Earlier this year Google rolled out a major algorithmic change in the US in an effort to provide higher quality search results.

Yesterday, Google officially announced the implementation of this “improvement” to all English-language countries.

Google Panda, or Farmer, as it’s known is an update that effects the Google algorithm that dictates how your site will rank in the Google results page.

The Google Panda update aims to improve the quality of search results by penalising websites that produce duplicated and low-quality content, resulting in a bad user experience. Content farms in particular will take a big hit as they generally provide neither.

Clearly there are mixed opinions about this update but in general it looks to be a very positive move in improving search quality and rewarding those who generate quality & unique content.

So what does this mean for site owners?

When the change was rolled out in the US it effected 12% of search queries, so it’s safe to assume there will be a big impact here in the UK too.

Google’s Amit Singhal explained;

“Based on our testing, we’ve found the algorithm is very accurate at detecting site quality. If you believe your site is high-quality and has been impacted by this change, we encourage you to evaluate the different aspects of your site extensively”.

So if your site’s ranking has dropped as a result of this update it’s advised by Google to take a look at their quality guidelines which outline a best-practice guide to ensuring site quality. The emphasis being, make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.

As we have always preached – user experience is key. Is your site easy to navigate? Are the pages clearly headed? Is the content original? Is the content valuable? Answer these questions and you’ll be on the right track to improving your search ranking.

If your site has been effected, or you wish to discuss these changes in more detail, please feel free to get in touch.