In February 2011, Google pushed a small change called “Panda” to its search engine-ranking algorithm. The change is allegedly great for most publishers creating high-quality content, but for smaller sites, which in some cases have a large amount of ads, they have seen some problems with their content not showing up (or high) in search results. The Google Webmaster team published a blog post late this afternoon explaining what the algorithm is looking for, and what some publishers could correct. The explanation may help some sites get the ranking they believe they deserve. Google said the change only affected 1 percent of queries, but this could be worth noting for some of you. The biggest thing Google seems to be encouraging is to continue making high-quality content, and not trying to game the algorithm.

We’ve been hearing from many of you that you want more guidance on what you can do to improve your rankings on Google, particularly if you think you’ve been impacted by the Panda update. We encourage you to keep questions like the ones above in mind as you focus on developing high-quality content rather than trying to optimize for any particular Google algorithm.

One other specific piece of guidance we’ve offered is that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content.

You can read Google’s full post for a few more points.

Search Engine Land has a great breakdown of the “losers and winners” of the Panda 2.5 update that was pushed out in late April. The losers:

Image via Search Engine Land

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