Google Panda 24 Update Impacts Search


For those of you who thought that 2013 got off to a quiet start in the world of announced Google updates, you’re in for a treat – Panda 24.

Announced last night, the new addition to the long line of content-based updates was said to have affected 1.2% of English Search queries. It is yet to be seen as to the extent of this update, but even this early on it appears that there are winners and losers.

Panda updates are now an accepted and expected part of the SEO and webmaster world, primarily targeted at combating low quality sites (and rewarding those of high quality), however with each new incarnation of this black and white critter what exactly Google are on the look-out for seems to differ.

This update, whilst announced by Google, has been following in the shadow of some irregularity within search late last week (17th-18th Jan), which is “not panda… [or] other likely suspects” (Search Engine Round Table). However, we have been reminded, yet again that “Google launches over 500 algorithmic changes per year” and that we can always expect small changes being rolled out.

At present “small changes” is hardly a sufficient way of describing some of the irregular shifts within Search Engine Results pages last week and a new Panda update now will make diagnosing the exact nature of it even trickier.

This one-two style of updates is similar to the triptych of changes (here and here) we saw late September/early October and is becoming a more regular MO for Google with algorithm releases.
Our advice is, and always has been, that to ensure you’re protected against Panda updates in the future, be certain that your website is offering valuable content to your users and look out for the following:

  • Say no to duplication – Ensure everything is unique and written specifically for your site in mind.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing – When adding your keywords (which are still important) ask yourself if it makes sense to the user and does not look out of place.
  • Don’t hide content – If it’s useful for your audience be proud of it.
  • Technical duplication issues – there are a myriad of factors which can cause content to be duplicated, ensure you conduct regular audits of your website to identify elements that may lead to algorithmic penalties being applied.

Keep your eyes peeled on the HP SEO blog for more detail as it happens and as usual, we’re always researching the effects of Google updates whenever possible. If you’ve got any questions about the updates or how it might have effected you – get in touch!


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