Spammers won’t die, so Google will constantly make changes to how they rank sites for specific keywords to ensure that there valuable search engine results pages (SERPs) will never be compromised. The looming Panda update (named after an employee that helped work on in it) is a data refresh that will impact sites with thin or weak content. An example of content that can be seen as “thin or weak” is below. Notice how the content mentions the term ‘white’ over and over in hopes of ranking for that term.
If you Googled the term ‘white’ and this was the content that ranked #1 in Google’s SERPs, this would present a poor user experience. The user may think that it’s so poor that they run another search or, even worse, start using Bing or another search engine altogether. If users lose trust in Google’s ability to deliver relevant results, Google will lose traffic and they will serve fewer ads which will negatively impact their bottom line. It’s pretty obvious why Google would want to penalize sites using these old tactics.
This isn’t the first version of Google Panda. A major update was released years ago. You would have known if you were hit by this penalty because your organic traffic would have looked something like this over time.
If your site did get hit with one of the past Panda updates and you’ve done all that you could to correct the problem, this update may be one that you are looking forward to. It’s rumored that sites that have “cleaned up their act” may finally be able to get back in Google’s good graces with this update. While we don’t know the exact date of the Panda refresh, you will know if your site has rebounded from a manual penalty because you will notice an uptick in traffic. There is no word on whether the rebound will be immediate or over time, but you should expect an initial increase in organic traffic of about 20% within the next few weeks.
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