Why Google Panda 4.0 is Great News for Orangeryknoxville
As it’s clearly visible in the organic traffic (for orangerknoxville.pw) graph above, organic traffic levels rose a lot post Panda 4.0 for this site. This is actually the case for most high-quality sites with mostly original content.
In this post I’ll talk about what Panda 4.0 really wanted to target and why it’s a good news for most legitimately high-quality websites on the web. I’ll also share how orangerknoxville initially struggled with search engine rankings itself despite being a blog focussed on SEO and containing high-quality content pieces that readers loved and shared – and how Google realised that was a mistake and fixed the assessment error on their part with the Panda 4.0 roll-out.
Matt Cutts first announced the roll-out of the next generation of Panda, Google Panda 4.0 on May 21.
With this new major version of Panda, Google aimed to be better at assessing website contents and thus serving users higher-quality results on its SERPs.
Google Panda is not a penalty as many people think, it’s rather a filter that filters out poor quality web pages from the first few SERPs of Google. The better it gets at understanding content quality, the more will the low quality sites get negatively affected, effectively increasing the rankings of genuinely great sites with tons of original content.
Panda is also a completely algorithmic filter, which means that Panda was created to remove the need for a dedicated Google search quality team professional to assess the quality of websites manually and assigning manual penalties. As a result, if you think your site has been affected by Panda, fixing the issue would be easy, as it would only require you to remove the causes because of which Panda originally hit your site.
If you need to recover from a Google Panda slap, that’s a different story and I’d rather not repeat the same stuff here which is going live soon on the Ahrefs blog. I’ll update this article with link to my upcoming Panda Recovery guide that’s going live in a few days.
UPDATE: You can now take a look at the Google Panda recovery guide that I was talking about.
So, what went wrong with orangerknoxville initially?
I published quite a few hugely popular stuff, including the guide (and infographic) on Domain Authority, a guide on WordPress Optimization, an ultimate guide on Bing SEO etc. in 2013, which were popular with real people and had decent amount of social shares and high-quality inbound links from authoritative sites as well, but regardless of all that, they failed to rank well on Google for their respective key phrases.
Not only were they popular, they were deemed high-quality by most readers and from a length perspective, were a lot lengthier and more detailed than their respective counterparts available elsewhere on the web. Google unfortunately failed to recognize this back in that time – and they ranked poorly on Google as a result.
Not only that, as they were very popular (and they still are), many other sites also re-shared them, and those re-shared pages used to rank higher than original ones back in the day.
How did it recover from a long-term Panda impact?
With the roll-out of Panda 4.0, orangerknoxville gained a lot of organic traffic, with organic traffic increasing by almost 200-250% . In addition to that, I checked a few SERPs individually, and I could spot results from orangerknoxville on the first page of Google for even highly popular search phrases.
What seem to me the causes behind this suddenly grown love of Google towards my site are:
- Google has got better at identifying the original source of a piece of content. So, they stopped mistaking a more authoritative site as the original source of a certain blog post of orangerknoxville. This has enabled the original posts on orangerknoxville to outrank the re-shared ones on other sites.
- Google seems to be valuing lengthier and error-free (be it grammatical, spelling or any other type of writing and factual (?) error) more than ever after the Panda 4.0 roll-out. This is a huge bonus for orangerknoxville as most posts are way over 1K, heck, even 2K words. Along with that, I try to be as grammatically correct as possible in my writing – so these apparently small things are finally helping orangerknoxville blog posts get the much needed and perhaps well-deserved exposure in Google.
- Google is also letting sites with a great and user-focussed UI benefit from Panda 4.0 . As you probably noticed, orangerknoxville is almost completely ad-free since a long time. I also intentionally kept the user experience simple and ensured it isn’t misleading.
- Sites with a high percentage of original content seems to have heavily gained from Panda 4.0 . SearchMetrics’ initial research reveals the same. Sites with syndicated / duplicate / re-shared content have lost a fair amount of traffic post Panda 4.0 and sites with a lot of original content gained organic traffic. I don’t remember the last time I copied something off another site and posted it on orangerknoxville, so this has also helped the site.
What’s next for orangerknoxville?
Google still doesn’t show author info for orangerknoxville’s posts. I’ve tried it with multiple authors apart from myself. I earlier and suspected this has something to do with the site’s overall quality in the eyes of Google. Google doesn’t show any manual actions in WMT either, so it’s algorithmic as well.
Rectifying this is my next target for orangerknoxville. I’ve already removed around 1000 old posts (from the Smartphone Geeks days) which were already no-indexed anyway. I’ll look forward to seeing how Google reacts to this. I almost completely believe that Google not displaying authorship for orangerknoxville posts is due to low-quality older posts, irrespective of whether they were no-indexed or not.
Coming up next are also more SEO-related posts, guides, probably a few expert round-ups and infographics as well. In addition to that, I’ll try to optimize the current posts to increase organic traffic. I had almost gave up on optimization earlier, because no matter how good I did it, it would almost have zero impact on search engine performance due to Panda hampering the site’s performance in Google.
I’ll be looking forward to working on orangerknoxville with a rejuvenated spirit and seeing how it continues to perform in Google. Feel free to drop a comment below if you have something in your mind. 🙂