging too. Now if majority of your links do come from trusted sites, then worry not as you may be spared from any future updates.
Link Acquisition and Velocity – One of the issues that Google really paid attention to with this update of Panda 4.0 is the speed by which websites get their links. Not counting the links that went viral, Google knows that majority of the websites usually accumulate links gradually. Meaning they get their links over time and organically. If a new website suddenly have a spike where many links are being acquired overnight, this warns Google that something is not being done right and your website gets “sandboxed”.
It was demonstrated by Search Engine Watch that if you get any more than 75 links a day Google would ignore it. Take the right time in building your link campaign. Avoid creating huge quantities at a time. Instead space your link campaign out over time in a more natural manner. Keep in mind that the velocity should always be consistent or just increase slightly as time goes by.
3.) Exact-Match Anchor Text, Must Avoid! – It has been observed by Google and many SEO professionals that there is a correlation between web spam and exact match anchor text. Sites with excessive links with an exact match keyword in their anchor text are being penalized. It is predicted that this aspect will get stricter in the future. Therefore, to avoid future problems it is best to avoid or keep this type of practice to the minimum.
Try to edit your sites with excessive amounts of keyword in the anchor text now and make sure they don’t really match. It is better to use sentence fragments and branded anchors. A DETAILED OVERVIEW OF EFFECTS OF GOOGLE PANDA 4.0 UPDATE WILL BE POSTED IN A NEW BLOG POST IN COUPLE OF DAYS.
May 20th of this year marked the day that Google once again put changes which were deemed necessary into their search engine algorithm. Many websites that didn’t pass the standard and were considered “poor quality” found themselves to be in hot water. What used to be easy ways of pushing ranks by employing various black hat SEO techniques that were developed to circumvent the other update pushed by Google have been unearthed and penalized. This move by Google made many websites lose their traffic, got lower in search results, and thus affected their sales. Pand 4.0 was thus unleashed! This new release is part of Google’s efforts in helping improve the relevance of search results and also boosting quality of the web pages it displayed.
The impact of this new change might impact a lot of websites and yours could be one of it. Yet, the question which everyone wants to know is that how does Google even determine and judge a particular website’s quality as well as its contents? A lot of people want to know as Google is noted for severely punishing those websites that do not meet their standards. Another question many people want answered is what can one do if they are unfortunately attacked in this new change?
Google’s latest “secret sauce” could leave you burnt!
Panda 4.0 is the latest update to Google’s algorithm which helps determine which pages will be featured when people do searches on Google. This new release would also determine their rankings. This major change together with other small updates now compromise the key part of the search engine’s arsenal as it continues to expand and grow with the aim of significantly improving its ability to give the people with the most accurate and relevant search engine results. These new changes thus pushed poor-quality websites often riddled with spam content. Thus lowering their ranks or burying it altogether.
Aggregator websites are the most hit by this new change. An aggregator site is a website that only copies its information from other sources instead of coming up with original content or articles. Popular examples of aggregator websites include celebrity blogs/websites that only post “news” from other websites. Press portals, news and information sites, price comparison sites, weather portals, and some forums.
The target of Google’s new change is websites that do not spend the time to create new content. And somehow it makes sense in helping cut the spam. It does not make sense to keep presenting websites that just parrot the information that comes from other authority websites that already answer the searcher’s queries.
In order to prevent your site from being hit by Google’s new updates make sure that your site have the necessary characteristics for it to be marked as a high quality web page.
Google defines a high quality page or website by a number of ways. Some key features are as follows:
Well-written content targeting searches
Comprehensive cover of a topic
Trust – Is the information presented trustworthy?
Value – Is the content genuinely interesting to the searcher’s queries and interests?
Does the article completely cover the topic and provide a comprehensive description?
Does the page have value when compared to other pages in the same category?
Is this the sort of website that you are willing to share, bookmark, and recommend?
IF you give a positive answer to all these categories then your website and pages will be safe.
How does Google determine low quality and high quality websites?
There are a myriad of factors that Google and its software takes into consideration and analyzes before it decides what page rank should be given to you.
Some of the criteria that are taken into consideration are the words on a page and will it match the “keywords” in the searches. Images also play a vital role in helping determine your website’s rank. Choosing the proper image to match your article in your site is now important. Spelling and grammar especially in English sites are now taken into consideration. Many websites who push content sometimes tend to misspell words to match queries. This often boosts their presence when it comes to searches but again quality is now taken seriously. Misspelled words will affect your website. Other websites linking to your page with similar interests and reference will greatly boost your page rank as well as authority.
Above all else, Google also analyzes “User experience” or “user signals” which compares searhers’ activities and how they interacted with your page. These signals include their “clich-through” rate and speed, SERP return rate, and the time they spent on your site.
This new algorithm by Google will automatically position a page’s rank within results based on many factors.
With Google’s commitment to continually test and adjust their algorithm to help improve their service and results is their way of showing their commitment to its users and businesses.
With these things in mind you can safeguard your website’s reputation as well as its ranking in the new Google Panda 4.0 updates. By making sure your content passes standards, your website is laid out and properly maintained, you have original content, and other pertinent things needed you will then be able to maintain your high rank or significantly improve your ailing rankings.
Manohar Bisht is the founder and chief content editor for Social SEO Team. He has been involved in execution of marketing campaigns for Small Businesses as well as large enterprises for last 7 years. He founded Social SEO Team to help small businesses avail high quality SEO and Link Building Services for their businesses without having to worry about shedding thousands of dollars.