We often get this question and to understand what Google Panda is and how it works we must understand how Google search engine works first. The Google search engine archives millions of pages per day then special Google programs and algorithms filter these pages; imagine your own water filter at home - how it purifies through several stages beginning from the tap to the glass. Algorithms are the filter which purify Google and Panda is one of the stages.
So what is Google Panda? Google Panda sifts out pages that contain bad, or weak, content. In short, it's responsible for preventing pages of poor, third party content appearing in search results.
In order to know if Panda affects your website, you have to evaluate your content quality.
Good content positively adds new and distinct content to the internet, "average" content is considered bad content, it will not be penalized, but it will decrease your rank.
How do I know if my web was penalized due to bad content?
Bad content can be divided into 5 types-
- Weak content: the existing content in primary pages which contain links to secondary branch pages, for example: a 4X4 car page containing hundreds of links to other car pages. You have to provide the search engine enough information for every page.
- Automatically generated content: commonly used in websites containing thousands of pages of products with little changes.
- Gathering content from various sources: a lot of products or pages copied from other sites and brought altogether. A common mistake - e.g. news from other news’ sites, classified ads from various sources, or many PC programs gathered together.
- Copied or duplicated content: if it is a must to copy from other sites there are ways to avoid penalties by using codes that prevent Google from archiving the page.
- Unconnected content: a head has no relation to the following content. E.g. “How to remove Coronavirus” with content that is just information about what the Coronavirus IS, thereby disappointing the reader.
The majority of website owners say they are happy with their ranking, but when we’ve looked into their webpages and done some analytics, we find their ranking could be greatly improved by evaluating their content. A wise man says: If you ask the right question you find the right answers. So, here are 11 question which may help you realize your website's potential ranking.
- Why is your visits rate (CTR) weak, in spite of having high views (impressions)? This maybe because the page head is not good enough or too long, but it’s often due to bad or weak content.
- Why is your bounce rate bad? If content is poor, your visitor will exit at once, not giving attention to other web pages within your site.
- Do you get short time-on-site? If so, that’s a sign of poor content.
- Do you get a weak bounce-to-site number of visitors? It’s so essential! If your visitors never come back it’s an obvious sign of poor/ weak content that they won't remember or bookmark.
- Do you have good web design? (Another no-no is web pages containing lots of ads.)
- Do you have a fast page-load rate? Time is gold and internet users are not going to wait. Google may consider it offensive and penalize.
- Do you have a lot of ads on your site? Many people think there is no link between ads and Google Panda. Not true! Excessive ads and merging ads with content may result in a penalty.
- Is it built with Flash? Flash-built websites appear to search engines as no content.
- Does your site get visitors' trust? Many sites lack trust for reasons like:
- Bad design or many errors.
- Duplicated or copied content.
- No contact information.
- Poor grammar.
- Too many ads.
- Excessive marketing of a particular product, service or company.
- On the other hand, you have things that increase visitors’ trust like:
- A page listing for the web or company owners' details.
- Using the snippet.
- Creating a page-for-use-policy.
- Adding customer opinions.
- Starting your website link with HTTPS.
- Adding your company’s achievements
- Do you have excessive use of some words or too many internal links? This may also get a Google Panda penalty.
- Is it mobile and tablet friendly? Neglecting this will also affect your website ranking.