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Are Google’s Results Better After A Year Of Panda Updates?

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Are Google’s Results Better After A Year Of Panda Updates?
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It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since Google first launched the Panda update. OK, who am I kidding? It feels like an eternity ago. But it’s been a year. How much work have you done on your site to comply with Panda in that amount of time?

Now that you’ve had a year to get to know it, how do you think Google has done with the Panda update? Was your site affected? For better or for worse? Do you think Google did a good job in making search results higher in quality and relevancy? Let us know in the comments.

Earlier this month, when Google ran down its publicly known algorithmic changes for the month of January, it mentioned what still appears to be the most recent change to Panda. It said:

“We improved how Panda interacts with our indexing and ranking systems, making it more integrated into our pipelines. We also released a minor update to refresh the data for Panda.”

This change had actually been confirmed in January, but was spelled out one more time (as much as Google will in fact spell it out). Just to make sure this was in fact the most recent Panda-related adjustment, we asked Google. A spokesperson for the company responded: “As mentioned in January, we’re continuing to improve how Panda interacts with our indexing and ranking systems, making it more integrated into our pipelines.”

So, it sounds like the improvements are still ongoing, but no major Panda update since that particular announcement.

This list has been referenced plenty of times by myself and others discussing the Panda update, but as Google tweaks it, these things will continue to be important to keep in mind. Possibly even more than ever, considering that it’s so much more “integrated into the pipelines”. It’s the list of questions that provides “guidance” on how Google looks at the issue of search quality.

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

For a comprehensive look back (and forward) at the ongoing Panda saga, you may find our Panda page useful. It basically looks like our homepage, but is dedicated to Panda-related stories. Sure, in essence, it’s basically a tag page, but with our recent redesign, kind of takes on a life of its own. It points to all of our coverage, all the way back to the beginning. It includes the important info, as well as some of the more fun things, like Panda bread, parody videos and infographics.

Here are a few of the classic videos:

And speaking of infographics, Search Engine Land and BlueGlass put this one together:

The Google Panda Update, One Year Later

It’s a well put-together infographic for sure, and provides a nice visible timeline of the various iterations of the Panda update, but it really only scratches the surface of the affects the update has had on the web – the struggles of webmasters who felt their sites were unjustly impacted for the worse. We heard a whole lot of stories over the last year. We covered some of them, but only a fraction. For some sites it was clear that their quality was lacking, and didn’t really deserve to be ranking over higher quality sites, but for others, we had to wonder if Google was making the right call. Some sites were able to recover (fully or partially), while many, no doubt, just gave up and started over. Some had to make huge adjustments to their entire content strategies.

No better example of this exists, than Demand Media, widely considered the poster child for the content farm concept – a concept, which ultimately led to the Panda update’s existence in the first place, and its early pre-Panda nickname the “farmer update”. Demand Media’s eHow property, specifically, was the main culprit, though other of the company’s properties were named from time to time in the visibility reports from third parties referenced in the above infographic.

Amazingly, the initial Panda update a year ago didn’t have any impact on eHow, but that would change in future iterations. It ultimately led to an huge shift in strategy for Demand Media’s content arm, which included the addition of a new user feedback system, the deletion of thousands of articles, and the reduction in new article assignments. All the while, the company has been expanding its social presence, and forming content partnerships to boost the quality and reputation of its eHow brand, which has a top 20 domain in the U.S. Demand Media’s properties get 100 million visitors per month.

The Panda update has had such an impact on this company that it still has to talk about it in its earnings calls. They just had one a couple weeks ago, and declared that the last Google algorithm update to affect eHow as in July. Panda 2.3, as its referred to in the infographic, was on July 23. There have been 5 Panda updates since then, so it would appear that the company has learned how to cater to it.

I’m not going to dig back through all of the Panda stories of the past year, because frankly, there are just too many of them. A lot of anecdotes, a lot of theories, and a lot of analysis. There’s enough to write a sizable book. Maybe one day.

