Has your website been affected by Google’s Panda algorithm?
Have Dr. Marie Haynes assess your website and help you recover.
What is the Panda algorithm?
The Panda algorithm was created in early 2011. The purpose of this algorithm is to demote sites that have on-site quality issues. Some of these issues can be quite obvious, but others are not. For example, a site that consists almost completely of articles that are copied from other people’s sites is a prime Panda target. But, sometimes good sites can have issues that can cause them to be affected by Panda as well.
Google has had many updates to the Panda algorithm. Initially, they announced every update. But, since March of 2015 they have only announced the really major changes to the algorithm. Now, Panda refreshes very frequently, sometimes even weekly. Those of us who do a lot of work with Panda affected sites can usually tell by collaboration when Google has refreshed the algorithm.
A Panda hit can occasionally be extremely obvious. Here is an example of a site that suffered a 40% drop after the March 23, 2012 Panda update and subsequently recovered after implementing advice given in my Site Quality Audit:
In other cases, there can be very subtle hits that happen with subsequent Panda refreshes such as this site. This client of ours saw a fantastic recovery and continues to do well with subsequent algorithm updates:
What changes can a site make to improve in the eyes of Panda?
Panda is all about on site quality. Anything you can do to make your site better for users can potentially make the site look better in the eyes of the Panda algorithm. Here are some of the things to look for:
- Having many pages of thin content on the site.
- Having many pages of content on the site that is not useful.
- Having a large amount of content on your site that did not originate with your site.
- Having large amounts of auto-generated content.
- Having a huge number of unnecessary pages in Google’s index.
- Things that frustrate users such as large popups, confusing navigation, slow page loading times, etc.
Someone copied my articles! Will I be hit by Panda?
Panda is meant to demote the sites doing the copying and not the originating site. In most cases, Google gets it right. If you are seeing your articles copied on other websites, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being affected by Panda. Nor does it make you a risk for Panda.
Are duplicate product descriptions a problem for eCommerce sites?
When Panda first came out, we knew that duplicate content could possibly be a factor. Many eCommerce websites went on crazy binges of rewriting thousands or even millions of product descriptions. John Mueller from Google has since clarified that this is not necessary. Still, we see a lot of eCommerce sites that get affected by Panda. The reason is usually because the site doesn’t offer any extra value other than listing their products. Imagine if thousands of sites are all selling the same product as you. How does Google decide which of these sites should rank first? You need to be offering a user experience that is above and beyond what everyone else offers. In many cases, I can teach you how to do this.
Do I need a link audit if my site was hit by Panda?
Links are not believed to be a part of the Panda algorithm. If you feel that you have unnatural links and that those are affecting your site then Google’s Penguin algorithm may be a problem for your site. I have seen many sites that are affected by Panda as well as Penguin. These are tough cases, but recovery can be possible.
Can you guarantee recovery for my site?
No one can guarantee recovery from any of Google’s algorithms. What I can do is promise you that I will do my absolute best to find issues that could be harming your site. I will do a thorough look for thin content and other pages that are in the Google index that should not be. I’ll also give you a thorough action plan of things that can be improved so that your site will be one that Google will be happier to show their users.
Helpful resources for Google’s Panda algorithm:
- Your Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet: Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird – Moz Article
- Google’s Initial Panda Announcement
- Amit Singhal’s 23 Questions to answer for a Panda hit site
- Panda dates – has the dates of updates prior to July 2013.
- Moz Algorithm Update dates