With all of the misunderstanding that surrounds Google Panda, webmasters have been left scratching their heads wondering how their content is being indexed so low, and alternately what they can do to remedy that situation. The problem with Panda is that too few people understand exactly how Panda works and Google has been less than transparent regarding some aspects of their algorithm. As a webmaster, what do you need to know about Google panda?
Google Panda was designed to address a problem created by aggregate sites and scrapers, Aggregate sites often have a well known problem off containing poor to horrific quality content, and scrapers as the name implies, create nothing original creating pages that are composed of content which has usually just been submitted elsewhere. Panda, as originally presented, implied that poor quality content would suffer while quality original content would rise in page rank. That did not quite happen.
With the amount of submissions that flood the Internet daily, reviewing individual pieces of content for quality would not just be laborious, it would be impossible. The answer to that problem was to simply penalize any site that they regarded as containing a mystery proportion of low quality content with an automatic handicap when indexing new content. As a result, those sites have seen as much as a 40% drop in their Google traffic. The result has been that in many cases the original site quality content appeared on is being buried under a mountain of scrapers and even blogs that are reposting mere portions of the original content. In essence, there is no longer any search quality and fairness in proper attribution.
What can you as a webmaster do to combat this if you have felt the bite of Google’s Panda? The extreme option which is really no option at all is to scrap your domain name and start fresh – which is ridiculous. The second option is to begin cleaning up your site removing all duplicate and low quality content. The process may be long and slow, but the difference in being ranked #1 as opposed to #6 or #7 is tremendous. You can contact Google and ask them not to index your lower quality content at all – which is again another laborious task which may or may not be honored – and can take an indeterminate amount of time to be carried out.
Otherwise, industry expert Bryan Crow suggests you also heed the following advice:
A: Un-embed video pages – These appear to be tripping the alarm bells in Panda, but you can get around it by adding a robot no-index meta tag to the page.
B: Related video pages present a similar problem as above and can be combated in the same manner.
C: Topic Pages – Topic pages with too little relevant content appear to be a point of penalization, so again, add a robot no-index meta tag to the page.
D: Page links – Too many page links on an individual page also appears to be a problem for Panda. Positive results have been claimed after cutting down the amount of links and retaining only those that are truly relevant.
Panda may be tweaked in the future, but until that time it is their game, their ball and their rules. As Google is unwilling to divulge much information regarding how Panda works, by reverse engineering content on sites and watching for positive and negative ranking changes, the above tips may just get you back on the top of the mountain if you have been knocked off.