So it’s been around a month since Panda hit the UK and even though there has been plenty of commentary around it I think it’s a good idea to go through some findings, I have seen the analytics of over 20 hit websites now and even though there is no clear answer yet there a few interesting trends.
Out of all the websites I have seen hit 95% of them were ranking for terms which had firm commercial intent, from product terms to travel destinations, household appliances to well known services. Tech blogs are a perfect example of this, a lot of the tech blogs out there were hit badly, ranking for tech product terms pulling huge quantities of traffic away from the main retailers and manufactures, only for panda to roll out and systematically destroy traffic.
Google have confirmed 16% of search queries have been impacted, my guess is at least 95% of them relate to commercially driven terms.
Which Sites Are Ranking & What Are They Doing?
If you have been hit you need to ask yourself, generally what type of search queries have I lost traffic on? Then search 10 – 15 of those queries, what type of sites are they? What type of security do they have? Do they use a lot of ads?
Richard Baxter did a great analysis of site quality factors a few days ago, go through these and decide what the ranking sites are doing right, then try and do the same.
Sheer Quantity of Content
We noticed a couple of sites that had very thin pages, some with no more than 50 words, before Panda these sites were pulling in thousands every day, after panda this was almost wiped out.
If you run a site with lot’s of thin content, think about bulking that content out now to dodge the next update.
Increasing Content Authority With External Links
I have always been a fan of linking out to authority sites, relevant to the content you are writing, content farms rarely link out, and when they do it is normally in an author box.
If you have pages of very dry content try adding in links to some authorities on the subject, this not only shows Google your a worthwhile hub but it also shows that the content is there to help navigate users to the most relevant information on the web rather than just attracting traffic to click on your ads.
The aim of all this is to add value to your content;
– Adding Video
– authority links
– reducing ads
– Increasing quantity
– Decreasing duplication
All these areas need to be looked at if you are to pull your website out of Panda.
A lot of webmasters have begun to no index large parts of their site due to the quality of the pages, I personally wouldn’t recommend this as Google never likes to see diminishing sites, instead rework that content make it better rather than covering it up.
There is no guarantee any of this will work but you can either try it or hope Google will eventually manually reinstate you.