Google Update Means Panda is Always Watching

Watching Panda

Earlier this week Google announced that they would be updating their algorithm again either Friday the 15th, or by this upcoming Monday, March 18th. While the full scope of the update hasn’t been revealed (they never tell all the secrets of their ranking algorithm, anyway), Google’s Matt Cutts revealed that the Update will bring Panda to real time. This is good news for those who understand Panda and are doing their best to create content of value on their site, but it may be bad news for those who have been surviving in the rankings with bad, duplicate content.

What is Google Panda?

If you own an online business or have any interest in owning an online business, then you must know how to make your website “friendly” to Google Panda. First released in February 2011, Panda is Google’s watchdog for irrelevant or duplicate search results. This means that Panda doesn’t like plagiarism or duplicate content of any kind on a website (including text, URLs, product titles and product descriptions). This is why since the release of Panda it is even more important to make sure that a website is 100% original. Google penalizes sites that end up with duplicate content through either copy/pasting. mass product uploads or just webmaster carelessness.

What does a Real Time Update Mean?

Currently, Google (and Panda) only evaluate and index websites about every 30 days. This means that if a website is found to have duplicate content the negative effects in ranking usually happen quite suddenly and can be severe.

With Panda working in real time, according to Cutts, the good news is that site’s with duplicate content will experience changes more gradually and will have the ability to recover more quickly if they are penalized for irrelevant content.

The bad news may be that these changes may be more subtle and harder to see in a site’s analytics and that webmasters will have to be more vigilant than ever to make sure their sites are unique.

In the long run, less duplication is a good thing, both for searchers and for legitimate online businesses that don’t want to have to fight the content farms and plagiarizers—no one likes a cheater.

We’ll post another update once the full update is rolled out, but in the meantime make sure to Panda-proof your site with high-quality original content that both Panda and your visitors will like.


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Image Courtesy of Dreamworks Pictures

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