So Google Panda, a good or a bad thing?
For those wondering what Google Panda is, it is the name given to the series of updates in how Google interprets search algorithms. The tweak improves the rating of high quality websites, and subsequently lowers the rating of low quality content websites.
Google’s Panda updates are normally minor enough to only affect a small percentage of searches. This time however we are expected to see such significant changes that may affect a much larger proportion of online searches made through the giant search engine. See this as a warning from Google that if you don’t improve on the content of your site now, then you may see your site start to slowly fall in the ranks.
“Content farms” which are sites that have copied or useless information are a target for Panda and would therefore be lowered in the rankings. The bad point is some original and previously high ranking sites are falling into this category and subsequently have huge effects on their visitors and profits. To avoid the pitfalls of the Panda update, sites will have to build on original content and remove low quality links.
Google will index your site with better rankings for original content and high quality links.
Google, “We strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the ‘Quality Guidelines’, which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise impacted by an algorithmic or manual spam action.”
The quality guidelines listed by Google are not anything new, they are however more stringent on the rules and may not list websites at all for not obeying the rules. Cloaking is becoming a common issue; this is where you deceive visitors by presenting different content to search engines than to visitors.
Participation of link schemes is another guideline. Defiantly avoid links to web spammers and “bad neighbourhoods”. The use of unauthorized computer programs which submit pages, check rankings etc. will also suffer from a lower ranking. There are far more ways to improve rankings, such as, if people + 1 content using Google+1 or bookmark the site, then this will inform Google that the content is interesting and will help with rankings. On the other hand if many people block the site then this could have adverse effects on the site.
Google is certainly cracking down on spamming sites with the Panda updates. When Google receives a website found of wrongdoing their guidelines they scan through the website and will recognize and block future spam attacks. However these algorithms are having a knock on effect, as predicted, with sites that have previously appeared at high rankings in Google.
It would appear that Panda is trying to take a step in the right direction by trying to stop spammers, however as the algorithms they use do not apply to all sites they are taking some high ranking sites with them such as the Register’s hardware site RegHardware, Computer Weekly and PC Advisor to name a few. So to answer the question we will just have to wait for the new release to see what this offers.