Google Panda update survival guide

As of 24th Feb 2011, a major update by Google on how it ranks sites has affected 12% of search results and halved many sites’ visitor numbers. Named the Farmer or Panda Update it’s only affecting US Google results as I write but if you’re outside the US it is coming to you soon. Here’s how to find out if you have already been hit, are going to be and what to do about it.

Can your business handle a 50% drop in organic (non-paid) visits from Google? That’s what might be coming your way courtesy of Google’s Panda algorithm update.

Before we get into the whys and wherefores, find out if you’ve been hit by Panda …

Has your site been Panda slapped?

At the time of writing, Panda is only hitting US results. Here’s how to use Google Analytics (GA) to find out if your site is affected.

If your site gets most of its search engine traffic from the US then you probably already know if you’ve been affected by Panda or not. With this guide you can see the details of the damage and learn how to analyze where problems might be.

If your site is not US-centric then follow the steps below to see if you will be affected when Panda rolls out across the world.

First go to your GA dashboard.

If your site is not US-centered then you might see something like the graph below and think all is well:

But dig deeper. Go to the Search Engines report in the Traffic Sources menu (and choose ‘non-paid’):

Then click ‘Google’ to see Google-only traffic (see below):

Click the ‘Keyword’ column heading above the list of keywords (See this highlighted in green in the image below). This reveals a large sub menu (again see below) on which you click ‘Country/Territory’.

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