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Next week, I will be talking in Munich at A4U, along with my friend Ralf Schwoebel from tradebit, on the subject of Pandas. By then, it is pretty likely that Google’s Panda update will have hit Germany, so I hope I am riding a wave and that the room won’t be empty.

Google’s Panda update has had a huge – and largely positive effect on the SERPS. But moreover, what I am finally starting to see is a positive effect in a change in the rhetoric from SEOs. they are starting to accept that Google’s search results are focused around the user and not around the website or its owner and that the varioous algorithms are at least good enough to offer a reasonable representation of this. To start developing content "for Google" is becoming an anathema (I hope that is the right word…!). Ultimately, you need to ask yourself, does the world need another article on the dangers of credit card debt or are the articles from the Citizen’s advice bureau impartial enough? Methinks the topic has been discussed already!

So Google’s Panda update was a direct assault on websites that are not adding value to the user experience. Or an assault on sites not adding value full stop. When Google decides that a website is generally not creating a good experience on much of ts site, then the signal goes out that the WHOLE SITE is affected in some way with the Panda mark – a metaphorical black mark on an otherwise white canvass if you like. Now Google will – periodically – check to see if the site quality has changed, and if it is it will raise the shadow from the site – but recovering from Panda effects is not an instant fix. If you went to Google in webmastertools and said "I have fixed up my site, please put it back to where it was before" I do not think that an individual can do this to your site in isolation. They need to run the "Panda program" once again, which needs to run on every domain in the index, so it is not something that will be done lightly or for a single site.

I do believe there are ways to mitigate the effects of Panda in the short term. Receptional have been carrying out lots of tests and assessments on how a Panda hit site still gets ANY traffic at all. If a Panda penalty is site wide, then arguably everything would be hit – but I think a Panda hit site simply means a page has to clear a higher quality threshold to pass the bar and get out of the supplemental results. It’s a fair way to look at it. I hope to be able to share at least some of those findings with anyone that gets to the Munich event.

If you are thinking of joining me in Munich, here is a 10% off coupon… SPK10.