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You might be affected by panda if you do the following



9:01 pm on Apr 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have been studying the effects of panda ever since april 11. I have reviewed many sites that were negatively impacted and I have even managed to recover a few. I have noticed many trends.

You may have been hit by panda if you do or have done the following:

1. Own one or more similar sites which all link back to your "main" business. We know that JCP was hit when google found out they had many sites which all link back to JCP. If you own one or more similar sites, its best to follow good practice and take them down or combine them to your main site. I have seen several webmasters get hit for multiple sites ranking for the same/similar terms.

2. Content placement. This falls is line with my ads theory. The location of your content is becoming a very real factor to google. This is backed up by googles instant previews in the SERP pages which outlines where exactly the text is found. If someone searches for awesome widgets, and you have the words awesome + widgets way down on your page, google might knock you back because that content will not be easy to find by the searcher.

3. Content stuffing. A very strong characteristic of a MFA (made for adsense site). Some of us cant help the temptation to try to fit all the keywords we are targeting into one small paragraph or few sentences. Write your content for your visitors, not google. In this case, some de-optimization is better than optimization. You can still rank for terms without having certain strong keywords found on your page.

4. Giving priority placement to ads over content.. This is a big one. Browsing the google webmaster forum so many people complain they were hit and have no idea why. Then you visit there site, click an article and the article is pushed all the way down by a huge adsense block. This tells the visitor "click my ads" instead of "read my content". If your site is optimized for ad clicks rather than for quality content, you may very well have a problem.

5. Over optimization and repetition. Panda is simply an update to googles already highly complex algorithm. Over optimization is an old factor but it is always being updated and panda is no exception. Google is getting better at sniffing out webmasters who blatantly try to game there system and they do not like it. Do not put your main keywords all over the place (titles, alt text, header tags etc etc) focus on having appropriate content.

6. Too many useless pages. Do you have a ton of useless pages with little to no useless content? Google may very well see this as an attempt to rank for many premium search phrases. If you have questionable content or complete sections of content that offer little to no actual value to the reader, it is probably best to delete/block it. Do you have a user based website? Do your member profiles all really need to be in googles index? Do you have tons of useless tag pages?

It is important to have someone that is not biased review your site. So many websites I have reviewed the owner swears up and down he/she has no idea why there "extremely high quality and unique website" was hit, then when I take a look I can spot many suspicious practices almost instantly.

Google panda is not entirely about duplicate content, if that were the case, all of these scraper scripts would not still be ranking.

I hope this helps push many people in the right direction. If you feel this information has helped you, please respond and if you recover, please report back with full details.


10:23 pm on May 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you've got no links remaining to the tag pages, then they are pure orphans and might even be seen as attempted doorway pages.

I have about 500 pages of great original authoritative content. Most are 1800-4500 words. For all these pages I have stronger pages - very similar KW terms. I'm working on making these pages orphans (e.g. removing all links to them except for our Google Search Appliance, Sitemap.xml, and human sitemap. This seems safe to me. My users will find the pages via website search or in the SERPs.

The content was generated by an e-mail newsletter team. We've just kept shoveling content onto the site at the rate of ~250 pages per year because of a newsletter every two weeks. When the team writes a new newsletter they don't put much thought into what content is already on the site. The whole process starts with a new outline. Directories have just grown without any thought to being a farm or confusing the engines on what pages are most important. Most of these pages have between 100-3500 FB likes. Until Panda 2 life was real good.

My idea to remedy the situation is to unlink these 500 pages. Thoughts?


10:33 pm on May 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


According to Matt "Googleguy" Cutts... it needs to look like an Iphone.


10:46 pm on May 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Think about something like an Apple product, when you buy an Apple product you open it up, the box is beautiful, the packaging is beautiful, the entire experience is really wonderful.

But I can't stand Objective-C!

About 95% of websites will never be beautiful or really wonderful. The vast majority of users/contributors/web hacks lack the skills to make a beautiful package. Will Google devalue the ugly? Seems not so PC. Perhaps Congress will intervene because we need more laws.


11:38 pm on May 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

According to Matt "Googleguy" Cutts... it needs to look like an Iphone.

LOL. That must be my problem then because my site looks more like a Dyna TAC


12:42 am on May 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Think about something like an Apple product

Seems not so PC.



1:44 am on May 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Does that make ugly sites a minority, and what Google is doing a hate crime?


3:54 am on May 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Ugh! Thanks Tedster. You just made me delete all my tag pages. My heart was pounding as I did so, but I think it's for the best. My only concern is if the big G will agree. Logic tells me it should, but who knows these days.

Tags were a 2005 phenomenon that are essentially useless in most cases. I had about 1700 tags. Since all I had before was a tag cloud linking to them, I had about 1600 orphaned pages. Google didn't spider most of them, but still probably not a good idea to have them out there.

I'm down to 15 categories for my posts. I'm hoping it makes a difference. Will keep you posted.


11:58 am on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thank you for that summary, very helpful. :)


12:43 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)


I've also deleted recently almost all of my tags. I have noticed that indeed most of them are useless since majority of them had only 1 post listed. I earlier thought that Google can distinguish between an article and a tag and rank them accordingly, but that's not apparently the case now.

But i didn't delete tags that have more than one post listed, since they could be of use if you have a couple of articles on your site with the same topic and all of them listed nicely under one tag. If I go with logic to delete all tags, I should then also delete all my categories (P.S. I use Wordpress).


2:51 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

I read, read and read. But nothing makes more sense to me, then my own f**ked up experience. 4 months my site was on 12 to 15th position (lets just say on page 2) on very competitive keyword. Today Panda said "hello" to me on 42th page :@ I think that its panda, because I didn't make any changes in those 4 months. Now I'll have to explain to my customers that some Panda animal has move their site on the 42th page. Thanks for listening :D
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