Google Panda is an update to the search result ranking algorithm of Google, that was released in February 2011. Google Panda focuses to lower the ranking of “thin” or “low-quality” websites to offer high quality websites at the top end of the Google search results page. Panda is one of the most important spam fighting algorithms and it is now a part of the core ranking algorithms of Google.
Google clarified in a statement that, “Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.”
Garry Illyes, who is a Webmaster Trends Analyst of Google, recently said that with the latest changes to Google Panda, it adjusts or demotes the ranking of a website, rather than devaluing the site like the Google Penguin 4.0 update. When asked about the devaluing, he said, “[S]o essentially, if you want a blunt answer, it will not devalue, it will actually demote.”
The Penguin 4.0 update devalues links by ignoring them when opposed to penalizing or demoting the links. However, this is the way the Google Panda update works. Gary said that, “It is an adjustment. Basically, we figured that site is trying to game our systems, and unfortunately, successfully. So we will adjust the rank. We will push the site back just to make sure that it’s not working anymore.”
Earlier, Panda was believed to be a penalty, but it turned out to be a lot different. This algorithm measures the quality of a website to allow Google take into account the quality of the website while ranking the pages and adjust the ranking for the different pages accordingly. If the algorithm finds that most of the pages of a particular website are of poor quality, but still the site is ranked high in search engine result pages, Google will apply Panda demotion to that website.