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Google have released another Panda update. Panda is the search filter that identifies pages with ‘thin’ content from being ranked well in search engine results. This is the 27th Panda update; many websites have been affected by these updates over the years, each time webmasters have been asked to add additional, better quality unique content to ensure the affected pages are worthy of ranking better in the search engines results.

Who has been affected or will be in this next Panda roll out?

This update is supposed to ensure that more niche quality content from smaller and medium sized sites gain the search engine visibility they deserve. Google suggests that this will affect 3-5% of all search queries. We’re not sure if this suggests that large corporate websites with near duplicate content pages, the websites that ranked well simply because they are part of a big brand website will suffer the most or whether it is website aggregators’ pages that will feel the pinch. Either way, the signals have been there for years; ‘thin’ content doesn’t really deserve to rank well, and webmasters are more than aware of the consequences of producing inadequate content that is not of Google s liking.

If you have made changes to your pages in the past but you haven’t seen the benefits yet, this update may be the one that rewards you with the fruits of your labour. You’ll know if you’ve done enough over the next couple of weeks as the update is rolled out across all of Googles’ data centres.

The flip side of this being; if you see a drop in organic search traffic from Google over the next week or so; you’re web pages have probably been affected.

Panda is not going away anytime soon, expect to see changes and updates every quarter; SEO is an ongoing process. If you suffer from these updates, it’s time to have a rethink about your content strategy and possibly some of the basic technical elements of how your content is indexed. A best practice SEO Site Audit and a successful Competitor Analysis Audit may be good starting points to try and understand what your successful competitors are doing that you aren’t. If you don’t know where to start, but you can see your traffic and conversions dropping, call an agency that knows what they’re talking about!

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