Google Working On A Softer & Gentler Panda Algorithm To Help Small Businesses

panda-and-baby Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced at Search Marketing Expo that his search team is working the "next generation" Panda update that would appear to many as being softer. Cutts explained that this new Panda update should have a direct impact on helping small businesses do better. One Googler on his team is specifically working on ways to help small web sites and businesses do better in the Google search results. This next generation update to Panda is one specific algorithmic change that should have a positive impact on the smaller businesses. Matt Cutts didn't mention [...]


Google Confirms Panda Update Is Rolling Out: This One Is More “Finely Targeted”

google-panda-generic-featured This morning, I noticed a possible Panda update was rolling out, one that seemed to be "softer" in nature than the previous updates, where many webmasters who were originally hit by the algorithm are now claiming recovery. Google has confirmed a Panda update is rolling out and this specific update is "more finely targeted." As you may remember, Google told us new Panda algorithms are being pushed out monthly over a ten day period. Google's Matt Cutts did imply there was a bit of a delay in pushing out their monthly Panda refresh because they wanted to release signals that would soften th [...]


Study Finds Google’s Penguin Update Getting Stricter Over Time

google-penguins-computer-featured A study by Portent, an Internet marketing company, shows that Google's tolerance of spammy links to trigger a Penguin algorithm ranking drop has declined by 30% since the Penguin algorithm launched. The study shows that of the 500,000 links found, Google has been steadily reducing its tolerance for webspam. Now, Google is likely to penalize sites with as little as 50 percent suspicious links in their link profiles, whereas 80 percent was required when Penguin first launched. Portent analyzed about 10,000 links pointing at each of the top 50 sites on the 2012 Inc. 5000 list. They then cap [...]


How To Stop The Panic Before Asking “Have I Been Panda Slapped?”

[caption id="attachment_112063" align="alignright" width="205"] Image credit to ShutterStock[/caption] You may see a drop in rankings or traffic and immediately panic. Have I been Panda-slapped? Even now, as we look at the two year anniversary of Google's Panda Update, the likelihood is that you have not. Rankings and traffic fluctuate for many reasons, most of which are not related to penalties from search engines. But, how can you tell? Instead of watching rankings overall, watch categories of keywords. If you separate your keyword categories by topic, you can more easily spot trends t [...]


Google Panda Two Years Later: 5 Questions With HubPages CEO Paul Edmondson

panda-birthday-anniversary-icon (Editor's Note: This is the final article in a 3-part series looking at the aftermath of Google's Panda algorithm update, which launched February 24, 2011. To catch up, please see the first two articles in the series: Google Panda Two Years Later: Losers Still Losing & One Real Recovery and Google Panda Two Years Later: The Real Impact Beyond Rankings & SEO Visibility.) In the two years since Google rolled out the Panda update, many of the "losers" are still losing, and several others have been impacted beyond rankings and SEO. HubPages.com fits both descriptions. Launched in [...]


Google Panda Two Years Later: The Real Impact Beyond Rankings & SEO Visibility

panda-birthday-anniversary-icon (Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of articles looking at the aftermath of Google's Panda algorithm update, which launched February 24, 2011. To catch up, please see the first article in the series: Google Panda Two Years Later: Losers Still Losing & One Real Recovery.) Google's Panda algorithm update, which launched two years ago, had an enormous impact on the SEO industry and online publishing as a whole. As with any Google algo change, there are winners and losers in its search results. In part one of this series, we looked at the current search visibility of some of P [...]


Google Panda Two Years Later: Losers Still Losing & One Real Recovery

panda-birthday-anniversary-icon (Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of articles looking at the aftermath of Google's Panda algorithm update, which launched February 24, 2011.) Two years ago today, Google sent shockwaves through not only the SEO industry, but also through online publishing in general when it launched the Panda algorithm update. It was originally called the "farmer" update because Google's prime target was "content farms," a name used to describe sites that created high-quantities of low-quality content that sometimes ranked highly in Google's search results. Although Google didn't specifically [...]


Google: Further Penguin Update “Jolts” To Come; Panda Is Smoother & Monthly

google-lightning-featured Fasten your seat belt, if you've been spamming Google. The anti-spam "Penguin Update" will have more jolts in the coming months, as Google continues to adjust it. In contrast, updates to the Panda algorithm aimed at low-quality pages are now so minor as not to be noticed, when they roll out monthly. Speaking yesterday at the SES San Francisco conference, the head of Google's spam fighting team Matt Cutts talked about how Google is still adjusting the Penguin Update algorithm that's designed to penalize sites that spam Google. Technically, Google's saying that Penguin isn't a penalty but [...]


Infographic: The Google Panda Update, One Year Later

panda-year-infographic-featured One year ago, Google launched its "Panda Update" designed to filter low quality or "thin" content from its top search results. Below, our infographic produced in conjunction with BlueGlass covers how Panda works, what it impacted and the various updates from Panda 1.0 through Panda 3.2 that have happened along the way. After the infographic, you'll also find more information about the Panda Update ranging from in-depth analysis of how it works, "winners and losers" and well as recovery tips. (Note: An earlier version of this infographic listed scraper sites as something targeted by Pa [...]


Panda Update 3.0 Live & Panda “Flux”

panda-face-top-news On around September 27th, Google launched what's being called 2.5 of its Panda algorithm. On October 5th, Google's Matt Cutts tweeted: "Weather report: expect some Panda-related flux in the next few weeks, but will have less impact than previous updates (~2%)." Panda-related flux? Indeed, this seems to be the case, with site owners reporting Panda-related changes on at least October 3rd and October 13th. In several  cases, I saw sites with Google organic traffic declines on 9/27, recovery on 10/3, and decline again on 10/13. I talked to Google to find out more about the flux and what sit [...]


