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Google Panda – Difficult Times for Bloggers

After a lots of speculation and Matt Cutts’s announcement in SMX West 2013, finally Google Panda 25 has been rolling out since March 15, 2013.

One of my initial prediction was – Panda 25 will be the last and final update, and Google might consider integrating this thin content fighting algorithm into its day to day or regular search algorithm in near future.

  • Panda 25 will be the last and final ‘manual algorithm update’ to fight low quality web content.
  • It will be integrated in to Google’s regular search engine algorithm updates.

Now understand the facts…

Google performs > 500 search engine algorithm updates in a year by using its > 200 ranking signals.

So, Google has finally found the final version of Panda, which is Panda 25, after updating 24 times since its inception on 24th Feb 2011. Now Google has blend this algo into its regular updates (>500 times/yr).

That means Google will stop rolling out Panda updates manually on monthly intervals. And the thin content fighting algorithm will work on a daily basis.

Effects: The impacts will be milder and without any major noticeable effects, unlike the earlier versions. In simple terms – You will not be able to notice any major fluctuations or changes in positions of 10 URLs on different SERPs for a same query.

Yes, if you are having duplicate content issues, then the rankings and organic traffic will drop drastically over a period of months.

Websites already affected by Panda: Good news for them. They will not have to wait for monthly Panda updates.

Everyday is a Panda Day for them. Fix your duplicate content issues and getrid of Panda, gradually over a few weeks.

Crappers who are not caught by Panda yet: They will die every day. Their websites and blogs will be hit by Panda incrementally on daily basis, till full fledged affects with severe drop in rankings and traffic.

Why bloggers will be the victim…

Do you think – This everyday Panda affair is a good news for bloggers? No, not at all.

Checkout the numbers first…

Total number of WordPress Blogs affected by Google Panda

To derive the above figures, we have taken 100 blogs and sites running with WordPress, and checked their status (of course from different niches).

Tell me about yourself first. If you are a WordPress Blogger and blogging for some months and years – Are you sure, you are not HIT by Panda?

Have you performed the basic test to detect your WP blog is auto-generating duplicate content or not? Have you experienced a sudden drop in organic traffic from Google after a past Panda Update?

It’s not surprising that many bloggers don’t care about these. Because they blog for fun! They don’t need organic traffic. But what about professional or semi-professional bloggers who want to make money from their blogs? Who want bus-loads of organic traffic from search engines.

The fact is – More than 90% WordPress Bloggers don’t even know they are hit by Google Panda. Many a times, either they fail to check their sudden drop in traffic status during each Panda updates, or they simply correlate the figures to some other reasons or events. Funny part is – Some newbie bloggers even blame their luck for this sudden drop in traffic.

Take for example: A young blogger named Onibalusi, who runs a blog called webduos.com on WordPress software for last 3 years. He writes mostly about “How to write for traffic and money.” I like this guy’s attitude towards blogging and copywriting tips and experience.

No doubt, he is a struggling and hardworking blogger. But he doesn’t know he is hit by Panda. He is not aware that his WordPress blog is producing 100s of duplicate content with each passing days.

Just think about a moment – If this is the case of a hardworking blogger who has been blogging for 3 long years; what about newbie bloggers who are blogging for less than one year or so.

You can easily find 100s and 1000s of WordPress blogs easily, who produces duplicate content (automatically) without the knowledge of the Admins. The reason may be either they don’t aware about SEO so much, or they don’t know how to fix the duplicate content issues, even though they know they are hit by Panda.

Do a Google search for  site:webduos.com inurl:page

Have a look – How, more than 200 pages (pagination) are indexed in Google, which, Google considers duplicate. Simply because they don’t provide value to the web-searchers. They reduce the user experience of Google search.

Now, click on the 13th search engine result page (displaying 10 results on every page). Did you see the Google’s message for similar results or pages? This is the basic Warning sign of a blog producing duplicate content, and hit by Panda. Unless and until you are not hit by Panda, you may not see this Google’s message.

To check your blog, you can perform searches like below –

  • site:YourDomainName.com inurl:replytocom
  • site:YourDomainName.com inurl:page
  • site:YourDomainName.com inurl:tag

What’s the problem…

Now, the real problem will be for bloggers and small business owners, who are not SEO literate or don’t know much about SEO. There are 1000s of blogging niches and numerous bloggers who know everything about their subject matter except SEO. They are professional bloggers who blog for money.

These bloggers and small business owners usually earn 1000 US$ or less / month. And they usually don’t hire a dedicated Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) for their blogs.

1. Now, it will be very difficult for them to know whether they are hit by Panda or not. Because they will not be able to notice the sudden drop in organic traffic due to Panda hit (simple and easiest sign). As Panda will be a part of regular search algorithm updates.

Now on, Google Panda will be a silent killer.

2. Those who are affected by Panda and trying to recover, will also face problems. The recovery process and organic traffic increase will be very slow and difficult to notice, forcing them to try different strategies to eliminate duplicate content.

So guys – What’s your take on Google Panda, and who should be blamed for it?

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