pandafeat

Analysing Google Panda 4.0 from 27,000 keywords

Google Panda started to roll out yesterday and it looks set to continue for the next week at least. The latest iteration of Panda does not stray too far from previous versions with the focus being onsite content quality and relevance. Looking at some of the big names that have lost out in the latest Panda we can see a slight variation in what this version is looking at.

Below is a list of the big losers as reported on Search Engine Journal

  • ebay.com > – 33%
  • biography.com > – 33%
  • retailmenot.com > – 33%
  • starpulse.com > – 50%
  • isitdownrightnow.com > – 50%
  • aceshowbiz.com > – 75%
  • examiner.com > – 50%
  • yellowpages.com > – 20%

As you can see in the above list one of the big names that has lost out is eBay. A drop for eBay is not surprising, as they have little to no content on their category pages;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/hng

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Hand-Tools-Equipment-/29515/i.html

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Hand-Tools-Equipment-/29515/i.html

Along with user-generated content for their products in which the majority will be duplicated across multiple different products from the same seller, eBay is also full of content copied from manufacturers’ websites.

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 13.11.55

But eBay is what it is and people go there expecting to buy something. I would not be surprised if Google reversed some of its drop in exposure given to eBay and we see their impression share improve over the next month.

From the sites that have been affected we have not really seen anything different from previous Panda updates; the majority of the big losers have thin/duplicated content that you would expect to be affected had they not been on a well known brand.

It is really from the winners that we see more of what we believe Google is going to reward going forward;

  • glassdoor.com > 100%
  • emedicinehealth.com > 500 %
  • medterms.com > 500 %
  • yourdictionary.com > 50%
  • shopstyle.com > 250%
  • zimbio.com > 500 %
  • myrecipes.com > 250%
  • couponcabin.com > 250%
  • buzzfeed.com > 25%
  • consumeraffairs.com > 100%

There are a couple of websites that have done well from this update and they follow the user-generated content angle. Take shopstyle.com for example.

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 13.44.54

(http://www.shopstyle.com/shops/exciting-espadrilles/41008301)

This page has a great layout, good amount of content for the category, social sharing buttons and interaction with the list. This is the same as buzzfeed.com. BuzzFeed is a huge user generated website with a large amount of social interaction which I believe has worked in its favour.

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 13.47.46

(http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/definitely-dead)

Look at the shares!

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 13.47.53

Now how does this relate to websites that don’t have 1000s of users generating content for them? At Creare, we monitor over 27,000 keywords for our clients on a daily basis and can track from these keywords what is working for our websites and what is not. We have also seen some websites improve and some websites drop since the update and I have put together 4 takeaways (I wanted to do five but I don’t want to give you thin advice – see what I did there!) from these updates that have seen keywords improve.

1. Optimise everything. Now that is easy to say but the websites that have improved since the updates have had a large amount of effort put into getting their pages filled with high quality and engaging content. When we say optimise everything we don’t mean stuff your keywords into titles and headings, but actually set up pages that will entice engagement. Images, video and great content are the main catalysts.

2. Add social sharing buttons to your pages that warrant a share. Social is not a direct ranking factor. If your content is of high quality and warrants sharing make sure users have the ability to share this content. We have seen our websites that have a good social interaction improve in performance and the movers and losers above also back this up.

3. Remove/Update pages that are not used. Do not be afraid to remove pages that have no/have never had any interaction. Look through your analytics over the last year and look through the pages that have a high bounce rate and little time on site. We started this process around 3 months ago and the clients that have seen improvement this update have been through this process; some have even had full news feeds removed. Don’t be afraid to be bold!

4. As with previous updates, ensure that your content is unique. I do not want to be teaching people to suck eggs but it is very important. What we have seen from this update is that where previous websites that had duplicate content gained no authority for this content, whilst in the latest update it looks like websites are now getting penalised for this duplicate content. Check for other domains that you/your client owns and which are not being redirected in the correct way.

If you have been affected by this update you are in luck as Panda refreshes on a weekly basis so making the changes quickly can help you recover quicker.

If you have any queries or comments on the above please leave them below or drop me a tweet @kieranheadley.

  • Guest

    Just a heads up but Google +1’s are not a direct ranking factor, either.

    In fact, the links from Google + profiles were mass no-followed about a week after that video you linked too was published.

  • http://www.mediawizardz.com Michael Korolishin

    Just a heads up but Google +1’s are not a direct ranking factor, either.

    In fact, the links from Google + profiles were mass no-followed about a week after that video you linked too was published.

    • SEOCandy

      Hey Michael,

      Thanks for the comment, I have updated the above, I didn’t believe that Google+ was a ranking factor in terms of links etc, but Google can get a lot more information from peoples engagement on websites through their own platform which I believe will be used to adjust the positions of websites that are ranking. But I understand how the post can be mis-interpreted, my apologies.

      • http://www.mediawizardz.com Michael Korolishin

        No problem! +1’s as a ‘direct’ ranking factor just seems to be a particularly virulent rumor, regardless of the lack of data to support it or the repeated statements from Cutts/within Google that they aren’t.

        Probably something to do with a certain former-CEO doing a horribly constructed ‘experiment’ trying to move a site up in the SERPs by ‘only’ using +1’s. Unsurprisingly it’s not difficult to move a page for terms that are at <100 searches a month and aren't really optimized for by anyone else on those SERPs.

        I do think there's some credence to Google having more abundant data about G+ users (especially so after they broke off their agreement w/ Twitter all those years ago) but I have doubts that they influence things any more than other social platforms (which may not produce as high-quality data but almost definitely produce far, far more of it than G+).

        Cheers!