A Close Look at the Google Panda Algorithm Update [Infographic]

google-quality-content Q: I heard someone talking about the one-year anniversary of Google Panda. What were they talking about?

It’s been over a year since Google took a major step towards combating spam by making a change that came to be known as the Panda Update. Search engines frequently tweak their algorithms for displaying results, and this was one of the more major moves to date.

Since its first installment on February 24, 2011, Google has made a few subsequent algorithm changes expanding on the same strategies for rewarding quality content and punishing low-quality websites.

These algorithm updates raise intriguing questions about computers being able to judge a “quality” piece of writing. Many skeptics remain, but Google and its peers have made some amazing strides in the past couple of years, using more increasingly advanced metrics to rank their search results.

They also challenge the core business model of major content publishers, such as About.com (owned by the New York Times Company) and Demand Media, that employ an army of freelance writers to craft mass amounts of search-engine optimized content in order to drive advertising revenue.

The following infographic gives more insight into exactly what Panda is, chronicles the various updates over the past year, and gets into some of the major businesses that were hit.


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  1. Young-Eun Park says:

    I’m kind of confused about this Panda thing. Is this something you download — or it’s just a software that google automatically uses?

  2. Andrew Walsh says:

    Basically the latter, although more precisely it’s Google’s massively complicated algorithm used to rank webpages. So when I search for “social web” or any other query, Google takes into account a ton of factors before deciding which pages are the most relevant among the billions they’ve indexed.
    “Panda” is an update of that algorithm and the improvements are supposed to bring better results and fewer spammy sites. So web searchers don’t do anything except see the results, and webmasters don’t even know exactly how it works: they just see what happens and try to reverse engineer it.

  3. Very informative infographic anout the Panda… this is the only panda after Kung Fu Panda (1 & 2) which I did not like 😛

  4. Interesting info graphics! By the way, Panda is over. Penguin has come.. Let’s see what it does…

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks. This was a post commemorating the one-year anniversary of the first Panda update, but you are right, Penguin is the latest! So far I have heard a lot of webmasters complaining that this update has missed the mark.

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