Google Panda is an algorithm which is designed to remove low quality websites from the Google search engine.

Introduced in the US on February 23rd 2011, it didn’t hit the UK and the rest of Europe until April 2011. Originally referred to as the Farmer update, the name Google Panda came shortly after when it was named after Navneet Panda who developed the technology to enable the algorithm to run.

Spotting a Google Panda algorithm update

Originally, Google used to run Panda periodically (like Google Penguin used to until October 2014), making it extremely easy to identify a Panda ‘penalty’, as you could simply compare organic Google traffic with known Panda updates. Developments in the technology used by Google mean that Panda now runs continually, making it much harder to single out updates. It is therefore now not as easy to quickly identify a Google Panda problem with a site in most cases.

As a team we’ve been identifying Google Panda issues since 2011, so we can see the patterns created by Google Panda others might miss.

Recovering from a Google Panda update

Many people don’t even know that they’ve been a victim of Google Panda. The reason for this is that this algorithm isn’t just about the quality of the content on your site. We’ve been involved with many websites which have unfortunately become a victim of Google Panda from purely technical issues, both on and critically off site. Often these websites were never meant to have been ‘filtered’ by the algorithm, but unfortunately, for several reasons, they’ve suffered the same fate as many thin, poor quality sites, which Google Panda was designed to weed out.

The truth is that Panda takes longer to fix than Penguin. This primarily comes down to two reasons:

  1. The speed Google crawls and caches mistakenly duplicated, or similar content, from purely technical errors
  2. Having to improve the content across the whole website in order for it to be Panda compliant
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