These days nothing annoys and scares SEO specialists and Internet marketers than the regular Google Panda updates. Ever since it started sometime in February 2011, more than 80 percent of the websites were downgraded, and they are now struggling to bring their sites back to favorable rankings. Popular content mills such as Ezinearticles.com had to change their submission guidelines and approval categories. Simply put, ever since it came about, nothing becomes too sure.
But a good amount of fear of the Google Panda stems from the fact that many still remains uninformed or misled. Hopefully this article will arm you with plenty of accurate information.
So What Is It Really?
Google Panda is just a fancy term that is given to the new algorithm method developed by Google, one of the biggest search engines in the world.
Why did they change theirs? Over the years, SEO specialists have become clever. They peppered their copies with plenty of keywords so they rank high in search engines. And because they were doing better, they accepted advertising—a lot of them. However, the quality of data they provided to Internet users significantly diminished.
Google wanted to correct this and reward those that have been working really hard to continuously provide sufficient and fantastic articles and media to their readers. Thus, the Panda was born, bringing good websites up and the bad ones down.
The truth is no one really knows how the system specifically works. It has always been a secret of Google. Thus, there’s no sure-fire way of beating it. What we do know, though, is that there are a couple of factors that are considered by this algorithm to determine your ranking in the search engine.
The first one is the quality of the article. Keyword stuffing is frowned upon; so is over-optimization of the page. In the broader sense, the articles should be related to the main theme of the website, and they should sound as “natural as possible.” Then trustworthiness of the website, which can be measured in terms of how long the Internet user stayed on the page as well as how many times the page has been opened.
Design is also playing a role. Google believes that to ensure that your readers understand your message, media files such as photos and videos must be included—but only when they are absolutely necessary. To establish relevance of these files, an Alt tag should be added, with the main keyword highlighted.
Difference with Google Penguin
Another kind of algorithm update is known as the Google Penguin. Because they sound almost alike, a number tend to confuse the two. There is a good way to differentiate them: Google Penguin is all about penalizing those websites that have been following their webmaster guidelines. Panda focuses more on the quality of the websites.
Nevertheless, that does not mean Panda hurts only a few pages. Several SEO specialists and Internet marketers will tell you it tends to punish the entire domain.