Danny Sullivan wrote a nice explanation on how Panda is more a ranking factor than a algorithm update. He gets into it in detail, but what Panda clearly is, is a penalty that downgrades the rankings of a site for having low quality content. If it is an algorithm update or ranking factor - to me, isn't that important. The result, Google flags your site as having low quality content, you then get pandalized and your whole site can suffer.
It is somewhat similar to other ranking penalties where if your site is deemed to be hiding text, buying links, or going against other Google webmaster guidelines - then the site will suffer. Panda, like PageRank, like paid links, like scraped content and so on are all part of the algorithm. Some are run in real time, and some, like Panda and Google Bowling are run manually.
Which brings me to my next point.
Google Panda Webmaster Notifications:
Google should offer webmaster notifications through emails and Webmaster Tools, like they do so well with since 2007 and has lately bumped up to issue notifications of doorway pages, unnatural links, cloaking, or even generic site issues and wordpress installs being out of date.
So why not tell webmasters if they have excessive or worrisome low quality content and thus need to fix the content on their site in order to regain trust and rankings in Google.
I think Google should send out these notifications because it will clearly tell people if they have a Panda problem or another problem.
Our ongoing coverage and stories on the Content Farmer/Panda update:
- Panda 2.2 Results In Casualties & Some Recoveries
- Google Panda Update Underway & Are There Recoveries?
- Matt Cutts On Google Panda 2.2 Update
- 85% Say They Have Zero Recovery From Google's Panda Update
- No One Has Fully Recovered From Google Panda
- Poll: Did Your Site Recover From The Google Panda Update?
- Were You "Pandalized"?
- Google Panda Updates Search Results Manually
- Panda 3.0
- Google's Second Attempt At Panda Relief Advice
- Google's Panda Update Hopes To Curate An Apple-Like Web
- eHow Hit Hard By Google Panda Update
- Incremental Returns After Latest Google Panda Update
- Many Webmasters Devastated: Google Panda Rolled Out Worldwide
- Google Update Underway? Farmer/Panda Hits Again?
- Google Smacks Down Webmaster Over Panda Update
- Google Mocking Those Impacted By Farmer/Panda Update?
- Is Google Rolling Out A Farmer / Panda Update?
- Status Check: Google Panda / Farmer Rebounds & UK Migration
- Coming Soon: Panda/Farmer Update At Google UK
- Being Rescued From The Google Panda / Farmer Update
- When To Use 404, NoIndex & 301 Redirects In Farmer/Panda Fix
- 40% Of SEOs Say Farmer/Panda Hurt Their Sites In Google
- Google: Remove Low Quality Content If You Were Impacted By Farmer/Panda
- I'm Hit! Get Your Google Rankings Back After Farmer/Panda
- How to Regain Your Rankings After the Farmer Updateli>
- SEOs Chew On Wired's Interview With Cutts & Singhal On Farmer Update
- What's Your Name? Farmer Or Panda?
- Was Google Too Hasty with the Farmer Update? SEO's Discuss Good & Bad
- Google Accidentally Label Your Site As A Content Farm? Get Help Here
- Shocking: Google To Tweak Content Farm Algorithm
- Poll: Were You Impacted By The Google Farmer Update?
- Google Farmer Update Support Groups
- Google's Farmer Update Live: 12% Of Google's Results Forever Changed
- Google Warns Of "Big Changes Here Very Shortly"
- Correction: Google's Scraper Algorithm Now Live, Not Content Farms
- Google's Content Farm Algorithm Harm You? Categorize Your Site To Fix It.
- Confirmed: Google's Content Farm Algorithm Live! Sites Are Dropping!
- Google's Next Target: Content Farms & On Page Spam