Google’s Panda update may be a few years old, but that doesn’t mean everyone has
figured it out. In fact, because there isn’t any hard data to go on, it can be hard to figure out whether or not you’ve been hit by Panda, and what you can do about it. This post will teach you how you can identify and recover from a potential Panda slap.
The Google Panda update targets sites that have a lot of duplicate or
low-quality pages. Your first step is to identify whether or not your site actually got hit by Panda, or whether it was another penalty, or whether traffic just dropped off.
The way to do that is to head into your Google Analytics, and look at specifically Google traffic, because as you all know, traffic ebbs and flows naturally over time, as you have paid campaigns, as you roll out content marketing efforts. You really just want to drill down and find just Google Organic search.
To do that, scroll down and under Search, click on Organic, and under Primary Dimension, click on Source, and then click on Google.
Now, this will show you your Google
traffic over time. Again, these ebbs and flows are normal, especially depending on your industry. Over the weekend traffic can drop upwards of 75 percent.
If you see a massive sudden drop between one or two days, that could be a Panda penalty.
If you see that sudden traffic drop, the next thing you want to do is head into your Google Webmaster Tools account, and click on HTML Improvements. Once you are here, what you are trying to do is determine whether or not you have many duplicate pages on your site.
It’s very common for e-commerce sites, or depending on what kind of content management system you use, it can automatically create duplicate content.
Under Title tag, if you see duplicate Title tags, and you see pages, let’s say hundreds, or maybe even thousands depending on your site, that probably means there is duplicate content on your site.
If there is a duplicate Title tag, likely the content on those pages are
also duplicate. Those would be pages you would want to delete, or NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW, using the Yoast SCO plug-in if the site’s on WordPress.
Let’s say you log in, and you see 3 duplicated contents, what’s your next step?
Well, your next step is to see how many pages are indexed on your site.
In general, to avoid Panda, or to recover from Panda, you want to run a nice lean site with not a lot of extra pages. It’s those extra pages that tend to be thin, or duplicate, that can get you in trouble. To check that, put SITE, colon, with no spaces, Your Domain Name (Site:Domain.com), and see how many pages comes up. If you run a WordPress blog, or smaller site and you see that there’s thousands of pages, that could be a red flag that maybe some of those pages are low-quality, or thin, or duplicate. So if you see an absurdly
high number, that’s usually a problem.
Once you’ve identified that maybe you have too many pages on your site, you need to find pages that are thin, or duplicate. If you’re seeing unique pages, that’s not what we have to worry
about. I’ll show you exactly what I mean, in terms of what you should worry about.
I went to this site, cararticle.net, that I randomly found, and looked at how many pages are indexed in this site, behold 1600. Now, if you’re an individual running a site, I find it’s very unlikely that you’re able to produce that many pages of quality content. It’s definitely possible, but it’s not likely. If you run a blog, or a small online presence for your brick and business, and you have a blog on personal notes, it’s not likely that you’re going to have 1600 pages that are user-friendly.
Like I said, that’s the first thing you want to look at.
Sure enough, these are the pages that you really want to delete right away, or NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW.
Finally, there is the issue of quality. It’s obviously very subjective, but Panda has somehow been able to flush out what is quality content and what’s not. While you’re doing your audit, and you’re getting rid of these obviously bad Panda, bad user experience pages like snippet pages, duplicate content pages, or thin pages, you should also try to figure out what pages aren’t really providing value to users.
I recommend deleting them, improving them, or combining them into one massive, great resource.
That’s all there is to recovering from Panda. It does take a lot of time to audit an entire site and find these thin pages, or low-quality pages, but when you do that, you can usually bounce back within a month or so, when the next Panda refresh happens. Thanks for
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