One important thing to note, which is also referenced in the infographic, is that Panda is only one of over 200 signals Google uses. It’s an important one, but there are a lot of other ones. A lot of other important ones. These days, the big controversial Google signal is “Search Plus Your World“. There’s a lot of criticism about how its damaging relevancy. I’ve seen examples where Google’s “freshness” update has hurt relevancy. The lack of realtime search isn’t helping things either.

In a week or two, Google will likely give us a look at the changes it has made to its algorithm since that January list. Then webmasters and SEOs sill have even more factors to consider in the elaborate quest for gaining visibility in the world’s largest search engine as it continues to become more personalized to each user. Nobody said it would be easy, but these things are worth paying attention to.

Now that we’ve had an entire year to digest the Panda update, while being thrown new curveballs from Google along the way, how do you think Google is doing with search quality? Is Google showing more relevant results that it was a year ago? Tell us what you think in the comments .

Lead Image Credit: yosoybeezel on Photobucket

Are Google’s Results Better After A Year Of Panda Updates?
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  • P General

    Google is no more a search engine it has become a “suggestion engine”.

    If we are buying something and follow google ever so helpful “suggestion” of search terms, we will end up paying more or buy an inferior product/service, becuase the adword advertisers sell for higher than market price and SERP top result are crap to make the ads look good.

    With panda google lost the trust factor.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      Either way, it’s still the primary way most people search for info on the web.

    • http://classiccopper.com/ James

      My site results just keep getting better and better as I add more content. The content has to be well written and uniquely arranged, but if you something to say yourself instead of stealing content, yur page will do well.

  • Joseph

    People still use Google?

    I thought everyone switched to BING !

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      I still haven’t run into too many Bing users in day to day life (away from work).

      • http://www.pugetseo.com Bellevue SEO

        Agree… I know just about as many Bing users as I do people using AOL for their internet service provider.

  • Patricia

    I think you forgot to mention Panda 4.0 that is, if you buy adwords, your site goes up.

    We have stopped our 500$ a month campain with google adwords because it wasn’t profitable, and our site lost 2 pages in natural results in the next days.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      Interesting. Is that the only change you made? What is the nature of the site? I’ve seen freshness playing a much greater role in top rankings in recent months.

  • http://www.sriramraj.com Sriram Raj

    Panda had a major affect to the blogger community as well where personal blogs have been hit much due to low quality content. Also there was an affect for the content farms which bloggers used to republish their articles.

    It is best to remove these republish article stuff which i feel useless as they are already published at one place

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      Getting rid of low quality content and keeping the high quality is a good start for sure.

  • http://www.exabytes.sg/ Exabytes

    I love what google panda did so far !!!
    Atleast we found out that the content we search is much more update and quality compare to internet world without google panda control.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      What do you think about “Search Plus Your World”?

  • http://SOLIDWORKSDESIGNS.COM Fred

    With almost everything which seems to be building throughout this specific area, your perspectives tend to be relatively radical. You really come with really good well written articles.

    Clearly Google is not doing a better Job now. I believe is a strategy to force the Organic sites to start using PPC.

    We switch to Bing.com a few month back, and looking into Yippy.com now as an alternative.

    Thank you for your revealing article!

    • Timbo

      I like Yippy.com alot, thanks for sharing.

  • Steve

    I don’t have a problem with Panda – I had long wished there was a simple way to filter out content scrapers and viola, they are falling fast in search results. As an end user, this and anything that damages the link farm business and other methods of gaming search ranks are welcome improvements in the web ecosystem. As a content producer and site builder I have seen substantial improvements in page ranks and search traffic that can only be explained by Panda at work.

    On the other hand, Google’s brand of Evil remains, well, Evil. Their worst offense in terms of the actual search results presented is sometimes called “bubbling.” This is Google’s use of behavior profiles to alter search results in an effort to produce a view of the Internet that reinforces any given user’s known habits and interests.

