Google Panda Algorithm Update Myths

Officially what Google has told us about this update is: (I’m paraphrasing)

“Trust Google, we’ll get everyone better search results… oh by the way we can’t tell you how we do that.”

Google’s Matt Cutts states (source: Wired):

“If someone has a specific question about, for example, why a site dropped, I think it’s fair and justifiable and defensible to tell them why that site dropped. But for example, our most recent algorithm does contain signals that can be gamed. If that one were 100 percent transparent, the bad guys would know how to optimize their way back into the rankings”

Many webmasters make a big deal about the lack of transparency from Google, but Google has always been secretive. It is very fair for Google not being 100% transparent to avoid ‘the bad guys’ ranking highly, but why not just tell us exactly what quality, trustworthy and user desirable internet content looks like?

Obviously, Google’s algorithms are no where near bulletproof, since they admit that they can still be ‘gamed’. Until such time that it is impossible to manipulate Google rankings, no one will ever know any exact information on Google’s algorithm.

So what’s NEW since Panda update?
Google can be gamed. Nothing we didn’t already know.
Google are being secretive. This isn’t new either.
What is newsworthy is that Google have filed a patent for a system that identifies search queries which have low quality content. The system then asks either publishers or people searching for the topic to create better content themselves. Volume of searches are taken into account with looking at quality of the content.

It would appear Google will either implement this type of system based on this patent or do something that reduces poor quality content displaying in search results.

So what’s GOOD content?
If someone told us the criteria of what useful content is to Google then we would say this person is a liar, because simply no one knows. It has boggled everyone in the industry why a site like eHow.com remains untouched in the countless Google algorithm updates yet is notorious for poor quality, repetitive and generally useless content.

So for those who want to publish content and rank well, we are left to guess.

The Content will pass a human inspection
The Content is not advertisement heavy
The Content is well linked externally
The Content is not a duplicate of other content
The Content t is typically created by a brand or an entity which has a distribution channel outside of the search channel
These are dead obvious and really don’t provide much assistance as far as the algorithm update is concerned. People want proof and solid evidence, which Google is really lacking in. For example what is the difference between e-How and Suite 101

The Myth
“Do “these things” to avoid being hit by the Panda Update”… truth is no one knows exactly what the update did and how it works except Google themselves.