What is Panda and How Did It Affect My Ranking?

Google Panda Update

On February 24, 2011 Google released the first major adjustment to its secret search indexing formula. They named it Panda, and it was designed to penalize low-quality websites; Panda ended up affecting 12% of its search results. Most of it was good, demoting a lot of bad content, but a few “good apples” like About.com and Yahoo! ended up also being affected.

Did your traffic drop because of Panda? Let’s take a look.

The Why Behind Panda

Imagine you run Google. Delivering quality search results is your lifeblood. As the web has grown, so did the amount of websites vying for the top spot on your search results page. A small but effective number of cheats would try and “game” the system, ending up at the top of the search results, but actually being of very little use. Wouldn’t you want to devise a way to get rid of the junk?

Google began rolling out Panda in Feb of 2011, first in the US and then the rest of the world. Google continued to periodically sift through the web as it tweaked the Panda algorithm. (Panda evolved into Penguin, and then the whole thing was replaced by Hummingbird, but that’s another story.)

What Can You Do?

If you saw a noticeable drop in traffic and/or search engine ranking since the introduction of Panda, you do have some options. Google never specifically listed what it flags, but we do know it doesn’t like:

  • Excessive keywords (“keyword stuffing”)
  • Lots of pages with duplicate content
  • Keywords that don’t match up with content
  • Pages and sites with poor grammar
  • Pages and sites with little original content

You can either tackle this problem on your own, or hire a professional to analyze your content and rework your site with the latest best practices. At SEO Experts, we specialize in returning businesses like yours to the top. Contact us today for more info!

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