How many of you have felt the impact from the launch of Google Panda back in February? By now, the analytics should reveal just how this exciting change to Google’s search results ranking algorithm is affecting traffic to your site.
Panda update: the results
Reportedly, some 12% of all searches are feeling the change. Following the launch of Panda, news sites reported a surge in the rankings while sites with large amounts of advertising, fell. Thing is, the machine-learning algorithm, made possible by and named after engineer Navneet Panda, is trying to do the right thing for web users and rank pages according to the quality of their content and user experience.
Changing the best practice of SEO
Panda aims to reduce the position on results pages (SERPs) of websites that have thin and duplicate content when Google responds to a search. It also downplays sites that come up short on other site-quality metrics such as high advert-to-content ratios. Conversely, Panda up rates sites with lots of high-quality, unique content and from trusted brands. And puts on the podium sites that go further still: pages that offer anecdotes, humour, great photos, history or insight; pages that tell a story and make the visitor love and want to share that page.
It’s hard to imagine the complexity of the maths that models the behaviour of the thousands of human testers that Google worked with to create Panda, but not so hard to imagine what you need to do about it.
Want to know more?
There is some great insight from SEOMOZ available. This article talks about a few of the specific things that we can be doing as SEOs to help with this new sort of SEO, this broader web content/web strategy portion of SEO.