Google Panda update and how it has affected webmasters
The Google Panda update refers to a google algorithm developed specifically for the purposes of rooting out content that is of low quality or thin from google’s top ranks. The algorithm also rewards any content that is determined to be of high quality and of its own kind.
Prior to Google panda’s development and launch, there were a lot of complaints from Google users especially, all concerning the low quality of search results. The wake-up call to Google was not received until the bad state of things started making rounds in newspapers’ headlines. Google’s response to this was through the development of an algorithm that was apparently named after the engineer who first had a breakthrough with it, Panda. The root of Google’s problem was its core algorithm which gave rank to sites that consistently delivered on quantity and not quality.
What this meant was that the more content a site delivered, the higher it’s ranking on google’s search results would be as long as the minimal bare requirements were met. This gave the opportunity for some SEO companies and their clients to turn into multi-million empires by employing the services of hundreds of freelancers to produce thousands of articles in a day. Such sites would then make use of ads to earn hefty amounts of money.
How then does the Google panda algorithm work? What the Google panda update does is give pages a classification in terms of quality after which it makes use of the classifications as one of its ranking factors. These classifications made by panda have been modeled as per the ratings of people. In this way, the algorithm is able to increase the ranking of sites that offer unique and high-quality content as well as to lower the rankings of sites with content that is of low quality and of little value to Google users.
After its launch on February 23rd, 2011, the Google panda update hit a lot of sites all of which anyone in the SEO world is familiar with. Most of these sites lost millions following later updates made to the Google Panda algorithm. This problem that webmasters and SEO agencies faced was not without a solution. All that simply had to be done was an improvement of content quality. Webmasters now had to set up their game if they were at all to survive in the SEO industry. The outcome of this was content of high authentic value with a lot of research put into it.
As a result of all the changes that panda has brought certain myths about the algorithm have come up. These myths include:
Webmasters with low-quality content should delete it so as to go around the problems with panda.
Concerning this Google strongly discourages taking down content by webmasters as a way of resolving panda issues. What is advised instead is for webmasters to shift their focus to providing users nothing short of content that is of high quality.
Google panda is about duplicate content.
The main agenda of the Google panda algorithm and the reason as to why it was otherwise developed is to remove content with low quality from google’s search engine. Emphasis is on quality. Removal of duplicate content is therefore of the least priority to the algorithm and is strictly as a consequence of the fact that the Google panda update encourages authentic and unique content.
Ads and affiliate links are directly targeted.
While it is true that affiliate sites as well as sites containing too many ads are hit by google panda, it is untrue that they are directly targeted. If a site’s main focus is to introduce and redirect users to an affiliate site and not to deliver on the content quality then it is bound to be hit by Google panda.
User-generated content is specifically targeted by Google panda.
while panda can and does target sites that contain content generated by users, it only does this if there are concerns on the quality of the content. therefore the assumption that user generated content is specifically targeted is wrong because panda’s main concern is content quality. user-generated content sites therefore need not worry unless of course the content therein is of a spammy nature and of low quality.
There are other myths and misconceptions about google panda but the bottom line remains that google panda’s focus is specifically on content and its quality.
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