The Return of the Google Panda Update

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Thought that Panda was a thing of the past? Nope. It turns out that round two is fast approaching or may have already been implemented, Google has yet to fill us in. “Panda 2.2” will supposedly target poor content websites that somehow survived round one.

If you’re into SEO at all, you probably remember what went down last February. However, for those that aren’t aware, here’s a quick recap of the original Google Panda Update:

• It targeted content farms, or sites that had poor quality content, that were ranking well.
• It affected nearly 12% of search queries, which is a pretty big number.
• The results were felt immediately, resulting in lots of freak outs, dropped rankings, and even lost jobs.
• Numerous article submission/document sharing sites were hit hard and some have since changed their submission guidelines in order to try and appease Google.

The Google Panda update was a reminder to website owners, developers, and internet marketers that content on the web should be about quality rather than quantity. Whereas the previous content marketing strategy for some was to pump out lots of content and submit the same article to numerous sharing websites, Panda hit the message home that high quality and originality is important.

According to Search Engine Land, Panda 2.2 will target “scraper sites”, or sites that pull content from elsewhere on the web (copy it, basically) and outrank the original content. The article also points out that Google manually runs the Panda algorithm. It’s not constantly running, which means that making changes to a site hit by the update won’t produce any immediate change in Google. The changes won’t register until the next Panda assessment. In addition, there are rumors floating around the industry that Panda 2.2 will fix “false positives” of the first update, or sites that were unfairly penalized. This hasn’t been confirmed.

As we’ve been saying all along, if you’ve been practicing white hat SEO there is nothing to worry about with the new update. In fact, you should be looking forward to it. These changes benefit those that have been following the rules all along. It’s not the end of web spam, but it’s certainly another step in the right direction.

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