Much like how the Americans have Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Google is known to have its own search filter called Google Panda. Introduced in February 2011, it was created to stop websites with poor quality content from popping up on top of its searches.
Panda is updated frequently so sites that have been red flagged in the past can move through the filter if it has made the correct changes. If the site manages to sneak past it, it will be able to find the site once it gets the necessary upgrades. A refresh means ‘false positives’ may also get released.
The Google Panda update was enforced to prevent online marketers from using unethical practices and to increase the quality of the search engine. Websites with the best content will be first in line, ensuring that users get the best possible results and service from Google.
The filter’s boundaries are influenced by Google Quality Raters. The Raters answer questions like, ‘would I trust this site with personal information?’. This allows Google to distinguish between high quality and low-quality sites depending on aspects like security level.
Google Panda also creates a ratio between inbound links, reference queries and search queries for a site. This ratio is used to create a site-wide modification factor. If a website fails to meet certain criteria, the modification factor is applied and the page receives a lower ranking on a search.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and the same can be said for websites. It would be unfair on a web page to be pushed down the rankings because of a couple of sections of poor quality data.
Google says it only targets a few pages of poor quality or duplicated content on an otherwise well-rounded site. It warns the website owners about poor content on their pages. They can increase their rankings by rewriting the material or by removing them all together.
However, be warned that a simple rewrite might not be sufficient enough. Panda is updated time to time, which means the rewrite has to match the change in quality control otherwise the site will be back to square one.
If the rewrite passes the test, it will increase the site’s ranking as it would bring ‘additional value’ to the overall content. The best way to overcome this is by having high-quality data that is not in danger even when Google raises the bar.
Google Panda has been through several iterations since its original release. After the original release, it changed search results by as much as 12 percent. Not long ago, Google’s Webmaster Forum was filled with complaints that scrappers and sites committing copyright infringement were getting higher rankings than legitimate websites.
So Google specified changes to the algorithm to target scrappers. They also created a forum to get advice from users. All in all Google Panda functions off of 23 base points that constitute the answer to the question, ‘What makes a high-quality site?’
It has brought more stability to the SEO industry. Agencies need a greater degree of skill to create an impact and users can rest assured that they are viewing the best possible answers to their queries on the search engine.
Google Panda keeps up with Google’s high standards. A lot of people prefer Yahoo and Bing have been making waves in recent years too but despite the newfound competition, Google still remains the king of search engines. They have remained at the top by utilizing algorithms and programs like Google Panda.