History of Google Panda Updates
How Google’s Panda Algorithm Changes Influence SEO
By now, many have heard of Google’s Panda Update, but may not exactly be sure what it is and what it aims to accomplish. Before introducing the concept and objectives behind the “Panda”, it’s important to first back-track and understand the evolution of the Search Engine Optimization industry and why the Panda is needed.
Search Engine Optimization includes enhancing a website to improve its visibility on search engines including Google. In the late 1990′s and early 2000′s unethical SEO firms grew in abundance and discovered methods to falsely optimize a site by essentially “tricking” the search algorithm. This false enhancement became known as “black-hat SEO”. Since then, Google has been taking aggressive (and necessary) steps to correct this problem so that quality websites with strong, original and relevant content would rightfully claim top rankings. Poor websites would falter, while ethical SEO services firms would significantly benefit.
Google reinforced their commitment to billions of search engine users by creating important algorithm updates like the Panda. Their goal is to catch poor quality sites and penalize the site by sending it to the last page of results. That important step-forward came in early 2011, with the release of the “Farmer Update“. Google first took aim at “content farm” websites that have no distinct value, except for an exceptional amount of text and links.
Since the original release, Google has made 5 updates to the algorithm. Each update specifically targeted a new type of “black-hat” optimization practice, and slowly but surely, poor quality sites are being weeded out while ethical and properly optimized websites are deservingly climbing the ranks.
Timeline of Events:
Panda 3.3 February 27, 2012
Announced within Inside Search blog post – Google 40 Updates to Algorithmn video with WebiMax Vice President of Marketing and Digital Strategy Todd Bailey.
February 17-Pack – February 3, 2012
Google released another round of “search quality highlights” (17 in all). Many related to speed, freshness, and spell-checking, but one major announcement was tighter integration of Panda into the main search index.
Ads above the fold – January 19, 2012
Google updated their page layout algorithms to devalue sites with too much ad-space above the “fold”. It was previously suspected that a similar factor was in play in Panda. The update had no official name, although it was referenced as “Top Heavy” by some SEOs.
Panda 3.2 – January 18, 2012
Google confirmed a Panda data update, although suggested that the algorithm hadn’t changed. It was unclear how this fit into the “Panda Flux” scheme of more frequent data updates.
Panda 3.1 – November 2011
Again, a slight adjustment effecting 1% of queries/sites and includes the freshness update and makes way for the ten updates to the algorithm changes that include Cross-Language retrieval updates, snippets, official page dtection and more.
Google Announce Panda Update – WebiMax Vice President of Digital Strategy
Panda 2.5 – October, 2011
A slight add-on to previous versions that corrected the value placed on specific keywords that have lost value due to other poor quality sites. Emphasis on this update was placed on pinpointing websites that are littered with an abundance of links.
WebiMax CEO Ken Wisnefski Discusses the Panda 2.5 Update | WebiMax Blog
Panda 2.3 – July, 2011
Update that includes algorithm changes that help to clarify the differences between higher and lower quality domains. Particular attention was given to keyword density, proper tagging, and keyword relevance.
Google Algorithm Updates Revealed | WebiMax Blog
Panda 2.2 – June, 2011
Another minor update that took aim at “scraper sites” that copied its content from other websites (duplicate content moving to a new domain to avoid getting flagged twice).
Panda 2.2 Makes a Silent Attack | WebiMax Blog
Panda 2.1 – May, 2011
Minor update so basic that it’s not clear what exactly was clarified. Most likely to correct effecting sites that were wrongfully flagged.
You Got Panda’d! | WebiMax Blog
Panda 2.0 – April, 2011
Targeted all English Language based countries outside of the United States including Australia, the U.K. and across Europe.
Google’s Panda Update Goes International | WebiMax Blog
Panda 1.0 – February, 2011
Initially took aim at ContentFarms and LinkFarms. Originally introduced as the “Farmer Update”
Google’s Content Farm Update | WebiMax Blog
Since early 2011 when the Farmer Update was first introduced, WebiMax received a dramatic increase in leads coming from firms that were penalized by the Panda. The reason? Some companies (including J.C. Penney and Forbes) were not aware that their SEO firm was practicing “black-hat” SEO. WebiMax was there to assist, correct the damage done and re-position the company at the top of the SERPs (search engine result pages).
The difference is WebiMax practices Ethical SEO. When CEO Kenneth C. Wisnefski founded WebiMax in 2008, he intended to create a company “that would truly help our clients grow their businesses by working with them more as a strategic partner than merely an outsourced vendor”. Wisnefski’s dedication and adherence to ethical business practices sets the core of the company to act in moral standards, delivering Experience, Integrity, and Results!
Correcting the damage done by unscrupulous firms takes a substantial amount of work; however the end-result is an improved reputation with Google, enhanced visibility, and the continued pursuit of reaching organizational objectives in the client’s online marketing strategy. WebiMax has become the top rated SEO firm through the ethical and strategic leadership of Entrepreneur Kenneth C. Wisnefski, and the dedicated team of experts that comprise the Team at WebiMax.