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Panda 4.1 Do’s and Don’ts

It seems like the talk in the SEO world has been mostly about the Penguin 3.0 update that was released in October 2014. This Penguin update demoted sites with bad link profiles and helped out the sites that had been previously hit by this algorithm. And even though this update is something that is happening now and should be talked about and reviewed, we can’t forget about Google’s other algorithm: Panda!
Panda is another algorithm that has to be kept in mind as an SEO’er. Google has always set the standards for what is allowed and what isn’t when it comes to SEO practices, but they’ve never outright published what those rules are.
Top SEO’ers, like Josh Bachynski, have had big issues with the lack of transparency from Google and have discussed the ethics of Panda and other Google algorithms. Bachynski’s argument(that you can find on his blog) states,
“That it is immoral for Google to obfuscate the details of a quality algorithm that:
  1. so clearly disenfranchises thousands of sites without warning according to nothing other than Google’s subjective opinion as to what they find “spammy” (a thinly veiled euphemism devised to punish sites that, we have to consider, must include, sites that simply do not fit into Google’s revenue model). But also:
  2. there should be no danger (or so I thought, see below) in simply telling us what exactly is low quality or high quality in their eyes. The irony is that most webmasters do want to have a high quality site. And we have no choice but to rank highly in Google.”
Google has failed to give out a straight-up rules and regulation manual, but due to some recent leaks and the amazing SEO’ers that work in the field, a list of Panda 4.1 do’s and don’ts does exist!
Thanks to Josh Bachynski and the people at Moz, we now have a guide we can use to follow the best SEO practices when it comes to the Panda algorithm. Things such as:
  • Good usage metrics showing User Satisfaction with your content / presentation
  • Positive Social Shares / Mentions
  • Positive “Reviews” on an Independent Google Verifiable Source
  • Authoritative Outlinks in Your Content / Citing Your Sources
  • .com, .net, and .org a quality/trust factor
  • Address and /or Contact Clearly Listed on Each page
There are also Panda 4.1 don’t rules to abide by. Things like:
  • Bad usage metrics showing possible User Dissatisfaction with your content / presentation (including speed, UI, whitespace (or lack thereof), too many options, bad/thin/poorly written content, didn’t answer their problem / question fast or good enough, etc.)
  • EDIT: Duplicate or Aggregate, “Tag”, or “Category” Content
  • Duplicate Titles and Meta Description
  • Aggressive “search phrase” keyword use onsite, INCLUDING: URL string, page content, AND HTML code like TITLE or ALT attributes
  • EDIT: Keyword Stuffed Internal Links on Blog pages etc.
  • Garbage text, single sentence pages, spun text, bad construction / spelling / grammar, Bad Search Results Pages, errors on page, etc.
You can find the whole list here: and also check out the Whiteboard Friday MOZ video to get all the info you need on the do’s and don’ts of Panda 4.1!


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