    Sites frequently visited from search results at your IP address and/or workstation are artificially bumped toward the top of new search results: Your Google search results are not representative of the results a hypothetical average user sees. This might make a client’s site appear to be much more visible in search results than it really is when the client checks it out – woo hoo – but it directly harms efforts to evaluate real results on the SEO side of website work. We have to use a scraper like startpage.com or a public proxy service to see “neutral” Google search results.

    Never mind the long term impact on society, when the dominant Internet search portal deliberately avoids delivering content that is contrary to users’ established habits and preferences in areas like news and politics.

    • http://www.guzmansgreenhouse.com Paul

      If you have a google account, adsense, adwords, gmail etc… Google knows your search query results and will alter them according to your search habits. Including keywords that you want to rank for.

      However if you have no Google account…none at all. The results will revert back to the average user. You will have to clear cookies and history.

      Try this…Open a browser of your choice and do a search query that might have your site listed on the first page.

      Now open up another browser that is not linked to your google account and do the same search query…The results you see are different and are what the average surfer sees.

      Paul

      • http://www.tipsinablog.com Daniel

        Paul,

        That is called Google’s Personalized search results, whereby, they tailor your results according to your own search habits.

        Easy way to avoid this, is to log out of your Google account when you are doing any SEO where you need to know actual serp results.

      • http://www.tipsinablog.com Daniel

        Sorry Paul.

        My answer was meant for Steve.

        And yes you outlined the procedures required to get more accurate Serp results.

        I have been doing the same thing for quite a while now, by swapping over browsers(after logging out of my Google account which is connected to my main browser) this seems to give an accurate picture.

        As long as I have not logged into my Google account on my second browser(which I use for accurate ranking checks only) I do not need to wipe out history or clear the cache,etc.

        Also, many Keyword tools both free and paid, can have some really ” way off” results.

      • http://www.hyphenstudio.ca Hyphen Studio

        I realized this over a year ago while performing a few searches. The other issue I have with Google is they really don’t seem to pay attention to some sites. They seem to rank some sites based on content and other just get put in place due to their domain. There is a local company that hasn’t added any new content in nearly 2 years – but still ranks at the top for quite a few search terms. I was updating regularly with quality content, receiving comments, getting backlinks from other sites and struggled to get on the first page of results. I know other websites that are still stuffing keywords into content – so poorly that the content no longer makes any sense and they are still ranking highly.

        It would be nice to see some of the ‘rules’ that Google has in place actually affect websites that don’t follow.

  • http://CozumelMexico.net Bob Rodriguez

    It has not materially affected my web presence however I do feel as if Google is now more than ever pandering :-) to it’s larger customers. Serving up larger web sites above home spun sites (even if the content is more relevant).

    • http://www.back-pain-self-help.com Nick

      I find that puzzling. Mine’s a small business website and has increased traffic by 40% over the Panda period without my doing any significant writing of new material. (What is already there is of good quality and original.)

      I can’t say I notice much change in the search results.

  • http://www.new-bingosites.co.uk Neo Anderson

    The panda update made such a mass. Until now I can’t see the right influence of this change because google’s ranking keep changing with no logic behind them at all.

  • http://montazne-hise-on.net Alex

    The simplest and yet direct to the point answer would be: “always make sure that you’ll provide a substantial content which is truly informative”, in that way you’ll not be filtered and deemed as “thin” content.

  • Denise

    Quite frankly, Google is all about their profit margin. Do this, do that. If I did everything Google said I would never have time to work on my business. It is not fair for small companies. Yes my ranking dropped. I also hate the “you can get it here” suggestion. Why optimize my site if you’re going to send the searcher to my competitor?

    • Kathy

      I think Denise said exactly what everyone else is ignoring: Google is a for-profit site. What do you suppose their end goals are? Hint: It’s to make money.

      I started writing online just a few months ago, and have no strong feelings about Google’s algorithms, because it sends people to my sites, but at the same time, I don’t use it when I’m searching for information. I get far superior results from using a meta-search like dogpile.com (remember Infoseek?) than I do from Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

  • bob

    Hello!

    for me google search results looks much less relevant now than in 2009/2010. I many times trying to find something using exact match, but google return me anything but not what i looking at the moment.

