Google Panda Update Tips

By Simon Slade
Google Panda Update Tips


This is just a quick blog post for those who have been writing in asking questions about Google's Panda update.

While the Panda update did affect about 12% of websites listed in Google, the effects were actually larger than Google has made out as most of those affected were websites that rank in the top pages of Google.

Also, Google themselves have stated that Panda isn't the only update that they've been running and that there will be over 500 tweaks to their algorithms during the course of this year.

In fact, according to Google "Some publishers have fixated on our prior Panda algorithm change, but Panda was just one of roughly 500 search improvements we expect to roll out to search this year"

Google's representative goes on to say that “In fact, since we launched Panda, we’ve rolled out over a dozen additional tweaks to our ranking algorithms, and some sites have incorrectly assumed that changes in their rankings were related to Panda. Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users.”

Google went on to list the following as questions that one could use to assess the quality of an article or a page:

  •     Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  •     Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  •     Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  •     Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  •     Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  •     Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  •     Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  •     Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  •     How much quality control is done on content?
  •     Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  •     Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  •     Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  •     Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  •     For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  •     Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  •     Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  •     Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  •     Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  •     Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  •     Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  •     Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  •     Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  •     Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

I hope you found the above information useful.

As always, with every great search engine shakeup comes great opportunity. I also believe overall this will be good for everyone, but not so good for some blackhat SEO people out there.

I'm going to delve into this in more detail in an upcoming webinar for Traffic Travis v4 members soon.

I encourage you to comment and/or to provide your own suggestions below.


View all 85 comments (Currently displaying latest 50)

Sergiy Korniychuk 11 years ago
Hi Mark!

Top class information as usual. You and Matt Carter the only 2 guys I learning from and trust..
Last week make a first sale on my affiliate website.

Thank you for the great expertise!!!


Jon 11 years ago
Thanks for highlighting this, as with many I should keep up tobdate with the google site and especially as being new to affiliate marketing. Does seem to be aimed very much to pushing up the real quality of content, which is a good thing.

RICK 11 years ago
You're right, not everyone follows Google's blogs. Great info.
Paulmac 11 years ago
I am trying SEO on my new site , yuor info will come in handy.
Joseph Bison 11 years ago
Its always been about quality original content plain an simple. nice post mark
Bill 11 years ago
Thanks Mark,
It could work out well by removing some rubbish and scammy sites from the Internet.
swiitpea 11 years ago

Great tips as usual, especially for those of us who, like you said, do not follow Google's blogs.

I approve in general of the tweaks that Google has made to its algorithm. I may be an online marketer, but I am also a consumer and have thrown up my hands in frustration often when I have found crap results on the 1st couple of pages of search engine results.

I would find it very hard to believe that anyone was negatively affected for long if they were following the great majority of the guidelines mentioned in this post.

Again Mark, thanks for this post.

Black Hat SEOers, how ya like them apples?!
11 years ago
what are friends for?
Steve Roberts 11 years ago
Thanks for the update and summary.
I agree that anything that google does is as you say an opportunity for ethical marketers to ply their trade.
It really is fairly simple, quality content aimed at the targeted keyword.
Chris 11 years ago
I have searched for a general description of "Google Panda" but was unsuccessful in locating a good description of it. What is Google Panda and how does it affect new white hat SEO tactics?

Raine 11 years ago
Yet another great, informative post Mark. I personally think the direction Google is taking will benefit anyone with good quality content while it weeds out low quality & duplicate content sites, thereby delivering a better overall user experience.

I was worried at first, but am happy to report that so far the rankings for all my sites have improved dramatically and with your list as a guideline, I'm sure I can implement more beneficial tweaks.

Thanks so much for taking the time to keep us informed!


Randy Bonachita 11 years ago
Hi Mark,

Thanks for this valuable information. I am an seo guy here in the Philippines and with this latest information from you I will surely rethink on what I have been doing.
I'll advice my clients to make a GOOD content for their sites.

