Google Panda Update/Integration?

Posted by Netmatters
14th January 2016

In January 2016, our digital marketing team noticed some ranking changes in the search results pages for ourselves and our clients.

Following much speculation of a Penguin algorithm update to be made early in the New Year the potential changes made have been causing a lot of attention, but it now appears that the update was nothing to do with Google Penguin after all.

The update was actually regarding the Panda algorithm, which was created in 2011 to combat spammy sites and their ability to rank highly without providing quality content. Panda has now become an actual part of the core search algorithm rather than an extra filter that was placed in after the actual core algorithm had done its job in ranking the search. This is good and bad, and it shows that Google is placing more and more emphasis on the quality of a site's content.

Google logo
What Does This Mean For Me?
The update/integration of Panda in the core search algorithm which can affect the rankings of your website, and for this reason, is important that you monitor your website’s search rankings over the coming weeks. Currently, it can be hard to identify whether or not Panda is the true cause for the fluctuations in the search rankings, as it's only just begun the rollout and it’s best to let the situation stabilise before you attempt to address any issues you think may have occurred. 

Due to the fact that the update is focused on quality, it would be beneficial to review your site's content and amend/update where applicable to ensure you are giving users the best quality information out there - Google will also reward you for this over time. Google recognises that not all content on a website can be perfect, so some low-quality content is okay. A good website is a website that has a majority of high-quality, informative content.

What Do We Think Of The New Update?
The new update takes a step forward towards a better Google Search and we are in favour of the changes Google are making. This update is predicted to make it easier for high-quality websites to rank higher within the search results - and we're sure we are all in favour of a higher quality internet. The work that we focus on for our own brands, and our clients revolves around high-quality content, so this update should only be a boost in results.
What's The Difference Between The Panda & Penguin Algorithm?
Google Panda focuses on penalising sites that have low-quality content, or are just, in general, a low-quality website. Google Penguin is designed to penalise and bring down websites that break Google’s Webmaster guidelines and use black hat SEO techniques to try and manipulate the algorithms to rank higher within the search result pages. The general idea behind both algorithms sounds very similar, and both aimed to get the high-quality sites and content at the top of search results. Panda focuses on on-page content, and Penguin focuses primarily on backlinks to your website.
Do You Need To Be Worried?
If you focus on high-quality content throughout your site, and regularly maintain the site to ensure that it is always working then there is no reason to worry about this update. If you do notice that your rankings drop slightly, going through your content and recreating any lower quality content should be a quick fix to gain back some spaces. Google’s focus on quality has only began, so if you are worried about if the content on your website is not of a high enough quality to slip by un-penalised in Google’s new update then it is time for you to create some more quality content.

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