    I just need exact match results – but i get lot of content farms (i mean not article sites, but internal pages of big sites with high pr just having that phrase somewhere in the page without any useful info) in the top (which not have a exact query on pages or have it but without any useful info).

    Just example : I trying to find results by script error message. But google show me anything (where synonyms and no exact matches in top) like wikipedia (i hate it due for articles quality), tumblr, facebook & wordpress spammy sites that not what i looking for.

    When I tryed to use bing – I was able to found such messages from start. It happens many times, so I starting to have idea about google irrelevant results (for me), but since them N1 no other way then optimize pages for them.

    I can tell what currently wikipedia, youtube, social sites (spammy web20 sites), amazon is everywhere in top of google search results. Most of that results looks very irrelevant for me.
    Also lot of sites in the top which i know for sure what them purchasing links everywhere.

    So for me personally, google now often not providing relevant search results. I not think what google know what i have in the minds when i searching something, so I want to see only relevant search results, not partial match youtube or wikipedia, only exact matches.

    Also advertising in google search results is horrible now. Top1-3 often with some ad-sites (and it not easy sometimes to see what it ‘sponsored’.) Same at the end of top10. I think if google bot will index google search site – panda need to ban it immediate.

    So from one side it good to have autosites (auto generated content) removed from search engines, but for second side it looks for me what google have removed also lot of small but useful sites due for panda.

    Also from position as webmaster I can see it easily, some small sites where niched unique quality content not ranking at all. Results of using of lot of signals to rank site/page and that social factors creating unstability in google search results.

    social factors/social engines auditory is still small, especially in niched topics.

    Also google rank sites by very funny and stupid way. From one side them using ‘links’ as votes. From second side them not calculate some ‘votes’, from third side them penalizing for some ‘votes’, link titles.
    Rules still unclear for everybody, and that ‘google webmaster guide’ is just more their ‘perfect idea’ than reality. Also google still undecided what is king – content or links. Currently easy to see it still links (which ‘must looks perfect’ in his eyes). It very easy to say what it not possibly to reach real relevancy using this old ways. Adding social factor here is will not help, it will just more mix top10 and is only me see what web 2.0 is mostly spam at this days???

    Also backlinks at this days just cannot be a seo factor, links at this days is more competition of bots & spammy techniques. It clearly show what seo ranking cannot depends on links as ranking factor at this days.

    Also google+ button just not work as must. I never will click +1 because that site will stay at top of my google search results (personal) when i just wanted to vote for site, but not see it every time when i searching for something.

  • bob

    yes, forget to mention. And google – stop automatically correct my query! If i make a mistake – just show text about it at top. But give me to search with my mistake! You don’t know what i have in my minds when searching something! Just tell but NOT autofix!

  • http://www.mybabygiftbasketsandmore.com Joyce

    I use Google as little as possible. When searching I use Bing and Yahoo. Since the Panda updates, I can put something in Google search and it brings up non relevant sites.

  • http://www.makemoneyteam.com Raymond

    Although my website took a %50 drop in traffic, which is bad, when I do see a site above mine in the serp’s, it is a halfway decent site most times. Before Panda, I would see sites above me that were way way lower quality than mine. Although there is one site, which only consists of a stack of banners with affiliate links and the only text is how to buy a spot on that page, and that site beats me at every keyword even though my site has 50 pages of completely original writing PLUS a user forum attached within the site, all structure and properly interlinked. So black hat is alive and well, but on a smaller scale in my view. Now if they could just do it without honest website owners losing traffic as well that would be great.

  • http://www.rwrinnovations.com Ron Nixon

    Thank you for the tip about yippy.com. It is refreshing to see results where Amazon.com and the other big spenders aren’t always in the top spots. Especially when their content isn’t unique.

    I used to love Google, but, they are giving too much weight to those who spend the most money.