Randy Bonachita
WithU 11 years ago
Thanks Mark. It looks quite sensible and nothing to worry about. It seems like it's all aimed at quality. Thanks for posting it.
Shaun 11 years ago
That's a great checklist that I'll definitely be reviewing when setting up any new sites, and while re-evaluating my current ones.

I think it just goes to show that providing the best possible user experience to your visitors is vital.
Thanks for posting this Mark.

Charles Moore 11 years ago
Thanks Mark, I would definitely agree that the old style, mass article production and posting has lost all advantage it may have had. Authority and expert advice and commenting is taking over, which it where it should have been all along. We should learn to be an authority in our niche, and then the money will follow I say.
andrew 11 years ago
thanks Mark. I think the idea is just to make sure your website provides value, rewriting 100's of articles on a blog is not providing value. When you provide value your business can grow and I believe that goes hand in hand with google's search traffic, your search traffic will increase also.
Jeff Cutts 11 years ago
Hi Mark, thanks so much for your breakdown on Panda, the website killer.
Well I was one of those that had sites ranking well in the big Google. However overnight many of my sites went from position 4 to more than 100.
All I can say is I was totally gutted, however when I had a critical look at my sites I could see where Google were coming from with their new approach.
Just one of my downfalls was that I had auto content creation enabled in my word press sites and 60% of those auto generated blogs were pure garbage, so even though I hate being in position 100 and having my pr3 stripped I can really see why it happened.
Do I think Google are going down the right path ...NO they are really getting too big for their boots, and I feel really need a huge slap back.
regards Jeff
Terril Schierer 11 years ago
Great list Mark, I wish I could say my sites satisfy that list but I think I have some work to do.
Todd Wallace 11 years ago
The irony is that Google created this monster that they're trying to get untangled from.
hermawan 11 years ago
thanks Mark, great info
Philwebservices 11 years ago
To me for those affected by Google Panda, it did a a hard slap. Better have good quality content
Baden Maxwell 11 years ago
Thanks for highlighting these issues and providing us with your summary Mark. I agree with most everyone else in that it's all about quality content. If you're providing quality content that HELPS people solve their issues, then I believe that's what matters most.

Thanks again for your continued valuable content.
Michael The Affiliate Blogger 11 years ago
Hi Mark,

This Panda update had me confused a bit...your breakdown has helped cement the information much more easily. I think what we as providers of information have to concentrate on is giving useful information to those searching for those topics. Yes...keyword research is important of course but keyword stuffing and getting sites ranked on backlinks alone is not enough.

it's not "unique content" anymore if I understand what Google is trying to say but useful and authoritative content as well. Obviously, this will hit lazy marketers but for those of us who spend the time doing proper research and providing a unique and useful experience will continue to do well with these refining updates.

I plan to be around for the long haul and as do many of you. Thank you for taking the time and doing exactly what the new updates are looking for. A unique and useful experience.
Mark Ling 11 years ago
@Rico Google is far from perfect, I myself have several websites where content is much better than the listings above it, but overall, as an average, Google has improved the quality of their results.

As you said, they are just bots, so while your content may be better than the sites above it, as you said yourself "I recently launched my third site for a product launch" The key word being 'recently'

I doubt any of the sites, including yours, is seen as an authority, as you won't have had long enough history for google to have been able to tell if people stay on your articles for longer, if people return to read content on your website and so forth. Perhaps some of the articles that outrank you are on sites that have a lot of other content on it (you said yourself your site was only 3 pages) and/or has been around for a lot longer than your site. It's hard for Google to have much trust for your site if it is new.

I believe the information that google has provided applies more to authority sites and not for 3 page 'recently launched' websites that google just won't be able to create an algorithm for to see if the content on those pages are better than other pages they are trying to rank.

