What should a site owner do if they think they might be affected by Panda?

What should a site owner do if they think they might be affected by Panda? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

MALE SPEAKER: Today’s question comes from India. Nandita asks, “Recently Google has integrated the Panda update into its normal indexing process. So how will webmaster come to know whether her site was hit by Panda?” I think it’s a fair question. Because if the site was already hit, how will she know that she’s recovered from Panda? So Panda is a change that we rolled out, at this point a couple years ago, targeted towards lower quality content. And it used to be that roughly every month or so, we would have a new update. And we would say, OK, there’s something new. There’s a launch. We’ve got new data. Let’s refresh the data. And it had gotten to the point where with Panda, the changes were getting smaller. They were more incremental. We had pretty good signals. We’d pretty much gotten the low hanging wins. So there weren’t a lot of really big changes going on with the latest Panda changes. And we said, let’s go ahead, and rather than have it be a discrete data push– that is, something that happens every month or so, at its own time, when we refresh the data– let’s just go ahead and integrated into indexing. So at this point, we think that Panda is affecting a small enough number of webmasters on the edge that we said, let’s go ahead and integrate it into our main process for indexing. We did put out a blog post, which I would recommend, penned by Amit Singhal. It talks about the sorts of signals that we look at whenever we’re trying to assess quality within Panda. And I think we’ve done some videos about that in the past, so I won’t rehash it. But basically, we’re looking for high quality content. And so, if you think you might be affected by Panda, the overriding kind of goal is to try to make sure that you’ve got high quality content. The sort of content that people really enjoy, that’s compelling. The sort of thing that they’ll love to read that you might see in a magazine or in a book, and that people would refer back to, or send friends to. Those sorts of things. So that would be the overriding goal. And since Panda is now integrated with indexing, that remains the goal of our entire indexing system. So if you are not ranking as highly as you were in the past, overall, it’s always a good idea to think about, OK, can I look at the quality of the content on my site? Is there stuff that’s derivative, or scraped, or duplicate, and just not as useful? Or can I come up with something that’s original, something that people will really enjoy? Those kinds of things tend to be a little bit more likely to rank higher in our rankings.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: