How To Recover From Panda

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Updated April 19th 2016

Recovering from Panda requires webmasters to increase the quality of their entire website in order to improve the user experience.

In a move to reduce spam and improve the quality of content returned in the Google search engine, Google introduced the Panda algorithm to evaluate the quality of a website. In 2016, the latest version of Google's algorithm Panda has been completely integrated into the core Google ranking algorithm.

Originally introduced as an add-on to the general ranking algorithm, it has since been completely integrated into the main ranking algorithm. This means that every website is assigned a "Quality Score" by Google.
  • If you have a website, then you are affected by Panda

  • Earlier sites that were hit by Panda know they were hit because they saw a sudden, massive traffic drop. Recent sites that have seen site-wide traffic drops can also be affected by Panda.

  • New sites receive a quality score but never see the infamous ‘traffic drops’ to tell them they could be receiving 2x-3x more traffic.

Traffic Checklist Download:

If you have experienced a traffic drop and want help, I recommend the Panda Breakthrough program as your solution. It is a complete guide that will help you get closer to your goal of a full traffic recovery. Unfortunately, traffic drops usually worsen over time if not attended. The faster you act and get Panda Breakthrough, the more likely you are to benefit from the traffic recovery techniques that will make a difference for your site.

Warning: Most webmasters that try to recover the traffic without guidance end up making mistakes which delay recoveries and reduces traffic even more. To avoid mistakes, get the Panda Breakthrough program and join the Traffic Research community.

Panda Affects Both New and Old Sites

how to recover from panda step 6
That means that new sites can be affected by Panda… 
Making it really hard to rank which is why many new sites never get good rankings and don’t know why!

What’s worse… is that the more incoming links you have, 
the stricter Google is with your site. The Google algorithm expects higher clickthrough rates & searches to your website if you have a large quantity of backlinks.

How To Recover Older Sites From Panda
Older sites (2000-2010) are being negatively affected 
by layout algorithms, deprecated code and poor user experience.

How to recover from Panda - Add Value
If Google thinks that you’re not adding value to the web (What they call: “cheap affiliate, content farm, scraper, spammer”) then the harder it will be to rank.

If Google thinks your site is outdated or that you’re providing low quality content, then it will be harder to rank!

That’s why if you’re selling or recommending any products online, it is very important that Google thinks that you have a high quality site that is providing value.

Example of a Panda Penalized Site

How To Recover From Panda Step 9
This business owner knows he has been hit by panda because of the massive 60% traffic loss after a Google update.

Unfortunately, Panda becomes worse overtime if you don’t fix it!
How To Recover From Panda Step 10
It becomes tougher over time… until it kills your site’s traffic

Another example of a slow traffic decline caused by Panda

How to recover from Panda Step 11
It is common to experience hundreds small traffic drops over time… and before you know it, you’re done.

Google's Objective

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Google is not only after your site… it’s after your entire business model! That means that if you've been creating Adsense-only sites or pure affiliate sites, Google wants to shut you down. They don't like those types of sites because they don't add value to the web.

Same thing applies if you’re creating a content farm and publishing thousands of low quality articles. 

Question: “Can I still continue to make 1 page affiliate sites?”
Answer: No!

Actual Google Formula (According To The Patent)

Google Panda Formula According To Patent

F1=T1+(IS-T1)M/IS, where T1 is the first threshold value. (And it goes on)

But for the sake of recovering from Panda, we do not (fortunately) need to go into depth with their formula and instead we can use a simplified version.

Simplified Ranking Equation

Simplified Google Ranking Formula

[Panda Quality Score / 100] x [ Old Ranking Factors ] = Your Rank

Example 1: [Panda Score 70/100] x [20 Backlinks + Good On Page] = Rank #5 

Example 2: [Panda Score 95/100] x [10 Backlinks + Good On Page] = Rank #2

That means that the better your quality score is, the easier it is to rank!

The Power of Recovering From Panda

Panda Recovery 1
Recovery above performed by Eric Lancheres

The only difference is the panda quality score improved

Common characteristics of a panda recovery:
  • 2x - 9x your current traffic
  • The traffic increase is sudden and happens in a few days
  • It happens without any new backlinks and without any new content

Another Example Of A Panda Recovery

Panda Recovery 2
Recovery above performed by Eric Lancheres

Once again, the only difference in the before and after is that the panda quality score drastically improved. When Google re-evaluated the site, it gave it back the traffic that it deserved!

This was performed on a pure affiliate site to prove that the recovery techniques can trick the Google bot even it is actively trying to penalize these sites.

In fact, once we applied the recovery techniques, the site's traffic bounced back higher than it was before!

Achieving The Ultimate Quality Score

High Quality Google Score

[Panda Quality Score / 100] x [ Old Ranking Factors ] = Your Rank

Remember that the better your quality score, the easier it is to rank.

Where is my Panda “Website Quality Score” ?

How To Recover From Panda Step 18

Unfortunately, your score is hidden from you as a webmaster. Google uses the score as an internal ranking factor and refuses to share it to prevent people from "gaming the system".

What you need to know about the quality score is that there are quality thresholds, and if you go below them, you get hit!

