Panda AlgorithmLooking back about a year ago, when Google rolled out Caffeine, which was unprecedented in search, it was this infrastructure change that allowed for the dramatic algorithm improvements we’ve seen recently with the Panda update. Caffeine was not an algorithm change but instead a massive improvement to the freshness of Google’s index and its ability to crawl and then index content nearly in real time.

Closely timed with these changes however was the Mayday update, which specifically focused on returning quality results for long-tail queries. Then came Panda/Farmer. While Mayday appeared to hit a relatively small portion of the total query space, the latest version of Panda has a much stronger impact, hitting about 12% of all searches. Distinct from Mayday, Panda focuses on concepts such as quality; authority; trust and credibility; and also incorporates user signals.

What Does This Mean For SEO?

It has been common practice for many years to monitor overall site indexing in each of the major engines (mostly focusing on Google, naturally). Sites that weren’t being indexed deeply would need specific tactics to push that number up, and sites well indexed would be monitored closely to ensure that was sustained.

What’s different post-Panda is that indexing, as a metric or signal, is no longer viable, simply because Google seems to want everything it can get in its index. The index is no longer a signal of anything but that Google has the URL in its databases. For many large sites affected by Panda, indexation remained fairly flat while traffic from Google organic search plunged 50% or more, meaning this is a rankings change versus a crawling/indexing change.

Recommended SEO Approach For Panda

While most of what works now, has always worked, there is at least one important change.

The SEO model has changed with Panda in that, rather than getting as many URLs as you can indexed, you now want only your highest-quality, most important URLs indexed. Consistent signals should be sent as to which pages are most important:

  1. Decide which URLs are canonical and create strong signals (rel canonical, robot exclusion, internal link profile, XML sitemaps)
  2. Decide which URLs are your most valuable and ensure they are indexed and well optimized
  3. Remove any extraneous, overhead, duplicate, low value and unnecessary URLs from the index
  4. Build internal links to canonical, high-value URLs from authority pages (strong mozRank, unique referring domains, total links, are example metrics)
  5. Build high-quality external links via social media efforts

Pay special attention to number 3 above. If your properties have low-quality or significantly duplicative content, it is best to remove those URLs from the indexes. Even a site with some high-quality content and lots of thin or low-quality content could see traffic deterioration because of Panda.

The new SEO, at least as far as Panda is concerned, is about pushing your best quality stuff and the complete removal of low-quality or overhead pages from the indexes. This means it’s not as easy anymore to compete by simply producing pages at scale, unless they’re created with quality in mind. For some sites, unfortunately, SEO just got a whole lot harder.

[Summarized From]

One Response to “5 Tactics For SEO Post-Panda”

  1. Talha says:

    Excellent brief SEO recommendations post Google’s Panda update.

    In terms of link-building, social media links and mentions will become the major source of external optimisation.

Leave a Reply



© 2011