An Ultimate Guide to the Google Panda Update. Google Panda first launched in February 2011 as part of Google’s quest to remove black hat SEO techniques and web spam. At the time, user complaints about the increasing influence of “content farms” had grown extremely.
Why Google Created Panda
In 2010, the falling quality of Google’s search results and the increase of the “content farm” business model became subjects continuously making the rounds.
The new update took into account a website’s prestige, design, loading speed, and user interface to produce more results with human browsing habits.
While it worked for creating accurate results, Panda simultaneously targeted those low-quality sites by lowering their rank in search engines.
HOW THE GOOGLE PANDA UPDATE AFFECTED WEBSITES
The effects of Panda were long-lasting and still being felt by many firms today.
The update made in the year 2011 impacted roughly 12 percent of the search queries, meaning that 12 percent of the rankings in Google changed abnormally.
THE GOOGLE PANDA UPDATE TIMELINE
Since its introduction in the year 2011, Panda has gone through various updates. You need to understand that you would see the words refresh and frequently update while going through the updates.
Panda 1.0: February 24, 2011
Google took disciplinary action with thin content, too much emphasis on advertising, and other issues relating to quality. Up to 12 percent of the search queries got affected by the update. With the Panda update, the complete domains rose rather than single pages of a site.
Panda 2.0: April 11, 2011
Google now expanded its update to all English searches globally. Two percent of the websites that were indexed by Google crawlers were affected.
Panda 2.1: May 9, 2011
Initially, this update was considered minor and not discussed in-depth by Google. Though not officially declared but confirmed by Google.
Panda 2.2: June 21, 2011
Its main motive was to enhance scraper detection and tease out plagiarized content.
Panda 2.3: July 23, 2011
It established fresh signals to distinguish between higher and lower quality sites.
Panda 2.4: August 12, 2011
This update created a great impact on the sites on a worldwide basis. It extended even to non-English search queries. Overall, it impacted 6 to 9 percent of the total search queries. In this update, most details remained hazy. Finally, Google-owned sites like YouTube ranked higher in search results.
Panda “Flux”: October 5, 2011
After taking the response from over 400 participants, it was assured that they considered it to be a very significant update.
Panda 3.1: October 19, 2011
This update ended up creating an impact on less than 1 percent of the websites
Panda 3.2: January 18, 2012
Google made minor modifications but didn’t state any changes to the algorithm.
Panda 3.3: February 27, 2012
Another relatively minor update, confirmed by Google, aimed at unnatural link development techniques.
Panda 3.4: March 23, 2012
This update affected nearly 1.6 percent of the search queries.
Panda 3.5: April 19, 2012
Not proclaimed officially.
Panda 3.6: April 27, 2012
Created a lesser impact.
Panda 3.7: June 8, 2012
This one had a greater impact than the other updates, even though Google claims it affected less than 1 percent of the search results. It appeared to have a greater influence on the sites hit by the authenticate Panda update.
Panda 3.8: June 25, 2012
This update affected 1 percent of the search queries globally.
Panda 3.9: July 24, 2012
This update affected 3.9 percent of the search queries.
Panda 3.9.1: August 20, 2012
This update affected 1 percent of the search queries.
Panda 3.9.2: September 28, 2012
Nearly 7 percent of the queries were affected by this update
Panda #20: September 27, 2012
This update was an update to the actual Panda algorithm, which affected 2.4 percent of the English search queries
Panda #21: November 12, 2012
A smaller update that only affected 1.1% of search queries.
Panda #22: November 21, 2012
This update was confirmed by Google, which impacted .8 percent of the search queries.
Panda #23: December 21, 2012
This update impacted 1.3 percent of the search queries
Panda #24: January 22, 2013
This minor update affected 1.2 percent of the queries.
Panda #25: March 14, 2013
Known to be the last manual Panda update SEO shift, this was declared but never officially confirmed.
Google Dance: June 11, 2013
This was not an official update but a proclamation from Google that Panda was being updated every month,
Panda Recovery Update: July 18, 2013
This update created an impact on sites such as Wikipedia and About.com
Panda 4.0: May 19, 2014
This update targeted accumulated content and thin content, and sites such as ask.com and eBay.com became major hits and created an impact on 7.5 percent of the English search queries.
Panda 4.1: September 23, 2014
This update targeted affiliated sites without relevant information, too many affiliate links, and search results characterizing broken links. The estimated impact was 3 to 5 percent of the search queries.
Panda 4.2: July 18, 2015
This update impacted 2 to 3 percent of the search queries and made it less noticeable for SEO professionals. This update was announced on January 11, 2016.
Broad Core Algorithm Update: March 9, 2018
According to a Google tweet, a broad core algorithm update was released the week before March 9, 2018. Panda was a part of Core by this point, which also meant a Panda update. Google said this update had to do with content priority.
Broad Core Algorithm Update: September 24, 2019
Google’s guidance recommended that this basic update be similar to the one in the recent past.
Broad Core Algorithm Update: January 13, 2020
Another multifaceted primary update for the books.
Broad Core Algorithm Update: May 4, 2020
Another update for the innumerable types of the basic algorithmic portfolio.
Broad Core Algorithm Update: December 7, 2020
Said to be the last one in modern history
WHAT THE GOOGLE PANDA UPDATE TARGETS
Through the following, you can understand what the focus of the Google Panda Updates are
- Thin content: Pages with little authenticated content and resources; if you multiply pages with only a few sentences on each, they are to be classified as thin content. Generally, one or two short pages is ok, but if it includes a major portion of your site, then it’s a red flag.
- Duplicate content: Content that can be seen in more than one place. This can be copied from other pages on the internet or appears on various pages of your own website that have little to no text variation.
- Filters on websites that are not technically appropriate: Any filters used for screening or excluding must obey the technical guidelines
- Low-quality content: Any content lacking data and providing little or no value to the readers
- Short content: Content that is too short of providing authenticity to the reader, but you should remember that not all short content is bad, as long as it provides value
- Poor spelling: Too many errors in spelling or grammar
- Too many topics in one domain: If your website lacks focus and covers innumerable topics instead of focusing on one clear mission
- Lack of authority: Content from unauthorized sources
- Broken pages: Consists of redirects or too many 404 errors
- Keyword stuffing: Filling up a page with keywords and then loading it to manipulate rankings
- Content farms: These are a huge number of short, low-quality pages
- Too many advertisements: If there are more paid advertisements than the desired content on a page; this might create a problem for the user’s experience
- Low-quality affiliate links: Low-quality content leads to affiliate pages
- Content that doesn’t match search queries: Pages that never produce the desired information
- User-blocked websites: These websites are those that users have blocked through extensions
HOW THE GOOGLE PANDA UPDATE AFFECTED SEO STRATEGY
The fallout of Panda has been felt far and wide in the marketing arena. Mainly, SEOs should focus on user experience. Pre-Panda, the primary goal of SEO was developing content that would be accessible to search engines through keywords and link development. Post-Panda, the importance lies on the user rather than the search engine. Emphasizes rather on quality than quantity.
For instance, many were of the view that Google’s top spot is to blog each day so that Google continuously has something to index. But due to Panda, if you blog only for the sake of blogging, this could create a negative impact. Each post you develop must be a high standard, unique, and provide all the needed answers to the reader. Quality content and design help in developing a quality rank.
So summing up this blog, you can pick up a quote from a Google expert who states that content heads shouldn’t query how many visitors visited their site at the end of the day. Rather, they should be interested in how many they have helped.