    Small businesses can’t compete with deep pocket corporations who sell at less than cost and keep having 25, 35 and now I see a 50% off sale being advertised. And, even though a small business has a well crafted site, Amazon and the other big guys buy the top slots and apparently aren’t penalized for copying manufacturers product descriptions, like small business are.

    If this keeps up, all that will be left are the big guys, and everyone will either work for them online, or run the equivalent of the old Sear’s catalog stores in their home towns. (Unless you are selling something unique like painted rocks or hand-made quilts.)

  • http://wordswordsseowords.com Christopher Skyi

    One site that I did work on had shallow and even largely scraped content. I used Google Analytics to verify that the site took a traffic hit after, I think, the second Panda role out last year. I then took the radical step of just removing it from the website and using Google Webmaster tools to remove the content from Google’s index. Seemed like a online suicide move, but lo and behold, after 2-3 weeks, the site’s traffic went UP! Then I began to replace it with content that was actually useful, and traffic kept going up.

  • http://thepsychicuniverse.com Diane Ollivett-Miles

    Panda, my ^$$! This should have been called vulture. If you are trying to sell a service that teaches people, you have to give them all the information fro free and re-worded weekly plus pay a fortune in ad word fees and exchange links with the most unethical of your competitors and have very different domain names with cheezy web sites at 4 or 5 different servers and pass them off as separate companies. We had multiple web sites to attract different age groups and to offer different services and two duplicate sites except one was .com and the .uk. For 6 hours I had a duplicate .net while I revamped the others and had every thing forwarded to the .net while I worked so as not to be off line. When I asked for help at Google, they gave me a smart ^$$ reply about duplicate sites and crappy file names (yes I use strange ones while testing off line). No constructive suggestions at all. We have vanished under the avalanche of Ad Words from the sleaziest of our competitors. When I decided to try Ad Sense to perhaps make a few cents a day, nearly every single ad was from again our sleaziest competitors despite the term “psychic” and a few other words being bared from the ad sense flow.
    Google tells you to put their Ad sense stuff above the fold and punishes you for having it there. It wants content, quality content, As I said they want us to give everything for free and go out of business so they can have more quality content and less advertising. Silly me, I built web sites to advertise products and services, not offer graduate degrees in psychic abilities, what a computer should look like, or building an easy to update and very graphic page of merchandise. Quality content means one thing to Panda and something very different to the average user of the net, users want splash, photos, videos, sound, not anything they have to read. Since making things Google’s way, the people who come to our site spend less time than ever before because they want to click and move on to pictures, sounds and videos not read quality content!
    So Google can go rot. I am changing my own search habits, have dumped Ad Sense, and am dumping Google+ and focusing our meager advertising $ on Face Book and Yahoo and spending a lot of energy Tweeting and posting updates every where I can. We have established a weekly Q&A show live on Vokle called Psychic Chat. We are an honest and ethical business that Google’s greed started killing about 4 years ago when our key words were at $1.35 a click, now they are down to $1.13. Whoopee! If we had that kind of money we would be running TV ads 7 nights a week. Even revamped to meet Google’s rules, our page rank is at a 2 when it had been a steady 5 for years. And even was in the top ten for quite a while.
    My genealogy site, domiles.com. Forget it, I will be taking it down the end of the month. It is now a 1 after over decade of 3 to 5 out of 10. To give Google it’s “quality content”, I would have to transcribe or reword 1,000′s of jpg files of newspaper articles I have put on line for other researchers. I may as well drop the family group sheets and other family tree formats unless I want to put more verbage of some sort of relevance that I create on of 40,000 pages of data because the relevant information is in tables and Panda can’t find it. Poor Panda! So Ancestry and other expensive genealogy sites will soon be the only thing you can find to search for family information on line because Panda does not like how Family Tree Programs present information and it likes jpg’s even less unless there is a whole page of information before the photo is even seen!
    I who have always loved Panda’s above all of God’s creatures, think this one SUCKS and am furious that they would call it by that name. It is a vulture, not a gentle reclusive animal.

