What Is the Panda Update and How Can It Affect Your Website's Performance?

Google's Panda Update hit the internet on February, 2011, and repercussions were immediately felt. The internet was in an uproar; over 12% of all internet search results were affected, and the web rankings of many websites were immediately impacted.

The goal? To punish websites with low-quality content and reward websites with high-quality, engaging content.

The Panda Update continues to impact the web ranking of websites because it is built into Google's algorithm it uses to generate web rankings and determine what sites show up at the top of search engine results.

What is the Google Panda Update?

In this article, we'll explain how you can avoid the wrath of the update, avoid damages to your web ranking, and avoid the mistakes many websites have made over the years that are worthy of drawing a web ranking penalty. We'll also explain how you can improve rankings by doing the opposite of what the update was designed to punish.


What is the Panda Update?

In February, 2011, Google released its Panda Update. In a nutshell, the update changed a significant portion of Google's proprietary search engine ranking algorithm, including:

  • Looking at the entire website instead of individual pages within it
  • Targeting websites with high ad-to-content ratios
  • Downgrading websites with excessive duplicate content
  • Punishing websites with not enough content

The entire purpose is to make search engine results more useful and relevant for searchers. If they're not useful, then fewer people would use Google – and Google's profit would suffer.

The Panda Update continued monthly through 25 announced updates; in March, 2013, Google said they'd stop announcing updates. But they will continue to occur.


Why Duplicate Content is Bad

One of the main reasons behind the update is duplicate content.

Duplicating Content is a Bad Idea!Google noticed that many websites were stealing traffic from creators of unique, original content by hosting their content on their own website. They also would either take one of these stolen pieces or create one of their own and put them all over the internet in original form to generate more traffic – without significantly reworking the content to make it unique.

One big culprit: content farms. Content farms are websites that employ freelance writers to generate a staggering amount of content that is keyword-optimized around a particular topic, for the sole purpose of grabbing web traffic. Content from content farms rarely is as useful or authoritative or helpful as content that is created by experts. The advantage of content farms, though, is that they can generate a tremendous amount of content for relatively-inexpensive costs.

It's bad for Google's business to reward websites that use duplicate content and content farms as a way to gain traffic illicitly and take the place on search engine results of websites that generate stuff people want to read and watch. So, they launched a crackdown.

Duplicate content is also bad for non-SEO purposes. Users want a website that offers something other websites don't. If they notice the same content in multiple places, they'll want to go to the website that created it. It's the same as us wanting to view paintings from the original artist, not reproductions.

To this end, websites that run afoul of the update and duplicate content standards have noticeably decreased their web rankings – which hurts the website's bottom line.


How Your Website Can Be Impacted – and How To Avoid It (And Improve Rankings)

Your website's web ranking can be impacted if you make use of heavy amounts of duplicate content, or take work from content farms, or have too many ads relative to how much content you have – or if you have barely any real, substantial content at all.

To avoid this and improve rankings, focus on original content that helps your reader and is informative. Be different. If you're writing about a common topic, take a different angle. Anything you can do to be genuinely authoritative will help improve rankings. Also, make sure your content is fresh and frequently updated.

Improve rankings by getting help with these suggestions. EntrepreneurWeb.com can help your web ranking improve and avoid these penalties. Contact us today for more information.

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