Google Algorithm Update – Panda Refresh #24
Posted: January 31, 2013 by Alex Chan
On January 22, 2013, Google made an official announcement that they launched their latest Panda Refresh Update – #24. Since launching in Feb 2011, Panda has undergone 24 updates. That's basically an update a month ranging from small changes to large updates. Based on this count, it's safe to say we should always be ready for a Panda update every month. Panda #24 is reported to affect approximately 1.2% of their English search queries. While 1.2% may not seem like a lot, it's pretty massive when you consider the immense size of Google.
Based on the webmaster chatter and Analytics comparisons, we're getting reports of traffic drops between 10-20% in overall traffic for the average site, and an increase in traffic for a number of websites that made improvements to their content within Nov 2012 to Jan 2013. Great news for the webmasters that got a boost.
What is Google Panda?
"Google Panda is a change to Google's search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The change aimed to lower the rank of 'low-quality sites' or 'thin sites'."More at Wikipedia, Google Panda
Basically that means Panda is Google's way of filtering out poor quality websites, duplicate content, and web spam. The best way to avoid getting hit is to make sure you're always offering something unique on every page.
Panda updates comes in 2 versions:
- Algorithm Update: This is when Google updates the actual algorithm. It usually has a big impact on the results and has the potential to turn the Internet upside down.
- Refresh: This is when Google just re-runs their last version of Panda. It's basically a second comb over the remaining sites and usually has a low impact.
How to recover from a Google Panda Update
If you survived this update, keep at it. No need to go any further. If you operate a website that has been running for a few years, chances are you took a minor hit. That's a fairly easy fix.
First thing you need to do is determine which pages on your site have been penalized. Go through any automated content and review your Analytics landing pages.
Generally Panda hones in on content that's been automatically generated, or pages that contain a lot of content from other websites. Once you've determined which pages have been penalized then all you need to do is improve them. If these pages are worth saving and improving, add something unique to the pages. It can be as simple as improving the content, adding something new, or tweaking a widget to offer more.
It can take some time to see these changes take effect. Do your best to improve the pages based no the Google High-Quality Website Guidelines.
If you received a message through Google Webmaster Tools about a penalty then that's another issue. Follow our guide on How to Fix Google Webmaster Tools: Quality Issues Message to correct and penalties.