  • http://gayxxxrated.com Luke

    Speaking from a surfer POV, Panda has destroyed Google’s usefulness. I am sick and tired of searching on Google for specific facts and getting pages of “opinions” from yahoo answers, twitter, youtube, other search sites, etc….then finally finding the factual result (usually on a gov’t site) on page 3 or 4.

    When will Google learn that people’s opinions are not “content”, they are usually guesses & garbage!

    • http://yes2,us Dave

      Absolutely!
      I agree that this whole Social Network thing is going to take a 180 degree turn as far as being reliable or anything close to content, it just is not at all, and the social networks are full of trash – basically gossip, and Google is acting like nothing more than the gossip tabloids, it’s all cheap talk. In the meant time, we who have good solid content filled websites don’t have a chance. I refuse to put any social buttons on my webpages, tried it for a while and actually say pages where the ads would not load because of the time it took to retrieve the social stats, so I pulled all of them.
      I predict that very soon Google will wise up ans see that this is just not working. Even the ads on many webpages have nothing to do with the page because they are based on browser history, well what about where the visitor is right now, and that page – the whole thing is really screwed up, and you would think that Google, in all their intelligence would see the failure in all of this, if anything, they are drawing from the trash and serving up trash, it’s pointless.
      I’m still waiting to see someone come onto the scene and create a public domain search engine and cooperative advertising system which is base on the same technology as file sharing, where the files reside in all the participants computers, not a huge server farm, which is just plain crazy.

      Come On People – It TIME FOR A CHANGE!

  • Brent

    The only think I think Google has optimized is their own revenue generation — I have been on-line in a specific vertical market since 1998 and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau — my customers pay to post information on my site. Now, I rank BELOW the “free” sites filled with fake information or information that has been scraped from other sites. I am even below sites that have LESS information / content than my site. Also, beware — if you stop or reduce your adwords campaign — you’ll drop like a stone in water.

    Of course, thats just been my experience over the last year – nothing serious, just a 54% reduction in revenue. So, thank-you Google, I should be out of business by the end of this year.

  • http://thepsychicuniverse.com Diane Ollivett-Miles

    PS, I especially appreciate the Hitler video! I needed a good laugh!

  • http://www.technetsavvy.com Sagar

    The Panda updates very good for me, but the last Panda update killed 60% of my blog’s traffic.

  • http://www.sigsoft.pl Gabriel Zastawnik

    In my opinion Panda update significantly increased the quality of web search results. And I admire google efforts to get rid of those who want to promote or impact search results with some tricks. Content farm is just like link farm. There is no difference between those methods of cheating google search system. And I look forward to see more radical steps from the company. Good sites will defend with good and high quality content. Those who want to promote using “dirty tricks” must be punished. I understand that it will affect all those pseudo marketing and seo companies but it is more important to me as a net user to get “clean” search results than some sponsored links.

  • http://www.web-direct.co.uk/ Steve Green

    Having asked many many people how does Google rate content quality, I am still yet to receive an answer. As we can see from Brent’s post, scraped articles full of rubbish still rank higher than genuine quality articles with good information.

    Google’s webmaster guidelines tell us to frequently provide valuable content. Q? Do Google live up to their own advice? We shall see.

  • http://wheresmyseat.net Mike

    My main site which is for stadium and arena seating charts took a massive hit from the most recent update. I’ve lost over 40% of my traffic – although I’ve seen an increase in traffic from Bing and Yahoo.

    Google’s usefulness as a search engine is pretty much gone at this point, however if you want to play the game, you need to play by their rules – the Internet has become Google’s sandbox and apparently Google knows best…just ask them, they’ll tell you

  • http://xerpro.com Reid Nunn

    This may be the best SEO article I’ve ever read. Incredible amount of information, clear and concise. Very well researched. Thank you.