That is why there are sites that have sudden increases in traffic and then decreases in traffic… usually because they are right on the border of a “good/bad” threshold.

Fortunately, there’s hope! Even if Google is after you (
Information sites, Affiliate Sites, Review, Ecommerce, Lead Generation) because every site can be transformed into a high quality site.

User Experience

How To Recover From Panda Step 19

[Static Elements] x [Quality Checks] x [User Experience] = Panda Quality Score

For the first time ever, Google is paying attention to the user experience on your site. That is the main reason why Google Panda is a site wide penalty.

Their primary goal is to measure user accomplishment.

If you can convince Google that your visitors LOVE your site, then Google will send you more visitors!

Traffic Checklist Download:

Static Elements You Want To Have On Your Website

How To Recover From Panda Step 20

The main elements are:
  • Privacy policy
  • Contact,
  • About,
  • Terms Of Service
Of course, there are depending on the type of site that you operate. For example, an e-commerce site should have information regarding shipping information. Information sites should have sponsorship disclosures and so on.

But don't think that just because you have a link to a contact page that you're done.

It is the content inside your static elements that matters (Do not copy/paste it from other sources. Have valid authors, addresses, phone numbers.)

The Googlebot crawls and stores addresses, phone numbers, emails, authors….

Quality Checks

Google Page Quality
Your code quality can matter if you have excessive issues with your site.

For example, broken code: HTML errors, PHP errors, broken CSS tags
 can all lead to a poor user experience and if Google picks this up they are likely to reduce your overall site's quality.

You'll want to be especially careful with obsolete code. For example, i
f you’re still using Frontpage 2003 to design your site then you're likely in trouble.

Some sites will require a complete refresh if they were poorly coded from the ground up. This is why so many sites from 2002-2007 were affected by Panda.

List of deprecated code:

You also should know that Google checks for hidden text
, overlapping text 
and exploding images. 

You Know You're In Trouble If:

If your entire site is based off obsolete (no long supported) code like <u>, <center>
- Your site has no CSS stylesheet and each title is created using <font size=+2>

Panda And Mobile Compatibility

How To Recover From Panda 22

The way to to access an extra 17.4% of the Internet’s traffic is to be mobile compatible. It makes sense because do you really think Google will show your website to mobile devices if your site fails their mobile tests?

Run your site through the W3 HTML validator:

And the Google Speed Insights:

The User Experience

Google User Experience Part 1
Google User Experience Part 2
The original list of questions put forward by the Google webspam were vague and borderline useless. Here are some better questions you should be asking yourself when dealing with Panda.

  • What is the user experience?
  • Are your users currently having a good experience?

  • Are your users finding the content that they want? 

  • Can you improve your navigation?
  • Does the layout encourage users to stay on your site?

  • Are your users consuming your content?
How much are they reading / watching ?

  • Are your users coming back to visit your site?

  • Do they search for your site on Google?

  • How long are your users staying on your site? 
Can you improve that metric?

  • How fast does your site load? 
Check in webmaster tools. Under 4 seconds acceptable.

  • What do users think about your site? 
Do they “trust” your information or think it’s copied?

Improving The User Experience Is The Key To Recovering From Panda

Improving The User Experience

First, navigate to your Google Analytics page, sort by landing page and find the content that people don’t seem to be reading. These pages will have a low average visit duration and a high bounce rate.
how to recover from panda step 25

The “magic” Panda numbers: Bounce, User Engagement & Page Depth
. Everything else revolves around those!

Panda's User Experience

Recovery From Panda Benchmark

You'll want to keep your 0-10 seconds visits under 55%. If you can reach this target, it means that you probably have an excellent user experience on your site. 

Increasing Your Website's Quality Score

Increasing Quality Score
Remember that improving user experience equates to improving quality score. 

How To Recover From Panda Step 32
The first step to improving your quality score is to transform your site into a honey pot. Once your visitors come in, you want your site to be so sticky that they don’t leave!

How To Recover From Panda 33
The idea is that if Google gave me a visitor, I’m going to do everything I can to keep them! When you do that, Google will give you more. 

If you focus on keeping your users happy, then Google will reward you. 

Search Quality From Google’s Point of View

Search Quality
With Google, it is all about the user accomplishment. 

Search Process

  1. User searches for “fishing poles”

  2. Google lists your site has #3 result... user clicks on it. 
  3. Google feels as if it “gave you” a visitor.

Option A) 
If the visitor comes back to Google... Google thinks:
 “That visitor did NOT like that site”

Option B) Visitor never comes back to Google... Google thinks: 
 “Great! I must have shown him a GOOD site!”

User Accomplishment

how to recover from Google part 33
The secret is that is it all about the “user accomplishment”

Option A) Visitor did NOT accomplish the task. 

Option B) Visitor DID accomplish the task

Of course, what they want to accomplish can vary from site to site. 

What did they want ?


Were they looking for a review? Perhaps some information on a specific subject? Did they want to shop? Or maybe they were looking for some contact information?

Telling Google You Have a High Quality Site

How To Recover From Panda Step 36

The only way to tell Google your users are accomplishing their tasks is to never give those users back.

