Google Panda Update Imminent in UK

Jimmy McCann

Head of Digital Strategy

Technical SEO

Since the well-publicised Panda/Farmer update to on February 23rd, there has been much debate as to how this will affect SEO going forward.

I can’t help but feel that the move is a very positive one by Google. As was the general consensus amongst my fellow SEO’s at the recent (and fantastic) link building seminar in London. Reducing the amount of low quality content served in the SERP’s can only be a good thing, right? It’s a move towards improving user experience and to help the search user locate the information that they require, in a timely fashion.

So the bamboo chewing bear is about to hit our shores in the UK. What’s going to happen?

#1 – According to Google, the update will impact upon not only the low quality content specifically, but the sites hosting that low quality content. The following quote from Google was taken from this post on Search Engine Land:

“Our recent update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites, so the key thing for webmasters to do is make sure their sites are the highest quality possible. We looked at a variety of signals to detect low quality sites. Bear in mind that people searching on Google typically don’t want to see shallow or poorly written content, content that’s copied from other websites, or information that are just not that useful. In addition, it’s important for webmasters to know that low quality content on part of a site can impact a site’s ranking as a whole. For this reason, if you believe you’ve been impacted by this change you should evaluate all the content on your site and do your best to improve the overall quality of the pages on your domain. Removing low quality pages or moving them to a different domain could help your rankings for the higher quality content.”

So for example, be concerned if you have a site with a blog that:

– Scrapes content from other sites
– Has a large number of brief low quality posts
– Has poorly written content

This will hit both the rankings of this poor quality content and potentially impact your overall rankings for the rest of the site – in effect it will see your domains’ authority reduce.

2# – As well as this, we will see that the links coming from content hit by Panda, devalued. Again, this shouldn’t impact high quality sites with good content – as links to quality content are of a higher quality themselves.

How should you prepare?

Make sure your sites content is unique and not of a low quality. Easier said than done, I know.
To help you Patrick Altoft has written a good post showing you how you can locate and remove low quality content from your site using Google Analytics.

Bring on the Panda Farmer!