Let’s say you’re searching Google for places in your locality where you can buy a rare herb, you look at the results on the first page of the search, you find many articles on the herb, some with fluffed up content, but very few who give local addresses and prices. In fact every site you look at gives you similar or the same information.
This widespread waste of the users time by copying content from others, pasting it and poorly presenting it, simply to grab the attention of search engines is called spamming.
Spamming and poor quality is what Google wants to eradicate, and hence at the end of February 2011, they released the updated version of their search algorithm in the US and called it the farmers update also called as the panda update.
Panda hit UK in April 2011, and sites like
- myvouchercodes.co.uk made a 56 % loss
- discountshoppinguk.co.uk made a 99% loss
- promotionalcodes.org.uk made a 87.82% loss
- electricpig.co.uk made a 97% loss
made a 88% loss.
Sites like these as well as ehow.co.uk, and other such article directories with copied content fell miserably in their page rank. The same was the faith for technological sites and comparison sites. Google was insuring that, the sites which are on the first page of the search truly deserve to be there.
These include sites like:
- ebay.co.uk made a profit of 42%
- national-lottery.co.uk made a profit of 39%
- thisismoney.co.uk made a profit of 30%
Sites which depend on Google alone for majority of their traffic simply vanished from the first few pages of search, which is where majority of searchers surrender and search for different keywords. It would mean virtual death for those sites.
Sites like YouTube and Vimeo were pushed higher up in their page rank.
With this update content farms like ezinearticles.com and ehow.com became the enemy for Google. These sites are filled with mediocre, copied content and contain many broken links.
The algorithm looks at:
- The amount of copied and repeated content within the site and in relation to other sites.
- It looks for pages which have been over – optimized with the aim of cheating the search engines.
- It looks at advertisements in the site which have no connection to the site and which won’t be helpful to the majority of people who view the site. (For example – an advertisement of rich chocolates on a site based on weight loss)
Panda judges page rank on a variety of factors like accuracy, efficiency, authority etc, but the one which matters most is the amount of time a user stays on the site.
Over all the Google panda algorithm looks like a beneficial improvement for all searchers, and the name of Google continues to be a synonym with the word “SEARCH”.
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