Google Panda Algorithm Update And What It Means To Bloggers and Freelance Writers

What is Google panda update and how does it affect bloggers, freelance writers and online marketers? How would you know whether your blog posts or articles are affected? What are the major changes you need to comply with in the article submission sites hit by the Google panda update? These and more you’ll discover in this post. Read on…

What Is The Impact of Google Panda Update On Blogging and Internet Marketers?

google panda update - meaning for bloggers and marketersIf you’re an internet marketer or blogger, chances are that you would have heard about the recent Google panda slaps on content publishing websites and blogs. That is what is termed the ‘Google Panda update’ or “Farmer update’.

What is the Google Panda update about? Google regards websites that do not host original, unique contents as ‘content farms’ and considers them bad business for searchers since their contents are usually irrelevant for the search results they show up on.  The purpose of the Google panda algorithm update was to reward relevant and original content providers and in return punish low quality, duplicate contents providers.

As you know, Google is the king of the search engines, being responsible for sending over 70% of traffic to websites or blogs with authentic contents for search queries.

Not too long ago Google did a massive sanitation exercise aimed at giving it’s own ‘customers’ (searchers) the best possible search outputs and experience. They named that exercise ‘the panda update” aka “farmer update”. This caused many websites to lose their top ranking search results positions (to high quality content sites).

Most hit by the Google panda update are thearticle directories and websites / blogs with low quality and duplicate contents. A reduction in Google traffic meant that they experienced a significant drop in their AdSense earnings – because ad clicks dropped.

However, article submission sites are not the only ones hit by the Google farmer update; many websites and blogs also felt the impact of the recent Google algorithm update. On the other hand, websites and blogs with top notch, useful and relevant contents report increase in search engine traffic, while others are getting lower search traffic, causing them to do a spring cleaning of their contents to provide better value to their readers, and to ultimately gain back Google confidence.

Why Article Submission Sites Were The Most Hit in the Google Panda Update And How It Affects You

Do you use article submission sites to build backlinks, generate traffic or build your list? If so, chances are that some of your previously submitted articles may have dropped in rankings or may be soon removed from the article directories (that is if they have not yet been removed).

Article submission sites attract lots of traffic from the search engine, hence the reason why bloggers and internet marketers use them to get quality backlinks, drive traffic (and sales) to their own website.  Article submission sites get majority of their traffic from Google search engine and they generate income from Google AdSense, due to the visitors clicking the ads. That means, they are likely to get more clicks (make more money) when they have higher search traffic. Of course these article sites do get lots of search traffic because of the vast volume of contents (aka ‘content farms’ dubbed by Google) in diverse subjects, on those article submission sites.

Why is the Google panda police after article submission sites?

Article sites are merely aggregators of contents and because they have built up authority over time, your article on a an article directory may sometimes out-rank the same content posted on the original author’s website or blog. Google considers this as ‘not fair’.  Hence, the need to turn the tables to appropriately reward authors of original content creators, most of whom are bloggers and internet marketers.

Does Google hate contents, websites, blogs, and article submission directories?

No. In fact, Google drools over quality contents BUT hates low-quality articles and duplicated/ mass submitted articles. Most of these kinds of articles are found in article submission sites – the reason why they were most hit by the Google panda update. If you continue to put up quality contents on your own blog or website, you’ll definitely be rewarded with higher rankings and more search traffic, according to Google’s guidelines.

Google Panda hates thin articles or posts, spun articles, copied stolen articles, misleading and irrelevant contents, non-comprehensive articles, keyword stuffed articles and more (others will be shared in the follow-up post).

Feeding the Panda
Post-Panda Effective SEO Techniques

What Measures Are Bloggers and Article Directories Currently Taking to Regain their High Google Ranking, following Panda Update?

