Google Panda

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Google Panda Ranking Factors and Updates
Google Panda patent filed in 2012, granted in 2014
– Creates a ratio with inbound links and reference queries
– Uses ratio to create a sitewide modification factor
– Modification factor applied to a page based on search query
– Pages failing to meet threshold rank lower in search results
– Updates initially rolled out once a month, then became continuous and integrated into the algorithm
– Slow rollout of Panda 4.2 started in 2015

Google Panda and Google’s Ecosystem
– Surge in rankings for news websites and social networking sites
– Drop in rankings for sites with excessive advertising
– Panda affected almost 12% of all search results
Google asked for data points to detect scrapers/copyright infringers better
Google disclosed Panda as a material impact on an earnings call in 2016

Google Panda’s Impact on Websites
– Panda affected the ranking of entire sites or specific sections, not just individual pages
– Complaints about scrapers/copyright infringers getting better rankings than sites with original content
Google provided advisory on self-evaluation of website quality
Google’s blog listed 23 bullet points on what counts as a high-quality site
– Panda has been incorporated into Google’s core algorithm since 2015

Related Topics
Google Hummingbird update in 2013
Google penalty
Google Penguin update
Spamdexing
– References to articles and sources discussing Google Panda

Miscellaneous
Google Panda updates started in 2011
Google announced continuous updates in 2013
– Panda 4.2 rollout started in 2015
Google Panda is a part of Google’s algorithm since 2015

Google Panda (Wikipedia)

Google's Google Panda is a major change to the company's search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The change aimed to lower the rank of "low-quality sites" or "thin sites", in particular "content farms", and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.

CNET reported a surge in the rankings of news websites and social networking sites, and a drop in rankings for sites containing large amounts of advertising. This change reportedly affected the rankings of almost 12 percent of all search results. Soon after the Panda rollout, many websites, including Google's webmaster forum, became filled with complaints of scrapers/copyright infringers getting better rankings than sites with original content. At one point, Google publicly asked for data points to help detect scrapers better. In 2016, Matt Cutts, Google's head of webspam at the time of the Panda update, commented that "with Panda, Google took a big enough revenue hit via some partners that Google actually needed to disclose Panda as a material impact on an earnings call. But I believe it was the right decision to launch Panda, both for the long-term trust of our users and for a better ecosystem for publishers."

Google's Panda received several updates after the original rollout in February 2011, and their effect went global in April 2011. To help affected publishers, Google provided an advisory on its blog, thus giving some direction for self-evaluation of a website's quality. Google has provided a list of 23 bullet points on its blog answering the question of "What counts as a high-quality site?" that is supposed to help webmasters "step into Google's mindset". It has been incorporated in Google's core algorithm since 2015.

The name "Panda" comes from Google engineer Navneet Panda, who developed the technology that made it possible for Google to create and implement the algorithm.

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