Rick 11 years ago
The technology will always be a bit confusing as the Internet evolves to clear out the garbage that clogs the system. It also seems that stagnant sites get smelly to spiders and so fresh content is required to spruce up the scent. Just start with quality content and continue at a measured pace with some Spring Cleaning to keep the Panda feed.
Christina 11 years ago
Frankly, this is nothing new to me. Anyone who does not consider the majority of these factors to be important when designing a site is probably looking to scam someone.
I'm not concerned about this; I always try to deliver value and good content. Yes, quick sales are good but I want them to be quick because I have a great--looking site full of valuable information that consumers are looking for--not because I'm lying or misrepresenting information!
Ricky Quinlan 11 years ago
Thanks for your reply Mark,
bad day at the office yesterday. . lol.. holding 1 and 2 spot now for 2 of my keywords ;).. Yep I make you right. My advice to others though would be keep your content original, DON'T overspam with backlinking methods (make it look as natural as possible) and you should be able to survive the panda and any future updates :)
Richard Terry 11 years ago
Hi Mark
As always I find your comments helfulf for newbies to internet marketing like me. The information will help me as I try to get my new webpage; wusthofclassicknifeset ranked with Google. Your Affilorama info is a great tool that I am learning how to use more and more.
Thanks for all the helpful info
Kingsley 11 years ago
Thanks for the update. I think my site is affected by google panda update. I usually get about 100 visitors daily, but today i did not get a single visitor.
Como comprar una Laptop 11 years ago
Here the question is not if it harms or improves the position of our blog, if not all companies will have to depend on Google and its algorithms. This is a monopoly, run right or wrong. If Bing or yahoo do not have your engine so advanced, we are approaching a situation of dominance, which already has it, Google on the Internet. And I think this is not good for freedom on the Internet.
Joan Stalker 11 years ago
Thanks, Mark, for keeping us up updated and explaining the latest Google developments. I think that this can only improve the online experience and should not be a problem for internet marketers who are willing to work hard to build sites with quality and value-laden websites.
Chris Green 11 years ago
I would have thought that this list of items would be the guidlines you would follow if you are trying to keep the visitor to your site satisfied with what you have to offer.
princessp 11 years ago
I think these changes can do only good for the industry. I've worked in the Applied Health industry..did the whole college degree, etc... and unfortunately many people would do some crappy crash course and often get the 'same' recognition as someone who did things properly. This leads to the industry as a whole getting a very ugly reputation until proper standards are put in place. The changes that Google has made is wonderful for all who operate professionally and to a high standard.
Many thanks for the update Mark.
limonte 11 years ago
That's a great checklist that I'll definitely be reviewing from time to time.. Your Affilorama information is a great tool that I am learning how to use it. Thanks again...
Honest Jay 11 years ago
This is great info. Now I see why most of those sites that got hit, got affected by the updates. While reading though I couldn't help thinking about all the spinner content and autoblog stuff affiliate marketers used before the update. I hope they'll realize Google is looking at them.
James Cameron 11 years ago
thanks Mark, excellent article
Jack Starkey 11 years ago
How do you feel your affilojetpack step by step site construction holds up to these new changes? Do you feel your information contained in the jetpack series is still strong? Do you feel that a novice, with your jetpack guidance can still compete? The jetpack series is 2 years old correct?
Denise walker 11 years ago
Thanks for explaining the whole "panda episode" I am a newbie and did not understand how or if this was going to effect my website. I agree that all article content should be useful and provide relevant information. That is only common sense if you are an honest affiliate marketer. I also believe that new affiliate marketers have to be given the time to learn the art of article writing. Practice makes perfect.
God bless,
matthew millan 11 years ago
hi mark,

just wondered as im quite new to this, will you be updating affiloblueprint and or your other resources in order to give a more up to date guide to seo?

11 years ago
Thanks for the update Mark! It looks like mini sites is difficult to rank high now despite having all quality, original content..

Mark Ling 11 years ago
@Matt, yes we will update our resources to include tips to do with the current updates. Remember we haven't been teaching 'black hat' methods, so the methods we teach are very relevant, even material we released 2 years ago. It's only now people are starting to realize that shortcuts are 'short lived' solutions. I do have more tips to share in light of recent changes that I'll add to all our training products soon.

