Many webmasters over the web have noticed a sudden drop in ranking on and after 22nd Jan 2013. A tweet on the same day by Google which read “New Panda data refresh rolling out today: 1.2% of English queries affected.” confirmed this as a refresh of its content-oriented update, Google Panda.
First initiated in February 2011, Panda has been refreshed periodically by Google to keep its algorithm healthy in order to entertain the users with the highest quality of search results.
Some website owners have said that they witnessed a sudden drop in rankings around the 18th of Jan which worsened till the 22nd when it was confirmed. The speculations about a new update had started since 17th when the first sudden drop in rankings was reported. The Google Panda refresh #24 has now become a concern for the webmasters who are wondering why they were suddenly penalized after so long.
As we all know that Google Panda is all about promoting quality content and penalizing thin and low-quality content. Google considers following as low quality content:
- Content drafted and posted purely from an SEO perspective without having any intent to enhance the knowledge of the readers about a certain topic they are looking for.
- Content with lots of grammatical error, having no information for the reader and unnecessary and having irrelevant linking to other pages absolutely off the topic.
- Duplicate and shallow content is also considered as low quality if it claims to be a solution for a particular topic but describes only the basic outline around the topic.
A prominent SEO forum has described the recovery process from Panda in four phases, briefly explained below:
- Issue tracking or problem definition: As they say “A problem well defined is a problem half solved” and the same applies for recovering from Panda. The content of the website should be checked for its authenticity and trust in reader’s perspective. Trust in terms of reader’s knowledge; if it is efficient enough to deliver the essence of the topic. Content which fails to deliver the appropriate information to the reader is considered as low quality and so can be one of the reasons of penalty. Pages with high bounce rate, low visitor’s time, grammatical or spelling errors, having high percentage of advertisement links etc. should be rectified.
- Issue corrective actions: After the issue has been identified or well understood (at-least), appropriate corrective measures should be executed. Rectification measures like removal of redundant or duplicate content should be practiced. Efficient substance of evidence inside the content, if any research or testimony is claimed, should be linked within to validate and authenticate the content of the page.
- Re-indexing Phase: Now all the efforts has been implemented from the webmaster’s side, Google will now take the lead to index and review the revived pages so as to check if the page are now following its guidelines. Internal linking within the website along with link building with external domains further assists in improving the reputation of the page and helps in achieving top positions in SERP.
- Final Recovery Phase: This phase starts showing the results of improvement if the initial operations are executed properly in accordance with the guidelines. Results in terms of improved average page view time, reduced bounce rates, high traffic etc. can be examined with analytic tool.
Building a reputed and trusted site is what Google considers a sign of a quality website. Hence, creating credible content after proper research on a particular topic and appropriate grammar and spelling, is the best technique to recover from Panda. Content quality as well as uniqueness should always be the highest priority for a content writer to assure that Google may not consider the page as a low quality page and less informative.