5 June 2014

Panda Slapped

Bloggers who use Google as their platform have access to what are described as ‘Stats’. There are a variety of these and they are not always consistent. For example, the totals for a day’s Pageviews by country, browser and operating system are usually close, but rarely identical. In turn the Overview figure for ‘Pageviews today’ may be different again.

But all these discrepancies are small. What is really alarming are the 'Stats' of trends over time – look below at the Pageviews for this blog over the last month: from over 100 a day a month ago to less than half that now. Admittedly there has been only a marginal increase in content – the usual 6 or 7 posts added in the last month - but nothing has been removed from or altered in the 350-plus older posts, some of which are viewed every day.

So what has happened? My guess is that it’s to do with the Panda algorithm which underpins Google searches. Funny old thing, but a Google search doesn’t throw up much information about Panda; Google, it seems, also have a related algorithm called Hummingbird. From what I can make out from the Search Engine Watch website, Panda 4.0 was launched around 20 May:
The Panda algorithm, which was designed to help boost great-quality content sites while pushing down thin or low-quality content sites in the search results, has always targeted scraper sites and low-quality content sites in order to provide searchers with the best search results possible.
Well, this isn’t a scraper site so I guess it’s the low quality content! That, and the fact that I don’t make any money for Google through, for example, Google Play, although this blog is consuming a tiny amount of their resources.

Something similar has happened before after a tweak to Panda, or maybe Hummingbird, and then the Pageviews slowly climb again, but I’ve not seen such a marked drop off before. As I blog primarily for my own amusement, I’m irritated, but not deterred from continuing as before, after being “Panda Slapped”. Read what this blogger felt he had to do after he had taken a far more severe hit from a previous change to Panda.


As predicted, there are signs of a slow recovery, particularly in the last week or so:

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