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Hug the Panda & Embrace Google's Algorithm Updates

Web Bureau

19 July 2012 by Web Bureau

Last year website owners, digital marketers and SEO professionals were faced with what seemed like Google's most radical updates to their algorithm to date with the launch of Google Panda 2.0 in February 2011. Although small tweaks and updates to Google's site ranking algorithm happen on an ongoing basis, last year's Panda Updates, named after Google Engineer Navneet Panda, represented a huge shift in how Google would rank sites in the search engine results pages going forward. Lets recap on what Google Panda is all about.

Meet The Google Panda

This particular factor within Google's ranking algorithm incorporates a whole new level of ranking factors and impacts an entire site's ranking. The Google Panda will see through sites that add content specifically for SEO purposes. A greater level of weighting has thus been added to the overall user experience that a website provides. This reinforces that your website is there to provide benefit to its users, and Google is responsible for ensuring that the results it returns in response to user queries meet user expectations.

Panda filters websites with high quality and credible content, sending these to the top of the Google rankings. Sites with too many low quality pages or shady link building practices are penalised and pushed down the search engine listings to fight against spam.

Once Google Panda was introduced, it was quickly realised that websites publishing poor quality spammy content stuffed with keywords and poor quality links would no longer be able to beat off competitors. Following its launch, it is estimated that 12% of website owners and SEOs noticed their positions in the search engines had dropped, in some cases quite dramatically, forcing them to seriously re-think their website's search engine marketing strategy.

Once the first Panda update took place, many businesses noticed that the traffic to their site had been badly affected and their competitors were outranking them in the search engine results pages. The initial reaction of many was to immediately start work on improving their site to have their panda penalty removed, but the hope of improving their visibility in the searcresults again quickly was dashed as monthly updates to Panda were rolled out.

How to Avoid the Panda Infection

An important factor to recovery is providing solid quality content. It is key that a business understands that its SEO strategy is a constant development. This is a crucial element of its internet marketing strategy. Continuous monitoring of your own and your competitors positions is vital. Good quality, relevant and unique content on its own will not necessarily solve all your problems. Although a website may have a large amount of quality content, it may be penalised because of other design and technical aspects that factor within Google's algorithm checklist, such as poor site navigation, duplicate content, excessive advertising and sponsorship links, spelling and grammatical errors, HTML code errors and slow page load speed, to name a few.

If your business has been affected by Google Panda or you simply require further advice on developing an SEO strategy, contact our digital marketing consultants at

*Image from Search Engine Land Infographic

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