Website Traffic Down? Might Be Google EMD Update, Might Be New Panda Update

scary-pandaAfter we wrote about the exact match domain (EMD) algorithm update, Google confirmed a Panda update was released around the same time, on September 27.

This makes sense of traffic losses webmasters were seeing that didn’t exactly jive with the purpose of the EMD update, in cases where domains were branded or otherwise not geared toward matching queries.

Matt Cutts told Search Engine Land, “Google began rolling out a new update of Panda on Thursday, 9/27. This is actually a Panda algorithm update, not just a data update. A lot of the most-visible differences went live Thursday 9/27, but the full rollout is baking into our index and that process will continue for another 3-4 days or so. This update affects about 2.4% of English queries to a degree that a regular user might notice, with a smaller impact in other languages (0.5% in French and Spanish, for example).”

The last Panda shakeup came in mid-September, by way of a data refresh. This latest update is an actual change to the algorithm.

Panda has been the cause of much confusion and angst in the webmaster world, where Google’s guidelines on content quality leave much to be desired. To that end, Google updated their Webmaster Guidelines earlier this week and we’ve put together a 23-point web content quality pre-publication litmus test to help publishers out.

About the author

A member of the Professional Writer's Association of Canada, Miranda has authored more than 60 e-books, 300 client projects, and thousands of articles and blog posts for clients ranging from SMBs to government agencies and Fortune 100 companies.

Miranda studied e-commerce at Athabasca University and specializes in marketing, business and educational material. She currently assists the Province of Ontario Ministries of Research & Innovation and Economic Development, Trade & Employment with their copywriting and SEO goals. She is one of a handful of Canadian consultants experienced with Ontario's new adult literacy curriculum framework and as such, is contracted by literacy agencies and publishing houses to develop new learning material.