google’s panda urges overweight sites to take a diet

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

YOAST is the handle of one Joost de Valk, a Word­Press spe­cialist ex­tra­or­di­naire who is best known for his search en­gine op­ti­miza­tion (Word­Press SEO Plug-In) plug-in. It is re­garded among the most es­sen­tial of all add-ons to any­one’s site. Ap­pro­pri­ately, he sub­ti­tles his web­site “The Art & Sci­ence of Web­site Op­ti­miza­tion.”

He also sends out a reg­ular email newsletter, to which I sub­scribe. The sub­ject of to­day’s newsletter is “google’s panda urges over­weight sites to take a diet” (which I lifted for the title as this post that you are reading). It ad­dresses modifications/improvements in Google’s search abilities: 

“Every once in a while, Google rolls out its Panda up­date, con­stantly re­fining it to im­prove the overall search quality. It’s a query-based al­go­rithm that’s sup­posed to re­move re­dun­dant, ir­rel­e­vant con­tent and spam from Google’s index.

Last week, Google rolled out a Panda up­date that’s re­ferred to as Panda 4.1. As our friends at Search­Metrics show, the losers are al­most all thin con­tent sites, among them lots of lyrics and game sites.

We were very pleased to see a few sites we worked with after the pre­vious up­date among the biggest win­ners, as they had their Panda penalty lifted. We helped them with what’s often called a ‘Panda diet.’ This diet con­sists among other things of re­moving pages that [have] no or low quality con­tent from the search engine’s index.”

And I couldn’t be hap­pier! Well of course I could be hap­pier: Google could find a way to sep­a­rate purely com­mer­cial sites that offer only prod­ucts or ser­vices for sale from ac­tual content-driven, in­for­ma­tional sites (even if they are rightwing blog­gers who can’t seem to sep­a­rate opinion from fact).



Chad and Jeremy and arks

As a re­searcher, it is frus­trating and point­less to do re­search on Google or any other search en­gine and find that the first 60-80 sites listed are all trying to sell you the item that you are re­searching to write an ar­ticle on why no one should want to pur­chase said product.

As a writer (or ‘con­tent provider’), it is even more of a teeth-gnasher to find that your heavily re­searched, lengthy piece on a rather rare record from the ‘60s (oh, let’s say Chad & Jeremy’s THE ARK) that of­fers his­tor­ical data, col­lec­tors in­for­ma­tion, and a unique opinion on the music is buried on the third page be­hind Amazon, eBay, Face­book, stag­ger­ingly in­com­plete discogra­phies, quoted lyrics lifted from an­other source who ap­par­ently never both­ered to listen to the songs, etc.

Of course that ex­ample is from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence: go google “chad and je­remy the ark” and see where my piece ti­tled “of cab­bages and kings, of arks and at­tics – the pseudo-psychedelic sound of chad & je­remy 1967-1968 (part 3: the ark and painted day­glow smiles)” is listed! 

But I ramble: I am glad to see any and all im­prove­ment in any and every search en­gine and just thought that I would pass the word along.




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