Google updates roll out several times in a year. Recently, Google Panda 4.2 rolled out and its impacts are bigger than ever. Even a website I know got hit due to this update. I checked the Google SERP ranking of one of the most important keywords of the site. Before the update, the keyword ranking was at the 3rd position in the Google organic results. But, now it stands on the 7th position. So, I checked those pages at 4th, 5th and 6th positions of Google results. Now, I understand why they jumped at higher positions pushing the site down at the 7th position. The headache is that traffic volume to the site has also been decreased. I know how to improve the page and rise again.
Have you checked the current Google ranking of the important keywords of your site? Have you got hit by Google Panda 4.2?
Every Google update brings winners and losers. The Google Panda 4.2 impact also affects severely to some sites while it promotes others to higher SERP rankings. Here, I want to mention briefly about an article by Glenn Gabe based on Google Panda 4.2 analysis. This may help you know Panda 4.2 and how to stay away from to be a victim of it. Read the following lines:
Google Panda 4.2 rolled out in September 2015 and still it continues. We witness a large drop in some sites. According to John Mueller, Google updates happen hundreds of time per year. This time, we found both Panda and Phantom impacts. These updates seem to beg for quality content with Phantom. Some sites were seen heavily hit by Phantom of September 16 roll out in the analysis.
It is confirmed that Panda 4.2 is still rolling out and will continue for months. But nobody knows how long that extended rollout would last. According to some experts, Panda 4.2 could have a six month rollout or longer.
One important question is this. Was Panda 4.2 manually pushed or rolled out automatically? The answer we found is that it was pushed once and then it automatically rolls out for months. And there have been no refinements to Panda 4.2 since the initial rollout like that way Google did in earlier updates.
The recent updates seemed to target content quality. As Gabe said as of September 2 and 16 updates, although some of the sites impacted had historical link problems, not all sites impacted had link issues. But they all had content quality problems.
So, from this standpoint you know user happiness is highly important. If you have frustrated content, users will leave your site immediately. That gives a signal to Google. Gabe’s analysis showed those pages that dropped in rankings that provided terrible user experiences. Some examples are heavy ads scattered throughout the page, forced pagination, low quality supplemental content and others.
Let’s see an example. A user does a keyword search on Google. When he lands on the paginated page or slideshow from a Google result, what a frustration to the visitor if he can’t see the content he is looking for? That is a problematic SEO. The user will leave the site and return to Google quickly. Note that the instances of bounces invite Panda. John Mueller said repeatedly that hidden content will either be heavily discounted or not indexed at all. Check your pages; they should not be either thin or hidden content.
Also check ad issues in your pages. Some sites using scripts got hit due to ads scattered throughout their pages. It is worth to note that your site should not be low quality, polluted by ads.
Amazingly, a simple looking, designed in old style site was found outranking other competitive sites in Google SERPs during the analysis. On checking, the site was found that it provides granular details for a specific niche, it’s well-documented, and up-to-date.
Google’s Gary Illyes explained, “Many wrongly believe Panda is about hurting or penalizing a website. It’s not. Instead, it’s about ensuring Google “adjusts” websites that become overly prominent for keywords that they shouldn’t rank for. Google wants its users to find the best content possible for the query at hand. So Panda is about making sure websites do not become overly prominent for keywords they shouldn’t rank for.”
But, as many viewed, Panda is an Algorithmic penalty. In the past, it slashed sites with core keywords that should rank for. Has Panda changed fundamentally? Many of those websites hit by earlier Panda updates are still struggling to recover, even after making significant changes. And if Panda has fundamentally changed, then those sites may never recover.
A Panda or Phantom has come. Note it is sure another update will arrive soon. Because, Google is almost always ready to push the big update button as they always look for quality search. The true action for you is to clean up any problems your site has (both on-site and off-site) anytime.
That’s it from Glenn Gabe. Be careful! It is up for you to safeguard your website from a big fall of traffic and Google organic ranking due to next Panda and Phantom updates. If you don’t have a good guide about how to do it, here are some books you may read. Among the books, Dr. Andy Williams books are found truly described about Google penalties and how to avoid them.
Books you should read about Google Panda and penalties:
4. The Complete SEO 2015 & Beyond: SEO 2015 & Beyond + An SEO Checklist by Dr. Andy Williams
As Panda and Phantom target content quality, you should have high quality content that makes happy your visitors. So, you should also check the following books:
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