@funhubpro First read what I said to Matt above, then also be aware that Jetpack was launched in the 2nd half of last year so it is less than 1 year old and it has been updated since launch and we will continute to update.
Debbie 11 years ago
It is true it is very difficult to rank high on google these days, even if you linkbuild and write interesting contents. There are lots of ways and free resources to link build and have your website promoted, but when you stop linkbuilding for your website after a couple of days your page rank will decrease. Any idea how we can maintain the page rank and how we can promote our blogs the best way possible?
Donald 11 years ago
thanks for sharing Mark. But i heard that the Panda update impact majorly on ezinearticles , it it true?is it still worth submitting articles to ezinearticles?
Colin Brown 11 years ago
Great comments from all. It's all about solid content. Whether you are pushing clickbank products or membership sites it's all about solid content for the long term.
happyaff 11 years ago
After Google's latest update, I noticed that there is less competition now. My Affilorama/AffiloBlueprint site seems to be just fine, so you know these are good assets to build.
Nigel Toulson 11 years ago
Just a quick one. The best advice I can give is that (and I have tested this substantially) is to get backlinks from quality sites, which DOES include Ezine artilces. I promoted a number of my microsites which have exactly the same domain name, the only difference being .com/org or net. Those promoted with link building spinning software, UAW and AA automation sink further down the rankings the more of these spammy backlinks are produced, whilst those with backlinks from NON SPUN QUALITY articles (yes folks, there's no short cut), are either at No1 in Google for their term, or are rising. In fact I have 4 sites that have risen to the first page in the last year with NO extra work. They have had 17 artilces submitted to Ezines, and none i the past 4 months. Do you really think Google will see 1000's of backlinks appear in just a few weeks, from low quality sites, linking to a small website and take that site seriously???????

No, to get to No1, write unique and quality articles. Don't write hundreds and submit them all at once. Google is NOT stupid. Ask yourself, why would thousands of people link to your site in a few short weeks, based on the traffic it's getting? Google asks the same question! Also, pay attention to LSI, this is vital. Dont be afraid to write natural sounding articles.

Unfortunately, this idea that working online is easier than in a terrestrial business is just daft. It takes work and commitment, and is hard, but rewarding.

I have been a successful marketer for over 2 years now, and test everything! Treat the search engines with respect, and you will be rewarded.

I make my living making and promoting Adsense sites, and would like to say that Marks course is the best there is, period. I use it everyday for reference, and would not have had the success I have had without it.

Spinning software however is a complete waste of time and money.

Hope this helps, Im sick of seeing people fail because they believe those who tell them they can achieve success with no effort.

Rant over.
flexeril online 11 years ago
Thank you for this information! I used it for my diploma thesis =)
motrin online 11 years ago
Thank you very much for this article! This information was very usefull for me=)
Chris Rich 10 years ago
There is a need for Google to make sure that what a user looks for, they get. For years people just stuffed their keywords with whatever they felt would drive traffic to their sites – names of celebrities, hot topics, products they didn't sell. There was a time when it was so easy to find what you were looking for on-line, it was a golden age. Then came all the irrelevant material as everyone wanted to make a buck. The internet should be a place where you can easily and quickly find what you are looking for, without wadding through a bunch of meaningless garbage that has nothing to do with anything. Though the Panda update creates more work, I think it is for the best when it comes to relevant content – it will make a better internet with a better user experience. I think that those complaining loudest are the ones that Panda wants to address most. People, companies, whatever...need to take the time to make sure that a users needs are met. If you optimize your page correctly and have relevant content related to the searches that got people to you page in the first place, you have nothing to worry about. If you want to have a bunch of irrelevant keywords driving traffic to your site you are only going to annoy people. Use organic seo services if you want your site's traffic to grow. It will take time and patience, but if you stick within Google's guidelines, you will see results – not overnight, but they will come. Trying to stay one step ahead of Google by unsavory means will only get your site blacklisted. Google is also encouraging people to report nefarious activity. If your page has value, it will do well.
Westia Joe 9 years ago
The panda updates have created quite a lot of confusion in the web world. It is good that it is trying to drive out the sites that have ranked high due to the fake link building and promotional activities. Users thrive for quality and they should get it.

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