So far, some of the top article submission sites have changed (tightened) their article acceptance and approval policies to ensure that only high quality contents are hosted on their sites. Some of the other measures taken to bounce back after the Google panda update include:

  • Increase in length of articles approved. Sites like Buzzle and Suite101 previously had higher word count
  • Reduction in number of links in resource box. Buzzle’s updated article approval guideline states that it will not accept any link in an article ; HubPagages (a web 2.0 site) has reduced number of outbound links acceptable per domain, to 2 and had to email authors to make adjustments to their submissions. A smart thing to do would be for you to go check out the health of your articles at the directories where they were submitted, as well as see what the new guidelines are.
  • Deletion of Low Quality Posts: Ezinearticles, on it’s blog says that it plans to withdraw ‘thing and spammy’ articles. That means that some bloggers and internet marketers may get reduced backlink count

Those are just some of the changes at the article submission sites and how it affects you, as a blogger or internet marketer. In the follow-up post, we’ll be looking at a more detailed changes in the guidelines of the article submission sites. So stay tuned to this channel.

Google Panda Update: Should You Worry About It Now Or Any Time Soon?

According to Google, Panda update is an on-going thing. Google is concerned about making sure that every searcher (their customer) gets the best experience = good quality content. Post-panda, it’s a no-no to over-optimize your contents, talking about on-page SEO.

So, should you worry about Google Panda or any future algorithm change? Maybe, maybe not. That depends on whether you want to spend a whole lot of every day hustling for traffic or whether you want hands-free traffic, so you can focus on other parts of your business.

The Google panda police is after websites with duplicate, irrelevant contents – they simply want to reward contents that are useful to their searchers (customers). You do not have to worry about panda if you are already delivering good valuable contents. Here’s it from Google’s mouth: “…focus on developing high-quality content rather than trying to optimize for any particular Google algorithm“.

Affiliate Marketing though article marketing which relies on linking review pages and affiliate product pages will see some decline as most article sites have put stringent measures on third party links where they are allowed. This is one of the areas where a couple of freelance writers and internet marketers are voicing concerns on.

Link building through article marketing: While trying to regain their rankings, many article sites removed the links of several articles previously submitted. To be on the safe side, read the guidelines of any article submission site to be sure how many links they accept and whether you are allowed to link in the post body. Some sites emailed users to adjust the number of links on their articles within a specified number of days, or the articles will be deleted. So, be sure to check your old articles and make them compliant, if need be.

  • For a complete, step by step guide on effective post-panda on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the things you should do to get your site loved by Google, I recommend you can read “Feeding the Panda(aff link).

How To Know If Your Website or Blog Is Affected By Google Panda

In the mean time, if you have noticed a significant drop in rankings and search traffic at your blog and want to follow this

Conclusion and Next Steps

Google Panda update is beneficial for both readers and blog writers and article marketers who toil to write great contents but had hitherto been ‘robbed’ of good search engine rankings by content aggregators and content scrapers and AdSense bloggers (with thin irrelevant contents and sometimes high traffic, keyword stuffed titles not matching the content body).

Now what if you’re already hit by the Google panda update or you want to know what really matters to Google with regards to contents, so that you can ensure that your website or blog is panda-proof, now or in the future?

Those are some of the topics we’ll be looking at in the next post in this series. If you would like to be in the know when the update to this post is posted, you can subscribe for blog updates in any of the 2 ways below:

That’s it, on Google panda algorithm update and what it means to bloggers and internet marketers. Take action and stay panda-safe.

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I’ll see you on the comments side.

Stella

48 thoughts on “Google Panda Algorithm Update And What It Means To Bloggers and Freelance Writers”

  1. Hi I think with all googles updates it is time we just embrace what they are doing and stop moaning about them. We have to do it googles way we have no choice no other search engine is big enough to telly on solely. We just have to change our way of thinking slightly and adapt with it.

    Thanks lee

    1. You’re so right, Lee. There’s been way too many algorithm changes all within the past few months, and it’s not worth the time of any serious marketer to keep chasing and tweaking to suit Google’s uncertain future changes.

      One can easily get distracted from their primary business online, if they choose to not find alternative and sustainable sources of traffic.

