The SEO community made some noise in January, and it’s very loud. Many SEO specialists panicked, while some just got confused about one of Google’s biggest rollout – it has integrated Panda into its core algorithm.

We know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. This rollout is somewhat confusing and misleading. In fact, it has left many SEO companies wondering what it’s all about and what specific impact it has on search and website rankings. While there are many resources talking about this big move by Google, some people, particularly those with limited knowledge about the search giant’s algorithm history, ended up scratching and shaking their heads.

We don’t want you to be one of them, which is why we gathered and collated the most relevant information across the web. Here’s what we’ve learned about the Panda/Core rollout:

Panda was “baked into” Google’s core algorithm.

Earlier in January, people started noticing fluctuations in search rankings. Members of the SEO community thought those changes were associated with the much anticipated Penguin update, but statements from Google’s spokesperson proved them wrong.

In an article by Jennifer Slegg at The SEM Post, Google confirmed that Panda is now part of the core algorithm.

“Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.”

So, what does Panda being part of the core algo mean?

Panda is one of Google’s most significant spam-fighting algorithms. It used to work independently by targeting thin, low quality, and keyword-stuffed content. It has undergone several updates since its official launch in February 2011.

Now, Panda is no longer a separate algorithm. Its integration into Google’s core ranking algorithm means website and content quality, along with other signals will be more important than ever.

When asked what core ranking algorithm is and how it differs from other algos that aren’t part of it, Gary Illyes from Google compared the core algorithm to a car’s engine and Panda to a starter. Traditionally, an engine can run without a starter, but the driver had to use a tool to start the engine. Today, every petrol engine has a starter. It became more convenient for the driver to start the engine.

Simply put, Panda (the starter) now makes it easier for the core algorithm and Google (the engine) to target poor site or content and, therefore, provide better search results and user experience.

Gary Illyes January


What SEO Specialists are doing about Panda might be wrong.

SEO companies have tried many techniques and methodologies to reduce the negative impact of Penguin on websites. Some of these methodologies actually work, but others don’t. Removing low-quality content to recover from a sudden drop in search ranking is an example. In some cases, specialists end up hurting the websites even more.

Experts recommend creating pages that contain useful content, as this would earn the visitors’ trust. Improving the quality of your website and content is the ideal approach. You need better SEO services from a company that knows how to cope with algorithm updates or changes like this one.

The Panda/Core update was not real time.

Many people are asking whether the Panda/Core update is working in real time. Illyes clarified that Panda is not running immediately or in real time.

John Mueller of Google added that Panda scores still run on their own and at different intervals.

Pete Myers and Gary Illyes


QUALITY Content is King

The new update thought us that the quality of content matters more than ever. Now that Panda is in the core, site owners must provide better and more useful content to their visitors. Google says a website is more likely to rank if it provides more value to the users or if it offers a complete solution to what the visitors are looking for.

Some things about Google’s algorithms might be confusing, but one thing’s for sure: the search engine giant strives to provide the best results to queries and make online search a better experience for users. As Denver’s premier SEO company, RefractROI is here to help you understand what’s happening in the world of SEO and find the best solutions to stay on top of the competition.

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