Site owners frequently tell me “I think we’re under a Panda Penalty.”
Google does not have a “Panda penalty.”
Understand that and you’ll understand how optimizing for Panda-type ranking factors can improve rankings.
By the way, Panda is now part of Google’s core algorithm. It’s one way Google measures the value of content. I’m going to keep referring to Panda because it’s easier to type than “the content quality part of Google’s algorithm.”
What Panda Does
Panda introduced new ranking factors that measure writing quality. It checks site content for grammar, spelling, structure, and whatever other mysterious metrics. Then, they place sites on a continuum, from best to worst, and apply that when ranking those sites. They measure your writing’s distance from perfect.
Sites with closer-to-perfect content get a nice Panda boost. Sites with lousy content get a Panda butt-kicking. Panda can provide positive and negative ranking signals.
Compare that to Penguin: All Penguin does is punish artificial link building schemes. It doesn’t provide any positive ranking signals.
That’s a big difference: Panda can help you.
What To Do
OK. So Panda’s different. It’s part of the core algorithm. It doesn’t penalize sites. It can help you move up. What does that mean, day-to-day? More than “create great content,” that’s for sure:
Panda penalties don’t exist. Good writing does. Understand the difference, and you’ll rank higher.