  • http://filmsdefrance.com James Travers

    I’ve come round to the view (somewhat reluctantly) that Google’s tinkering with its search engine algorithms over the past year have been generally destructive and have actually helped to worsen search page results. I help to run a number of websites, and the one that has most original content (filmsdefrance.com) has lost a third of its visitors in the last 6 months. Removing google ads and playing with page design do not appear to have any impact on the page rankings, which have deteriorated. Even pages with a large quantity of original content rank far below pages with (a) next to no content (b) no end of ads from various affiliate schemes. I have to ask what Google are doing. Generally, Google’s search engine results have not improved, and from my own experience, have somewhat deteriorated in quality over the past year. I get far more relevant search results from other search engines – yahoo and bing are doing better and are fast becoming my search engines of first choice. I think Google are losing the plot, or maybe the lunatics have taken over the asylum?

  • Bill Day

    Wow, lotsa people hating on Google here. I guess that’s natural. But the ones who have the worst things to say often seem to be the ones who have been working hard to steal traffic from sites that provide useful information. Good. Search optimization is a normal part of real world web design and site maintenance. But anyone whose business name or job title references search engine optimization is guilty until proven innocent and I have yet to run into one that would hesitate to take maximum advantage of an “ignorant” customer.

    • Roger C

      Remember we website owners are giving google content to index for free and we want fair ROI.

      Top media websites should start charging an indexing fee to google, this is the only way popular newspaper and magazine sites can survive in internet age. Free lunch is over google…..

  • http://astrumpeople.com/ Astrum People

    I love Google Panda updates! My traffic is constantly growing on my site as far as I add new content on it. I agree that the article is really great. Thank you!

    • http://www.kaushikpal.com Kaushik Pal

      Hi,
      Could you share your website domain name with us?
      Thanks.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Captain Cyberzone

    Yes.
    Not only because of the algorithm changes but also because of the changes it compelled the likes of me to ‘review’ and ‘re-do’ my entire site’s layout and content*.
    In so doing, both my hits and Adsense revenue have increased.
    *(My thank you too to WebProNews which attracted Andrew of STR82U.net who read one of my posts and then visited my site and then “page sourced” it and then contacted me with many helpful “suggestions”.
    Big “Shout-Out” to Andrew … Thank You).

    • http://www.kaushikpal.com Kaushik Pal

      Hey,
      I would like to reach out to Andrew too. It will be great if you can share his contact details.
      Thannks.

  • http://www.mlmwatchdog.com Rod

    Chris great and fantastic article with entertaining graphics

  • http://www.mlmconsultant.com Rod

    One more thought Chris can you do some more graphic story telling with some of your major articles like this. Once again fantastic!

  • http://www.theakurians.com General Bobby Farrell

    Panda and Page Rank? POPPYCOCK! And it’s nothing new. Phony airplay ‘chart’ publications perfected this game decades ago. Half-a-million $$$ in advertising and you can chart elephant flatulence … and not sell one damned copy!

    Been there.

    General Bobby Farrell
    Vandor Motion Pictures, Phonorecords and Music Publishing Group
    The Akurians

  • tapijtenreiniging

    Ik denk niet dat iemand zich zorgen moet gaan maken als je de regels volgt die Google stelt. Er zijn nog steeds personen die door allerlei trucjes proberen hoger te komen op een bepaald zoekwoord. Uiteraard gaat Google daar maatregelen tegen nemen. Persoonlijk geloof ik niet dat adsense of adwords te maken heeft met hoger in de zoekresultaten van Google komen. Volg de richtlijnen die zeer duidelijk zijn, schrijf regelmatig over het onderwerp waar jouw website overgaat en probeer links te verkrijgen, doe aan linkuitwisseling, gaat je site over koelkasten probeer dan links uit te wisselen met mensen die ook over koelkasten schrijven. Met vriendelijke groet Harry Vermaas

  • http://niallm1.com Niall

    To be honest my site was only launched after the Panda updates so I can’t really say if it’s made much difference unfortunately!

  • Hans Walker

    If you want to see search results that are truly embarrasing, type in ‘Vitamin C Overdose.’