      I recently studied a couple of top marketer’s sites and observed that they stopped following SEO and focused instead on delivering mega value to their target audience. That audience reciprocates by sharing massively the marketers posts – and guess what? Google is sending them even more traffic – especially now that Google is following social shares.

  2. Hey Stella this is a great article dedicated to Google panda updates. I think most of the bloggers and webmasters are affected by this panda updates. Thanks Stella for this awesome post

  3. Stella, I finally understand the impact of article marketing on my overall marketing tactics after reading this article. One thing I have noticed is that right after panda/penguin articles on article sites were nowhere to be found in the search results. Now they are showing up on page one. Very interesting. Thanks Suzanne

    1. You’re right, Suzanne.

      While most of the numerous Google algorithm updates benefit sites with good contents, some quality sites have been known to be hit while some crappy sites magically find themselves ranking on the top of search pages.

      You know, any serious business person can easily lose focus if they keep following Google updates and working hard to align their website to it. It is safe to focus on massive value to your audience and let their social shares speak for you – that way, Google will have no choice but to rank and send you traffic. Look around – it’s happening.

      Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

  4. “Google Panda hates thin articles or posts, spun articles, copied stolen articles, misleading and irrelevant contents, non-comprehensive articles, keyword stuffed articles and more” I think a lot of us who look for valuable content also hate these same things! We go to a website for a reason, it’s frustrating to find the same duplicate content on the first 3 websites you click on for information. (Yes, this has happened to me!)

  5. This is a great review of how the panda process has affected our industry. I used to write for textbroker, and after Panda there was so much demand I had no idea what to do.

    Quality content is finally being put at the forefront of what SEO is all about, and you and I couldn’t be happier.

  6. Thanks Stella for another superb article. I think now its time to avoid Penguin update rather than panda. Google is going to start there Zoo with lots of animal ;).
    BTW really superb post i have ever read on Panda.

  7. There is a need for Google to make sure that what a user looks for, they get. For years people just stuffed their keywords with whatever they felt would drive traffic to their sites – names of celebrities, hot topics, products they didn’t sell. There was a time when it was so easy to find what you were looking for on-line, it was a golden age. Then came all the irrelevant material as everyone wanted to make a buck. The internet should be a place where you can easily and quickly find what you are looking for, without wadding through a bunch of meaningless garbage that has nothing to do with anything. Though the Panda update creates more work, I think it is for the best when it comes to relevant content – it will make a better internet with a better user experience. I think that those complaining loudest are the ones that Panda wants to address most. People, companies,whatever…need to take the time to make sure that a users needs are met. If you optimize your page correctly and have relevant content related to the searches that got people to you page in the first place, you have nothing to worry about. If you want to have a bunch of irrelevant keywords driving traffic to your site you are only going to annoy people. Use organic seo services if you want your site’s traffic to grow. It will take time and patience, but if you stick within Google’s guidelines, you will see results – not overnight, but they will come. Trying to stay one step ahead of Google by unsavory means will only get your site blacklisted. Google is also encouraging people to report nefarious activity. If your page has value, it will do well.

    1. Thanks, Chris for your points. You’re right that Google Panda is all out to ensure that Google’s customers (the searchers) get exactly what they are looking for, and not irrelevant web ppages.

  8. I should’ve read this months ago. Sadly, I just found it seconds ago. Thanks for writing this post, Stella. I’ve already put up more than one blogsite (using Google’s Blogger site). Many don’t agree with what Google’s doing, but the mere fact that they are allowing people to earn through the site (however minimal) is already a huge plus for me.

    More success to you and your site, Stella.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Leann. I’m glad you found value in this post.

      I’m with you on that – the in-built monetization feature (Adsense and Amazon) on Blogger sites is definitely empowering many bloggers, not only new ones. Although there are risks of losing blogs on Google’s Blogger platform, many bloggers have quietly made significant incomes from there, and then went on to build self-hosted websites. I like Google for that.

