Google Panda Update Balancing the Panda
There have been a number of theories about what triggers the Google Panda effect, but the general consensus of opinion amongst the SEO community is that the primary reason for the Panda update to effect a website is thin, poor or duplicate content.
For some time now one of the factors a number of webmasters have used to gauge how well their websites were doing was by how many pages were indexed in Google, the more pages indexed the better the site will do.
Those with dynamic sites found themselves using the same data from the database to create multiple pages, thus increasing indexed pages in Google.
Increasing indexed pages sounds good in theory, but many webmaster observed what appeared to be a levelling off effect in Google traffic, and found that if you increased the indexed pages of a 100,000 page website to 200,000 the traffic stayed exactly the same, even if the new pages were ranking high.
Lets’s jump back a couple of years to some SEO tests I was running at the time.
I will use a grading system of A to J for this demonstration with A being the highest
I was monitoring existing old pages that were ranked top 10 in Google, for this example we shall use test-1.html and assume;
1. It is ranking number 7 in Google for the phrase Metal Wheelbarrow
2. It has grading system score of C
Now in my little experiments I would create a new page (test-2.html) talking about metal wheelbarrows, but, and this is the important part of the experiment, would not link this new page to the old page in anyway (not even to the category or breadcrumb trails).
As the new page is not linking to or connected with the old page in anyway, one would assume that it would not effect the new page, but no, numerous times when running these SEO tests I would find that the old existing page received a boost just because a new page had been added to the site using the target keyword (despite not being linked in anyway)
To sum up, adding a new page to a site, talking about content which was on another page of the site would boost the old page even if not connected in anyway.
Using maths to explain more – Pre Panda
GradeScore of test-1.html (existing page) = C
GradeScore of test-2.html (new page) = H
Combine the two (ie. add new page to a site) and test-2.html stays at H but test-1.html is given an artificial boost, moves to grade B and gained positions in the SERPS.
Using maths to explain more – Post Panda
Grade Score of test-1.html (existing page) = C
Grade Score of test-2.html (new page) = H
Combine the two (ie. add new page to a site) and test-2.html becomes G but test-1.html is filtered slightly, drops to grade D and dropped positions in the Serps.
Pre Panda – adding more pages to a site would artificially boost an existing established page and increase the grade from C to B, with the new page staying low graded and effectively acting as a feeder page
Post Panda – adding more pages to a site would weaken an existing page (spreading jam to thin) decrease the grade from C to D and the new page is effectively creating a filtering effect.
The best analogy is Pre Panda you had 1 above average page and numerous below average pages (feeding strong page). Post Panda all your pages are average (with the new pages weakening the established ones).
In effect by adding 100 new pages to a 100 page site you can increase the amount of indexed pages to 200, but you end up with 100 grade D and grade G pages instead of 100 Grade C pages.
So How do we combat Panda Problems
Probably a little simplified, but the answer is to either remove, block from search engines or re-direct the low average pages so the Jam is spread more thickly on the high average pages.
More coming soon….
Can you balance the Panda?
Originally published on November 20, 2011
Modfified on September 6, 2014