If you’ve worked with SEO, you’ve probably heard the term “panda update” at least once.
The Panda Update is one of Google’s search engine updates. With this Panda update, the evaluation criteria for search ranking have changed completely.
In this article, we will explain the overview of the Panda update, the background of the introduction, and the impact on SEO. If you want to understand the panda update and use it for SEO measures, please check it out.
What is Panda Update?
The Panda update is an update to Google’s algorithm aimed at lowering the ranking of low-quality sites and boosting the ranking of high-quality sites .
It is said that the origin of the name Panda was named after the panda, which has an impressive black and white color scheme, with the meaning of “clearly black and white evaluation of the site”.
In fact, after this Panda update, the ranking of “useless sites that are just copies of other sites” and “sites that have no value for users” dropped, and on the contrary, surveys and research results and detailed reports were included. Sites with high originality have been ranked higher.
When the Panda update was first made, Google announced that it affected 11.8% of search results . (Influence in the English-speaking world)
The Panda update, which had such a big impact, is now the “core algorithm” of the Google algorithm.
When and why was the Panda update introduced?
The Panda Update was first implemented in the United States in February 2011. (implemented in Japan in July 2012)
The reason is that Google wants to break down search results that make users less happy with their searches.
In fact, Google search results around 2010 were displaying “useless sites for users” with no original content at all.
However, with the implementation of the Panda Update and Penguin Update, such low-quality sites are excluded from search results, and on the contrary, high-quality sites are displayed at the top .
As a result, malicious black hat SEO has become ineffective and has been pushed out of the rankings.
Furthermore, with the implementation of the Panda Update and the Penguin Update, it has taken root on the site operator side that “content that is useful for users is evaluated in SEO”.
Specifics of the Panda Update
The following four items are the main content that has been downgraded in the Panda update.
- auto-generated content
- Leading page
- Unauthorized content
- Affiliate site without substance
Google gives top priority to user convenience and has given such a site a severe evaluation.
Sites with auto-generated content dropped significantly in search rankings.
This is because auto-generated content is far from useful to users, and it is not understood in the first place.
Let’s take a look at the automatically generated sentences.
“I just ate a lot of somen noodles. That’s why I won’t be able to study until next fall. By the way, my aunt is a taxi driver.”
If you open a page to solve your own troubles and find sentences that are incoherent like the above, no one will feel like reading.
In this way, Google takes strict measures against content that makes users uncomfortable .
We also downgrade pages that are created solely to direct users to a specific page.
The reason is that the referral page is a “worthless page” that only guides the user to a specific page.
Regarding doorway pages, Google’s guidelines say:
- Those that have multiple domain names and pages targeting specific regions or cities and direct users to a single page from those domains
- Generated pages intended to direct users to useful or relevant content within the site
Source: Induction page | Google Search Central
As mentioned above, Google severely evaluates low-quality pages that do not solve search keywords on their own.
Sites that manipulate search rankings by duplicating content from reputable sites without permission were also cracked down.
This is because it is not original content, and it was judged that it would not be useful for users if sites with the same content were listed in the search results.
Prior to the Panda update, sites that used unauthorized duplicated content were displayed at the top.
For example, “sites that copy the content of other sites and post it as original content” or “sites that post copied content with only minor modifications”.
As shown above, sites with no original elements that only post copy content have a large drop in ranking.
Read Also: What Is Black Hat SEO?
Affiliate site without substance
Substantial affiliate sites were also downgraded by the Panda update.
The reason is that a non-value-added site that simply copies product descriptions and product reviews from the seller cannot meet the needs of users.
Affiliate marketing is essentially pay-per-performance advertising.
For example, if you are an affiliate of a certain product, it is a system that advertises the merits and demerits of the product on behalf of the manufacturer and receives a reward when the product sells.
Affiliate sites that simply copy the manufacturer’s sales page cannot be said to be as helpful to users as copy content.
In this way, sites that only think about “making money” without considering user convenience are regarded as malicious sites and their search rankings are greatly lowered.
Impact of the introduction of the Panda update on search results
With the introduction of the Panda update, low-quality sites that are not useful to users are ranked lower, and on the contrary, sites that are highly convenient for users with originality and expertise are displayed at the top.
This is because the quality of the site has a significant impact on the search ranking due to the Panda update .
In fact, the Google General Guidelines (Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines) talk about the importance of E.A.T.
EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and credibility, and if this E/A/T is low, you won’t get a good evaluation from Google.
Against this background, sites with high expertise, authority, and reliability are considered to be of good quality and are displayed at the top of search results.
Understanding the Panda update leads to effective SEO measures
Understanding panda updates leads to effective SEO measures.
The reason is that the content of the Panda update will show what kind of content Google thinks is desirable to provide to users, and what the site should aim for.
In the Panda update, low-quality sites that ignored user convenience were lowered in search rankings. Panda updates will continue to improve, and sites that don’t have value won’t be ranked high for a long time.
As written in “10 Facts of Google”, “If you focus on the user, other things will follow . ”
Source: 10 Facts from Google
I explained the background behind the introduction of the Panda update and its impact on search rankings after implementation.
With the implementation of the Panda update, the black hat SEO that has been rampant so far is no longer valid.
Updates will continue to improve and low-quality content won’t rank higher.
The more I understand the Panda Update, the more I realize how important it is to create good content for our users.
Rather than thinking about how to attack algorithms, it is important to think about how to create content that is useful for users when running a site.