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-What is Google ‘Panda’ Looking For?

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Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

(Image via CrunchBase)

First of all you may be asking- What the heck is ‘Google Panda’ anyway? It certainly is a question I asked when I first came across a reference to it.

‘Panda’ is the name assigned to Google’s latest algorithm. The program that rates everything on the web and determines what gets linked to and decides whether that article of yours is listed on Google’s first page during a search or shows up 2000 links later.

Over the years business folks have spent a great deal of time, effort, and money trying to figure out how to beat the search engine and get their website consistently listed at the top. Most of us who are part time bloggers end up reading an article or two and hope for the best. Usually well written original content wins Google over and rises to the top just like cream.

Then Google makes changes in their algorithm and the process starts all over with folks trying to discover the new golden Google fleece once more. Here’s a timeline of the major algorithm changes over the years including the most recent:

o 2003-05-01 “Fritz” update
o 2003-05-16 “Florida” update
o 2007-01-25 “defused” update
o 2009-02-20 “Vince” update
o 2010-05-01 “Mayday” update
o 2011-02-24 “Panda” update
o 2011-05-10 “Panda 2.1” update
o 2011-06-16 “Panda 2.2” update

(Source: ToddNemet.com)

When I started blogging nearly 6 years ago the big deal was getting as many links as possible and the sources really didn’t seem to matter that much. So I bought a automatic program that got my site linked to on 1000 others or so and boom- we had instant Google credibility. I can remember one Christian ministry that would provide your site with hundreds of reciprocal links if you joined their directory for a small fee of $30 or so. I declined on that one.

Then a few months later link farms and unrelated directories became a liability that got your site banned to Google’s version of outer darkness so adjustments had to be promptly made.

What Google is consistently looking for is to be able to link to real information and real content rather than a site with just a bunch of misleading ‘key’ words that fool the search bots.

If you are producing original content and providing real information than most of the time your stuff will rise to the top. Nevertheless, it is always good to know what Google is looking for and what they penalize. Here’s 2 interesting articles by David Jackson with info on Google’s latest:

“Google Panda Update: 11 Important SEO Facts You Should Know”

“Google’s Panda Update: Haters, Cheaters and Consequences”

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