April 15, 2011

Monitoring affects of the Farmer/Panda update

Are you a winner or loser after the Farmer/Panda update?

The Farmer/Panda update has caused quite a stir in the SEO world. This Google algorithm amendment is supposed to weed-out ‘spammy’ websites from the search results. However, it has also bumped some legitimate websites out of the ranking goldmine that is the first page. In response to this, SEO agencies around the globe are now reviewing their strategies to try and ensure client websites do not suffer any long-term traffic reductions.

The update came into effect in the US market at the end of February and is now live in the UK. We suspect that the update in fact came to the UK a little earlier than Google is letting on based on the ranking data we monitor.

If you suspect that a website has been negative affected by the algorithm update, then follow these steps to find out for sure.

Date range

Take a look at your traffic between around 25 March and the present day – this will give you a good indication of any post-update drops.

Traffic sources

Take a look at your keyword traffic data by navigating to the ‘traffic sources’ section and use the filters to exclude ‘brand traffic’.

If you have been affected then you will see a dip in the graph either around the 27/28 March or 11 April. If your website has unique, high-quality content then any dip should be temporary. The majoirty of websites seem to suffer a slight dip in keyword traffic, but then volumes return to normal.

Low-quality content

However, if your website has been deemed to have low-quality content by Google these problems will persist.

If you suffer drops in rankings due to this, it could mean that you have been bumped out of the rankings on a more permanent basis. If this is the case, the graph below will be a familiar sight:

Fighting back

If you have been negatively affected by the update then the best way to improve your rankings is to review your content. High-quality, unique content is key, so get some fresh content added to your website as soon as possible.

To read more on the Google UK announcement then click here.