Yesterday, Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, published a video in response to a question about Google Panda recovery after the update in September 2013.  A user asked, “How can I recover if my site was hit by Google Panda?”  Cutts’ answer is basically what you’d expect: create high quality, engaging content.

Cutts says that webmasters should strive for the kind of content you’d find in books or magazines, the kind that people would actually pay for.  Google Panda recovery can only be achieved through hard work.  There’s no shortcut, people.  Here’s the transcript:

“Today’s question comes from India.  Nandita asks, “Recently Google has integrated the Panda update into its normal indexing process.  So, how will a webmaster come to know whether her site was hit by Panda?”  I think it’s a fair question because, you know, if the site was already hit, how will she know that she’s recovered from Panda?

So, Panda is a change that we rolled out, at this point, a couple of years ago, targeted towards lower quality content.  And um, it used to be that roughly ever month or so we would have a new update and we would say well ok there’s something new, there’s a launch, we’ve got new data, let’s refresh the data.  And it had gotten to the point where with Panda the changes were getting smaller, they were more incremental, we had pretty good signals, we’d pretty much gotten the low hanging wins, you know.

So, there weren’t a lot of really big changes going on with the latest Panda changes.  And we said let’s go ahead and rather than having it be a discrete data push, that is, something that happens every month or so at it’s own time when we’ve refreshed the data, let’s just go ahead and integrate it into indexing.  So, at this point we think that Panda is affecting a small enough number of webmasters on the edge that we said let’s go ahead and integrate it into our main process for indexing.

We did put out a blog post that I would recommend penned by Amit Singhal that talks about the sorts of signals that we look at whenever we’re trying to assess quality in Panda, and I think we’ve done some videos about that in the past, so I won’t rehash it, but basically we’re looking for high-quality content.  And so if you think you might be affected by Panda, you know, the overriding kind of goal is to make sure that you’ve got high-quality content, the sort of content that people really enjoy, you know, that’s compelling, the sort of thing that they’ll love to read, that you might see in a magazine or in a book, and, you know, that people would refer back to or send friends to, those sorts of things.

So, that would be the overriding goal, and since Panda is now integrated with indexing, that really is the goal of our entire indexing system.  So if you are not ranking as highly as you were in the past, overall it’s always a good idea to think about well, ok, can I look at the quality of the content on my site?  Is there stuff that’s derivative or scraped or duplicate and just not as useful?  Or, can I come up with something that’s original, something that people will really enjoy?  Those types of things seem to be a little bit more likely to rank higher in our rankings.

An update to Panda was reported at the end of August.  Many reported seeing changes in their website’s analytics accounts and MozCast showed record highs of 103° F.  The three top ranking websites across several industries changed wildly, as they did during the first update of Google Penguin.  As usual, Google hasn’t confirmed the update.

One Response to Google Panda Recovery Advice from Matt Cutts

  1. Thank you for this wonderful article! It is extremely insightful. I wish that you’ll carry on posting your wisdom with us.

    Ocean WebSoft | January 10, 2014at 4:17 am

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