[Editorial] Google Panda Completes 1 Year: A Timeline, Analysis and Suggestions

I thought – “Okay, maybe I should get rid of all these pages and see how things change from here. If they don’t, I will fall back.”

I remember the words of Google employee Wysz:

Bear in mind that people searching on Google typically don’t want to see shallow or poorly written content, content that’s copied from other websites, or information that are just not that useful. In addition, it’s important for webmasters to know that low quality content on part of a site can impact a site’s ranking as a whole.

Here is what I did next:

  • Installed the Broken link checker WordPress plugin, fixed all the broken links and missing images.
  • Used XENU’s linksleuth to get rid of all missing images from a post. The result was that all the broken images were either replaced by new images or removed.
  • Signed up at Grammarly.com (premium) and found out all the pages which were full of grammatical errors.
  • Redesigned the site from scratch, moved content above the fold, got rid of Kontera, Infolinks and other in text nonsense.
  • Installed the TD Word count WordPress plugin – this little script lets you arrange all the content of your site according to Word Count.
  • Backed up the My SQL database, restored the current condition of the site under a deeper directory (blocked via Robots.txt). Now I am ready to do a full house clean up.

In the process of cleaning up, I deleted close to 300-400 posts. Any page which was short in length, written badly and never performed in Google search before Panda, was killed. No redirection, I left the broken URL’s 404, as advised by Google engineers. If I found that a page makes sense and there is scope for improvement, I edited that page and added more insights wherever possible.




The result: A slow recovery but hey, I did it. My traffic returned, not entirely though.

You Will Be Affected By Panda If ……

1. You churn out (or used to write) 6-10 blog posts every single day, averaging 150-200-300 words.

2. You write about software reviews blindly by reading reviews posted on other tech blogs. Developing content, merely by reading someone else’s review is nothing but madness.

Example: Some company released a tiny little script or app, you got an update in your RSS reader and thought it should be blogged right away. You download that app, use it, write a review and move on to writing the next post. Typical short review no longer than 250 words, a few screenshots and download link at the bottom.

There is nothing wrong in short reviews but at the end of the day, are you providing anything additional? There should be a marked difference between your blog post and the blog post of the app developer. If you can’t add any additional insights (other than linking to your old pages through out your post, which I think is another form of spam), why write this review? What purpose it solves?

If your site has tons of original content, lengthy pages with detailed text, these short reviews wont hurt. But if your site has tons of short reviews and only short reviews, you might get hurt real bad (depends from one site to another site).

3. You pay no attention to grammar, never proofread and believe in the volume of content.

4. Needless to say, you will be affected by Panda if your site has duplicate content or copied text from other domains.

Exclusive Content Goes Way Beyond Your RSS Reading List

Your site must have some exclusive content. I said some because practically, it is very much impossible to produce exclusive stuff every single day. But your site should have something exclusive, examples include detailed reviews, editorials, opinion posts, research and resource pages. If you are dumping short reviews and only short reviews in bulk, you’re adding to that echo chamber of spam, please don’t do it.

I know, I know. I know exactly what you’re thinking. That majority of posts at Techie Buzz are not exclusive and they are already available on other tech news sites. I will explain that.

Here at Techie Buzz, we write a lot about Tech News and breaking stories. But we just don’t write or rehash from other news portals, we add our own insights, commentary and opinions to the topic. News has to come from somewhere and majority of Tech News sites work the same way as we do. We can’t produce news from our embryo, as nobody else can. Our posts are regularly featured on Techmeme (example), I can flood this post with tons of links and citations but I would refrain from doing it here. “Blowing your own horn” is beyond our ethics.

My whole point is simple.

Don’t re write the same thing over and over again. If you can’t add your own insights, commentary or opinion about a topic, don’t write it. One original thought is much better than tons of garbage – the sooner you realize this, the better off you will be.

Finally, the panda video.




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Amit Banerjee

Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee