The Google Panda Update

by Frank Thomas

google pandaThere’s been quite a stir in the online world of web sites since the Google Panda update. I liken it almost to the Chicken Little story of ‘the sky is falling, the sky is falling’!

The Google Panda update is more of a series of updates then a single update. It first started to be deployed early in 2011. As of now we’ve probably seen most of the effects it has caused. In today’s article I want to take a real look at real situations and stay away from idle speculation.

Here’s the info I found regarding the Google Panda Update on wikipedia. Yep, pretty thin.

First and foremost, the Google Panda update has really changed the game in a few key areas:

  • Quality of sites
  • Quality of back links
  • Ranking duplicate content

Google Panda Update – Quality of Sites

Google did a really good thing when it made changes to its algorithm to favor some sites over others. This change in some ways is a tad unfair but in other ways it really was what was needed. The whole idea behind this change was to favor sites that are very topic specific and penalize sites that are topic general.

What is not fair about the Google Panda update is the fact that Google is manually weighing some sites as strong, general sites as authority sites. But then Google decides that others general sites are not authority sites, thus not getting the preferred ranking favor of Google.

Sites like EzineArticles.com took a very big hit in the search engine rankings. This truly was an unfair blow to Ezine as they have always been absolutely strict to only publishing original content. In my opinion, they are the most strict with Google News site only being more strict. So, I’m not sure what’s going on there.

Other sites such as Amazon or Wikipedia on the other hand, haven’t seen anything but search engine gains since the Google Panda update.

Google Panda Update – Quality of Back Links

Well, the truth is out. The voting system for ranking in the search engines is the number of back links pointing to a web site. Spammers learnt this lesson quickly and well. With the latest Google Panda update, Google now is weighing easy to gain, spammy back links with much less ‘quality’ weighting in comparison to other forms of back links.

In late 2010 and early 2011, you could use tools to create quick and dirty forum profiles with a keyword rich back link to your site and it was weighted with much more authority since post Panda. Also sites that used this method pretty much exclusively saw their rankings dissappear of the past six month since the first part of the Google Panda update started.

Other types of back linking have gained more weight in this update too – ah but you need to figure them out yourself!

Be sure to catch tomorrows part 2 on this article that talks about the Google Panda Update!

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