On May 20th, Google released its 25th update of Google Panda. The idea behind the Google Panda Algorithm is to prevent websites with poor content quality scores from working their way into your google search results. Google estimated that Panda will affect different languages in different ways. For those speaking English about 7.5% of all search queries would be affected. This is rather high since we have not seen Panda affect more than 2% of search queries since its initial release. Additionally, Google will not make new Panda updates known due to the fact they are incorporating it into their indexing system.
The results of the Panda release were drastic for some companies. Ebay, for instance, took a big hit falling out of the top ten in several keyword rankings that they were once in the top spot. You can see a list of winners and losers from the update in Search Engine Lands article of Winners and Losers.
The real hit from Panda seemed to come from the press release side of internet links. Panda 4.0 update 25 is heavily focused on high quality related content and is knocking those sites that used spam press releases to increase link shares and to increase their keyword rankings. PR Newswire, where a lot of press releases are announced, has made the following changes for press release submission:
- Inclusion of insightful analysis and original content (e.g., research, reporting or other interesting and useful information)
- Use of varied release formats, guarding against the repeated use of template copy (except boilerplate)
- Assessing release length, guarding against issue of very short, unsubstantial messages that are mere vehicles for links
- Overuse of keywords and/or links within the message
So if your site saw a dip in keyword rankings, then how do you fix it? The first step is to get your site connected to a Google Webmaster Account. Once that is set up, look at the links connecting to your site and what warnings Google has about those links. The links that Google considers an issue to your site need to be removed. If you cannot remove those links, then you can use Google’s disavow service to disconnect the spam content connected to your site that is lowering your site’s rankings. Here is Google’s notes on the service.