All told, Panda was estimated to have effected 12 percent of all websites listed with Google. That might not sound like a large number of websites, but the impact was great enough to vastly change the first-page landscape for many search terms and keywords. Today, Google enjoys something of a renaissance in just how accurate its page rankings are; consumers have breathed a sigh of relief as the search engine has once again given them reliable, reputable pages at first glance. There is far less spam and malware to be found.
Moving Forward: Do Backlinks Still Matter?
Even though Google has greatly moved away from valuing backlinks in search engine optimization, they actually do still matter. Google still uses these valuable links as a way to see which websites are generating traffic from referral sources and similar niche sites, and they use it as a way to gauge the reputation of a site’s content and pages.
That being said, however, there is very little emphasis placed on these links as compared to the pre-Panda era in Google search engine optimization. They’re a very small percentage of a page’s rank, and they can no longer propel a site to the top of the heap alone. They must be paired with user engagement, interactive elements, fresh content on a regular and consistent basis, and sound use of keywords, in order to take a website to new heights.
The key lesson to learn from the release of the Google Panda algorithm is that search engine optimization should now focus on the very human elements of a website’s design and operation. Interaction is now key, as is the ability to share with social media websites.
When a website becomes more authoritative, and more interactive, Google will reward it — and its backlinks. If it continues to commit offenses like link spam, excessive keyword use, and malware downloads, Google will simply move it to the back of the line. Click here for expert tips on implementing Panda changes to your SEO.