Google Panda Update 2.4: Panda Goes International, In Most Languages

panda-international-featured Google has just announced that their "Panda" rankings changes, first launched in the United States in late February and rolled out to English language indices internationally in April, have now launched internationally in all languages other than Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Their post notes that for non-English indices,  this change impacts 6-9% of queries (vs. the 12% the original US English launch). This launch also includes a few minor changes to the English version of Panda, but shouldn't have a substantial impact. In their post, they say: For many months, we’ve been focused o [...]


Why Google Panda Is More A Ranking Factor Than Algorithm Update

google-panda-generic-featured With Google Panda Update 2.2 upon us, it's worth revisiting what exactly Panda is and isn't. Panda is a new ranking factor. Panda is not an entirely new overall ranking algorithm that's employed by Google. The difference is important for anyone hit by Panda and hoping to recover from it. Google's Ranking Algorithm & Updates Let's start with search engine optimization 101. After search engines collect pages from across the web, they need to sort through them in demand to searches that are done. Which are the best? To decide this, they employ a ranking algorithm. It's like a recipe for coo [...]


Coming Soon: Google Panda Update 2.2

panda-face-top-news One of the bigger pieces of news -- certainly for webmasters and SEOs -- from our SMX Advanced conference this week is that Google will soon be releasing version 2.2 of the Panda algorithm update. Google's Matt Cutts confirmed that during Tuesday's keynote question-and-answer session with Danny Sullivan. Cutts said that the update has been approved, hasn't been rolled out yet, but that should happen soon. Improved Scraper Detection The next update will target a common webmaster complaint related to the original Panda/Farmer update: sites that scrape and re-publish content and are out-rank [...]


It’s Panda Update 2.1, Not Panda 3.0, Google Says

sad-panda-featured There have been rumblings that Google has unveiled another huge algorithm change being dubbed "Panda 3.0" in some quarters. Officially, Google says it's not so. Only a minor update, "far smaller" than Panda 2, has happened. Changes have been spotted by some sharp-eyed SEOs over the past few days, and Google agrees that there were some tweaks made. But as I said, the company says this impacts far fewer rankings than in the past. Let's recap: Panda 1.0: Launched on February 24, this targeted "shallow" or "thin" content and impacted about 12% of the rankings in the United States. See our [...]


Hit By Panda Update? Google Has 23 Questions To Ask Yourself To Improve

sad-panda-featured Amit Singhal, Google's head of search, published a blog post on the Google Webmaster Central blog named More guidance on building high-quality sites. Amit's goal with this post is to have those webmasters impacted by this Panda Update, which rolled out internationally about a month ago, with some direction and guidance to help explain what sites Google likes and which they dislike. Amit said that he cannot document publicly the "actual ranking signals" but will share questions you should ask yourself and consider when trying to understand why a site was impacted by this update. Those q [...]


Panda 2.0: Google Rolls Out Panda Update Internationally & Incorporates Searcher Blocking Data

panda-international-featured Late February, Google launched a substantial algorithm change (known as "Farmer" or "Panda") aimed at identifying low-quality pages and sites. These are pages (often seen on so-called "content farms") with text that is relevant for a query, but may not provide the best user experience. (Google calls it a "high quality sites algorithm".) Today, Google has rolled this change out to all English language queries and made a few minor updates (with an estimated impact to 2% of U.S. queries). Live for All English Queries The original algorithm update impacted only U.S. queries. As of today, this c [...]


Lessons Learned at SMX West: Google’s Panda Update, White Hat Cloaking & Link Building

An amazing amount of great information came out of SMX West this week. Below is a summary of some of what I found to be the most actionable and useful. Google's Own Words About the Farmer/Panda Update Google's Matt Cutts said that while the change isn't 100% perfect, searcher feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. He noted that the change is completely algorithmic with no manual exceptions. Blocking "Low Quality" Content Matt reiterated that enough low quality content on a site could reduce rankings for that site as a whole. Improving the quality of the pages or removing the pages alto [...]


The Farmer/Panda Update: New Information From Google and The Latest from SMX West

[caption id="attachment_67584" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image from Sony200boy on Flickr"][/caption] Today at SMX West, the subject of the day was content farms. One session included the founder of (sometimes-called content farm) Associated Content, Luke Beatty, and focused on the good that can be learned from content farms, as well as what sites who have been hit by Google’s Farmer aka Panda update can do to regain their rankings. This discussion coincides with an updated posting from Google in the webmaster discussion forum thread they opened for site owners on the sub [...]


Your Site’s Traffic Has Plummeted Since Google’s Panda Update. Now What?

Google's latest algorithm change has impacted nearly 12% of queries. That means that a lot of sites, big and small, are looking at their web analytics reports this week and seeing devastating traffic graphs down and to the right. It can be difficult to think strategically and objectively in such a a situation and your first reactions may be panic and anger. Understandable, but if you want to restore your site's traffic, you need actionable steps for evaluation and change. Even if it is truly the case that you were unfairly hit as a result of collateral damage, you want to spend your limited [...]


Google Speaks More About The Farmer Update, AKA Panda Update

In an interview with Wired magazine's Steven Levy (who's keynoting at our SMX West conference next week), Googlers Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts speak more about the recent Farmer algorithm update. One of the interesting things they say is that last year's launch of the "Caffeine" indexing infrastructure played a role in upping the visibility of "shallow content." [Amit Singhal speaking] Our index grew so quickly, and we were just crawling at a much faster speed. When that happened, we basically got a lot of good fresh content, and some not so good. The problem had shifted from random gibber [...]


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