      I was over at your main blog and amazed at the wealth of information you have there, for freelance writers. I even bookmarked it because I want to check out some of those sites you had on your blogroll. By the way, your rant about some online editors was called for – I understand your anger (lol). Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you around again:)

      1. Hi, Stella.

        Thanks for bookmarking my humble site. I greatly appreciate that. I did the same with yours and that of Ikenna’s. Hope the sites on the blogroll will somehow be useful to you.

        Also, thanks for understanding my rant. 🙂

        1. Hey! Good to see you Leann.

          You’re very much welcome:) Sure, I’ve already gone through some of the site on your blogroll and they are very informative. I’m glad to know that you also bookmarked my blog.

          Girl, any hard working writer would rant even more – I agree with editing that adds value and preserves the essence the writer had in mind.

  9. Great article on google panda update and the affect on article directory. But you haven’t cleared your thought properly. Do you think building links through article directory is still a good idea?

    I need to know this for my site. Hope you can enlighten me about this.
    I would love to hear more of this from you.

    1. Thanks. If you really read that post well, you should have noticed where I mentioned that Article Directories have already started making amends to reclaim their rankings back – one of which includes making the minimum length of submitted articles 400 words.

      At the moment, some article directories have made approvals more difficult.

      Yes. Link building with Article Submission is still a good idea. However, it is a good idea to mix your link sources – some guest posting and some article directory submissions and other backlink types.

      Hope that answers your question?

  10. Hi Stella,
    I’m glad to say I wasn’t hit by the update. My main blog, which is a student blog with a mix of announcements/news, moved from 1 to 3 pagerank and a significant increase in traffic. Guess I’m not doing bad with making every announcement unique to my blog.
    Thanks for the detailed heads up as always. You do your home work real good.. I’ll be doing more personal stuffs to tighten my panda-proof.

    1. Hi Ikenna:

      It’s a pleasure to see you around. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

      I’m glad that your site is one of those that benefited from the Google Panda updates – means you’re putting up good contents and in line with Google’s guidelines for quality sites. PR3 is a great jump – good job, man! You’re on top of your game. I like that – keep it up!

      I’ll be at your blog to see your recent posts – the latest post title sounds interesting:)

    1. You’re welcome – thanks for reading and I’m glad that you reckoned that websites not yet affected (by the Google Panda updates) have time to do something.

      All the same, blogs/ websites affected can also do something to get their rankings back – some are already getting their acts together.

      By the way, I have an upcoming follow-up posts on steps to take to prevent being affected by the Google Panda PLUS what to do if a website is already affected. Stay tuned to this blog to be in the know when I publish that post. To start getting updates, click to subscribe here to: Join my V.I.P Readers Club

      Guess what? I just Googled to find out that Goa is in the South West India. Nice site you have.

        1. Wow – Looks like a problem from my email management service. Will be sure to get it fixed before the end of this weekend. Hopefully it should be up and running next week.

          I’ll report that to them right away. Hope to see you then.

          Enjoy the best of this weekend!

  11. Hey Stella, I am happy to say I wasn’t affected by the update and I do have a funny story about it. I saw my traffic on a niche site double after the update and never connected it with the update until like a month or so later. And it was so weird, cause I knew I didn’t update the site for months. Guess I can say I am happy Google did the update.

    I also had no bad experiences with article sites, I only used Ezine and after the update they moved me to the new level they introduced for “best” authors, Diamond. It is really good, because now I get my articles approved in a day or two.

    You really did a great job with this, as with your blog in total 🙂

    PS gotta trick you into guest posting for me 😉

    1. Hi Bran:
      Good to see you on my blog (first time) and I’m glad you like this post.

      Good to know that you’re also basking in the loss of some ‘content farms’ – you know, I see the panda updates as a blessing in disguise for upcoming websites and blogs. I know that most bloggers are already making changes to their posts in lieu with the new Google guidelines.

