What is Google Panda?

Panda is a Google search engine ‘sub-system’ that assesses website ‘quality’, and then may impose a ranking penalty (ie reduce the website’s position in search results) if it determines the website’s quality is ‘too low’.

The challenge is understanding what Google (or its Panda subsystem really) is programmed to flag as ‘low quality’, particularly as this changes over time.

The terms ‘thin content’ or ‘thin sites’ are used to describe low quality sites that Google want to weed out of search results, but sometimes well meaning websites get innocently caught up in Panda’s filters and are impacted by rank penalties too.

Consequently Google is regularly reviewing and releasing updates to Panda to refine its ability to exclude innocent sites and also to include other forms of low quality sites.