Google Rolls out Panda 4.2

Last week Google announced that they would be rolling out an update to their Panda algorithm, which could take up to a month to complete.

The Panda algorithm is used by Google to identify poor quality or spammy content and deal out penalties accordingly. The punitive action could simply be a drop in rankings or it could be a manual penalty which could see you drop out of the rankings completely.

Google advise that this Panda update will affect between 2-3% of English language queries, making it a significant update and one that could have had an effect on your rankings.

As it takes such a long time for the algorithm to completely roll out it is impossible to know how your site may be affected, the rankings tend to be thrown into disarray until the update settles and the new positions are confirmed.

Some sites may have seen an immediate effect in rankings whilst others may not notice and shift at all, depending on the quality of your site’s content. This update is an opportunity for the sites that were hit by the previous big Panda update in September 2014 to see if they work they have put in to rectify their position has been worthwhile.

To make sure that your site’s content is Panda-proof you need to ensure that you are putting the effort in to make the content unique and relevant to the industry.

Avoid duplicate content as much as possible. Copying text from a site, even if it is relevent, is a sure-fire way to make yourself vulnerable to a Panda penalty as the algorithm wants to find unique content on your site to prove that you are working on it and not simply copying the work of others.

Limiting the duplicate content on site also includes your own content. Make sure that if there are different attributes to a product that they are canonicalised so that Google doesn’t see the duplicate pages within the attributes. By making the effort to make all content on the site as unique as possible you will go a long way to safeguarding your site from the algorithm.

The content also needs to be relevant to the industry that the site is in, which is a big reason why guest blogging is rarely used as an SEO practice any more. Even if the content is unique to the site, if it is about a subject that the site has nothing to do with the site will still be vulnerable for a penalty.

If you want to talk to us about Panda or to discuss your content, contact us today.

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