In February 2011, there was a moment of panic in the world of website owners. For many of them the new tool that Google presented – Panda, was the beginning of a pandemonium. Their sites suddenly dropped in the rankings without explanation and many of them never recovered.
Many people pointed out that Panda was imperfect at best. It could easily be bypassed with certain simple steps. That’s why the Google specialists worked hard for more than a year to improve the tool’s performance. In May 2012 the new, updated Panda came to life. And the life of spammers became even more miserable.
But what after all is Panda? If someone starts a long description, run away as fast as you can – this guy probably knows nothing. The outlines of the tool are well-known – it rates the quality of content on your website and penalizes or boosts it according to its value. OK, this is simple enough. But how does it work?
Perhaps only the people who have created Google Panda know the answer. There is a certain algorithm that makes the assessment, but this is as far as Google would reveal. So we have to make some logical suggestions.
So far, Google has concentrated on English-written content and this is normal. So the first suggestion is that somehow Google have come up with an algorithm that can rate the grammatical and spelling quality of the text. Well, this is simple – even MC Word can do that in a way. But can Panda evaluate the text semantically? This would suggest almost an artificial intelligence, and I am really not convinced we have reached this point. Do you really believe that a robot can tell the difference between a good text and an excellent one? I don’t think so.
What Google is trying to hint is that duplicate content will certainly be penalized. Well, people who are stupid enough to copy-paste content from another site should definitely be penalized. But what if you rewrite the text intelligently? This is not spamming, but it can hardly be described as ethical. The truth is there is no algorithm to figure this so far.
Google is pretty much saying to big website owners the following. If you need large amount of content for a short period and you outsource the work to people who have poor grammar and spelling in English, this simply will not do. We want to give personal sites and intelligent content writers some chance against the big corporations. We want to make the odds even.
Well, it sounds good. And it certainly gives hope to bloggers and content writers who DO know how to write. But Panda is not as formidable or efficient as Google want us to believe. Not yet. And I certainly hope it changes for the better– because we do need something to get the spammers off the branch! Meanwhile, all the hardworking bloggers and content writers will continue to create high quality texts just for the sake of it.