Keeping Your Users On Your Site

Keeping Your Users On Your Site

I would like to introduce you to the party technique. It is simple and very effective. When your visitors land on your site, you want to show them that the party is already happening. You want to convey that your page is both popular, authoritative and 'the place to be'. 

In the same way that you’ll quickly leave an empty bar or club, visitors will quickly dismiss your site if no one is there!

Here's why: 
  • If your article is the hit of the internet... people will stay and consume!
  • You must TELL people your article is the hit of the internet!
If your site and article hasn’t been updated in 4 years and looks like it was created from an ‘AOL build your own site diskette’... people are likely to leave.
Looks do matter, even online.
technique to recover from penalty

It isn't about just having the elements that convey trust, it's all about how you use them. 

The main ones are: 
  • Date Posted / Last Updated
    Keep it recent – Write a script that always makes it look recent

  • Comments 
    You'll want a ton of these. 

Top ones should be saying how good your content was and how they used it for themselves)

  • Recent articles
    This is useful on the sidelines and below your article. You want 
real, attention grabbing topics. Having “likes”, “views” and “ratings” along side helps as well.

  • Social media buttons (Likes, Tweets, Diggs, G+)

Display how many likes you have... and fake it if necessary!

Example Of A Site That Conveys a Good First Impression

example of good panda site

Notice all the quality elements that your users users see when they land! Do you think they'll stay to read another article?

Another Example of a Good Panda Site

good panda site 2

This page immediately conveys authority to the reader. This translates into better user metrics and more return visitors. This will result in higher rankings and more traffic from Google. 

Good Panda Site Example 3
This website immediately conveys authority and has an excellent related article sidebar. 

Why The First Impression Is Critical To Your Site's Rankings

how to recover from panda step 40
The only reason we’re doing this...

Is to create a “First Impression” that makes your users stay! If you thought making first impressions on a date was tough... Internet users are ruthless!

Ninja SEO Ranking Trick

SEO Ranking Trick
Another trick is to have a cut picture right at the fold.

If you can get a good picture cutting off right at the fold, it encourages your users to scroll down and start going through your article.

SEO Ranking Trick 2

Your readers will want to see the picture! This will translate to more engagement and lower bounce rates. Once they start scrolling, they are more likely to stay and read the whole article. 

Keeping Your Users On Your Site

How To Recover From Google Step 46

A recap of keeping your users on your site : 

My “party is here” posting technique.

    1.    Post Article / Content

    2.    View and TWEAK the ‘landing page view’ – (Picture at fold)

    3.    Write 2-3 fake comments (to start the fire!)

    4.    Mail out / Tweet / Ask friends to Comment & Social Vote

    5.    Manually Set Relevant Sidebar Articles / Recommendations
You should do this each time you post something new!!
How To Recover From Panda Step 47
Implementing this will increase your engagement by about 2-15% which is still a long way to go from our target of 55%. 

(Remember: We trying to get our 0-10 seconds engagement below 55% for the visitor engagement)

Recovering From Panda Step 55
Why are we doing all this?

Showing Google that we have a great “User Experience” (Because our users stay on our site)
... equates to a HIGHER QUALITY SORE

Which means getting OUT of Panda and ranking HIGHER with less effort!

When you tell Google that your visitors are enjoying your content, 
Google is happy to send you more traffic! 

Good User Experience Means A High Quality Score Which Means More Traffic

If you want to discover every Google quality trick and the fastest way to get your site in “Panda shape” ... even if you have millions of pages indexed.
 This works even even if you’ve lost all traffic, have manual actions against your site and have been completely de-indexed.

Transform your site into a high quality site and make Google fall in love with your content.

I’ve helped hundreds of webmasters, business owners and SEO agencies recover from traffic losses...

And spent thousands of hours developing, testing and perfecting the techniques that I only share with a very small private group.
get traffic back
I created a system to teach any business owner how to get their traffic back from Penguin and Panda.
It’s an entire fool-proof toolbox to reversing damage from Panda and Penguin.
 And I keep on adding new ranking tricks and techniques every month.

If you’re serious about your business,
 I’d like to invite you into my small private group called Panda Breakthrough.

It's a step by step program designed to recover & build Panda-Proof sites and transform them into high quality sites that Google wants to reward.

So that you can one day look at your Google analytics and experience a traffic recovery.
full panda recovery
Recovery above performed by Eric Lancheres

This full panda recovery resulted in 200% more traffic within 48 hours and saved the business.
full panda recovery 2
Recovery above performed by Eric Lancheres

This recovery resulted in an additional 2100 visitors per day for the website's owner. To put this in traffic increase in perspective, this is equivalent of having a small town business that is used to serving a few dozen customers per day... and magically moving their business to central square during the holidays. 
full recover 3
Recovery above performed by Eric Lancheres

Our members are doing better and better... getting more converting traffic and higher rankings than they have ever gotten before

While everyone else is still languishing in post-panda depression...

Our members actually know how to get around Panda and even use it to their advantage....

You'll get your traffic back.

Traffic Checklist Download: