Over the past few days, we've heard from a number of reliable sources, including Matt Cutts himself that we can expect to see a Google Panda algorithm update in the next day or so. In the light of this update, the big question is... Have you ensured that your website is prepared for the 25th Panda update? Let’s take a look
In short, Panda is a change in Google’s algorithm that’s designed to lower the rank of sites that don’t deliver on specific qualities and ensure that the high quality, well maintained sites are in the higher positions of Google’s results. When the first ever update was recorded, sites with large amounts of content and advertising were hit, however, social media and news site rankings dramatically increased. It should also be noted, that Google’s Panda update doesn't target individual pages on a site, meaning it can affect the ranking of the whole site, or a whole section.
Around a year ago, Google also introduced a penalty for over-optimisation; another shock to the system. This was an evolutionary step for Google and its crusade to improve their search quality – simply speaking; the change will decrease the rankings of those sites that violate Google’s quality guidelines.
So, with Matt Cutts confirming that the Panda update will be unraveling over the weekend, what should we be expecting to see? The last Panda update was in fact a little earlier this year, on January 22nd and effected 1.2% of English search queries, a similar amount to the 23rd Panda update that affected 1.3%.
According to MozCast, there seems to be an increase in turbulence over the last few days, increasing gradually as we close in on the suspected days for the update. It’s advised that you monitor the analytics of your site for any abnormalities – It’s been reported that before penalisation, you can expect to see a large surge in traffic; however, this hasn't been confirmed.
Knowing that Google is constantly on the rampage as far as spam is concerned, we should always ensure that we keep on top of maintaining a healthy, well presented and clean site – All it takes is one update to cause the de-index of a high authority site, but, is this going to be the case moving forwards?
A number of reputable industry sites have stated that as the Google Panda update progresses; we may begin to see a higher frequency of updates released. This does mean, we won’t experience any large updates on a given day – we will, however, see updates gradually drip fed as Google gradually begins to rebuild its index.
Bearing all this in mind, it looks like Google have prepared themselves for an onslaught against spam. Moving forwards, keeping a close eye on your sites activity will be crucial.