      Congrats you didn’t have to and instead doubled your traffic, hands-free. That’s the result of staying panda-proof, beats any future algorithm. Congrats too, on your ezinearticles account upgrade. So, girl, you got lots off the Panda thingy:)

      We’ll talk later, about guest posting but for after this month. Again, thanks for coming around and do enjoy the rest of today!

    1. thanks Mark, for reading and commenting.

      You’re right – longer posts (from 300 words) tends to have better keyword density, and always pass any now and future Google algorithm. I’m glad that your team is already writing posts that are of good length.

      Just checked out Acteva – is that where your corporate blog is at?

      Again, thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you again.

    1. You’re welcome.

      Sure, every blogger “should know” how the Google Panda update affects them.

  12. Of course, every blogger and online marketer has a lready heard a lot about Panda Update and its negative impact on websites providing not original content. However, article marketing continues to be one of the most effective marketing solutions.

    1. Thanks for reading, and especially for commenting.

      I agree, article marketing is an effective marketing tool.

      Ironically, not every blogger knows (yet) about the panda update; some who have heard do not know what it means or how it concerns them; some just think it only affects article directories. Everyday, new people come into blogging and we’re all at different levels of blogging experience. Not everyone stays close to latest news, so this post is meant to reach a few of those categories of people.

      Thanks for reading and I look forward to your rich contributions again.

  13. Ooh! This was exactly my experience with one of the content-creating companies I worked for! Good thing I didn’t rely on the company as a primary income source and didn’t continue writing for them when I got busier with other clients. One of my articles with this company was flagged and I had to make editions that involved removing links. The company also sent a message recently informing writers that they would pay more because they were increasing the minimum word count for their articles!

    Thanks for this informative post, Stella!! =)

    1. Hey Sam, what a pleasant surprise seeing you around:)

      I’m glad this post helped you answer some questions about new rules of online writing, following the Google Panda update.

      Thanks God your instincts moved you away from that “Panda-mic company” (lol) Funny enough, increasing work load twice the former size and doubling pay is a zero effect – not an increase in pay. However, almost all the websites that did not have a word count up to 400 per article, have increased word count – they want more ad clicks.

      I see our latest post is going to update us on the politico side of Peru. Off to read:)

  14. Hey Stella,

    I believe its fair to searchers to find high quality content when doing so., and that is what google is trying to do.
    I appreciate your update, by the way I would like to know how you get your GOOGLE updates.maybe you can send me a private message about that on facebook.I Enjoyed and benefit from this post and will be sharing it.

    Wendell Bulbaai

    1. Hi Wendell, thanks so much for coming around – reading and commenting. I appreciate it greatly.

      I agree with you, sometimes when I search for information on a topic, it can be so frustrating to keep going round the pages on Google page one only to find out that eithet (i) the post body was different from the title or (ii) the post was too shallow that I would have to start scavenging for the real thing. The google panda update was out to knock off such posts from the top search pages. However, as providers of information (bloggers) it’s wise for use to know what kind of posts that Google panda is after so that we can ensure that our content writing is improved to pass the panda test.

      I enjoyed your rich contribution to this topic, and thanks for deciding to share it. Will message you about the Google update.

  15. i used to submit articles to article directories before. Most had a 250 words minimum limit. I did notice so many duplicate articles when I did a search for certain keywords. The same article written in different ways. I believe this update will make the google search more efficient.

    1. hey Cheolsu, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your time here and your comments – they make my day:)

      Yes, the panda update has forced the article submission sites to stop accepting shorter than 400 words articles, and the Panda update is also making article spinning a bad business. Now people will have to write unique contents before getting them approved.

      But lots of sites with good contents are experiencing higher traffic because most of the duplicate content sites are off the ranks.

      Thanks for your contribution. I just checked your blog now to read your posts – and have liked your Facebook Page.

      Hope to see you around some more:)

    1. Thank you Thangaraju – glad the Google Panda update information for bloggers / marketers was useful to you.

      Thanks for reading.

      Just read and commented on your post on ‘Mash life theme’. Cool blog and lost of useful contents.

Comments are closed.