    Except for one Wikipedia entry, the entire first-page results are not only plastered with ads, but several of them have no content whatsoever “above the fold” – but only ads! And the actual text (below the fold) is riddled with in-text ads. One has to go to the second page results to find any sites with decent, or relevant content, and fewer, or no ads above-the-fold.

    The best “Quality” and “Trust” result has got to be #8 called “sample page.” Check it out – no content whatsoever! (For some reason this particular page only shows up in Internet Explorer, but not Firefox).

    You have to wonder — how many Google Ph.Ds did it take to come up with these incredible results !!

  • Hans Walker

    If you want to see search results that are truly embarrasing, type in ‘Vitamin C Overdose.’

    Except for one Wikipedia entry, the entire first-page results are not only plastered with ads, but several of them have no content whatsoever “above the fold” – but only ads! And the actual text (below the fold) is riddled with in-text ads. One has to go to the second page results to find any sites with decent, or relevant content,
    and fewer, or no ads above-the-fold.

    The best “Quality” and “Trust” result has got to be #8 called “sample page.” Check it out – no content whatsoever! (For some reason this particular page only shows up in Internet Explorer, but not Firefox).

    You have to wonder — how many Google Ph.Ds did it take to come up with these incredible results !!

  • http://www.replica-sunglasses.co.uk/mens-sunglasses/ Lisa

    I don’t understand one thing, when it comes to ranking vs traffic. I have to still figure out that is the latest panda update gona be in favour of rankings or high traffic?

  • http://huntall.com huntall

    It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since Google first launched the Panda update.

  • Google User

    Is Google Panda really helping bettering search results? I am seeing my whole website copied even images, content and meta tags by a South African company and that site is ranking in Google South Africa with those keywords I am ranking in Google USA. The only changes they made is replaced the city and country name, their contact address. For few generic keywords that site is outperforming my site in Google South Africa even they had just made the copied version live on Nov-Dec, 2011 and my site is live with the same content since Sep. 2010 (with periodic updation in content).

    I hate to say that Google many time gives preferences to sites that are copying the content over the original site more after Panda Update. You can easily outperform Ezinearticles.com by copying the content published first in ezinearticles.com. One can say that Ezine was hit by Panda but why the copying sites are ranking above ezine?

  • http://www.929froggy.com Saini

    I do not see a reason to brag about Panda. Well if Google changes something that is going to effect one person or the other. You need to have something of everything to rank and putting more content on your own site rather, that is the key believe it or not.

    Now you need a pie of social media [I do not mean getting traffic]. But to get a pointer back to your site.

  • http://vaporbluntreview.com Vapor Blunt Review

    Results are about the same.

    Didn’t effect my sites one bit. Don’t get caught up in the hype. The SEO scam is that you constantly need to change what you are doing to keep up. Not true. I have had websites ranked in #1 position since 2003 through ALL the updates. Generate quality content and build back links and you will be OK, take it from someone who has made millions online and been doing so since 1999.

  • http://smartsiteblog.com/ MM

    Love live the content!Quality content is the king, it’s always.

  • http://www.formulabuff.com Lionjkt

    I think Panda Update only affect to Search Engine Ranking Position not for Google PR and Adword not related to Page Rank. But now Google SERP more reliable.

  • http://twitter.com/parveshsareen Parvesh Sareen

    All things apart , Panda chosen by Google is really cute and adorable and kept us wondering most of the times, can it harm us?
    Lots of Panda Updates , little or no harm to many of the sites, dropped many of the bad bad sites , ups and downs , Panda is still on hunt. But onr thing is for sure, its for the better search results that the user is craving for and Panda is Just 1 of thousands of Policeman , google has deployed to prevent any breach..Lets see where the panda future will be taking us to..:P

  • http://www.limoshop.co.uk/ Lisa

    Panda update has affected many sites traffic this time. Many will be affected as google has switched off 1 method of link analysis.

  • http://linksdepo.com alex

    Google still #1

  • http://morningloryflowers.com Marta

    Is Google own entire web?

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