Have You Heard? Panda Is Coming! Is Your Site Ready?

Panda Update Is Coming

If you haven’t been keeping up to date with the latest news out of SMX Advanced last week, you may have missed the news that a Panda refresh is on its way. Gary Illyes of Google Webmaster Tools (or is it Search Console these days?) said in his on stage Q&A at SMX Advanced that a Panda algorithm refresh (not an algorithm change!) was coming in the next 2-4 weeks.

The Panda algorithm is primarily concerned with websites with low quality content or annoying scraper sites, which ‘scrape’ websites and pull your content to their site. It was introduced back in 2011, which seems light years ago in the SEO world.

So what does this mean for business owners? Well, if you have a great website with unique, high quality content that is useful for your customers, then you probably have little to be concerned about. But if you have a website with hundreds of pages of duplicate content that have been created purely for SEO purposes, then you should probably be worried.

If your site has previously fallen victim to Panda, or worse had a manual penalty, this could be good news for you, if you have improved your website and addressed the issues that caused your demise in the Google rankings. However if you haven’t done anything about it, this won’t help you at all.

So what can you do to recover from a drop in rankings or manual penalty due to Panda?

First you need to confirm if your whole site has been affected or if it’s just certain pages. Perhaps your FAQs page is very generic, or your product pages are keyword stuffed? Look at your traffic on Google Analytics and see if any drops in traffic can be attributed to the most recent Panda update and if the drops have been from Google/organic only. If so, then it’s probably Panda.

Next take a look at the quality of the content on the affected pages. Does it really give your customers what they are looking for, or is it ‘fluffy’ content that just talks a lot but says nothing useful? Rewriting these pages is a great way to not only make your website more valuable to your customers, but to send strong signals to Google about being a specialist in your niche. Google is always talking about how your website should be valuable, so if you aren’t sharing valuable information, why would anyone want to come to your site?

Adding a blog to your site is a great way to share valuable content with your audience, if it is well written of course! If you don’t already have a blog, think seriously about getting one implemented and regularly post informative information to it.

Do you think your site is ready for the upcoming Panda refresh?