This is my first post. To give you some background about myself, I manage the SEO department for a large internet marketing company. I am very new to black hat but love learning about it. Anyways... I have been reading a lot of posts on the forums about panda and many of them aren't entirely accurate. I wanted to help clear up some of the confusion about the panda updates to help you guys get your traffic back. Despite the lack of panda success case studies, there has been a lot of correlation analysis which show what may or may not be a factor with the panda updates. While there is a lot of debate about all factors that affect panda, essentially there are a few main factors that put a website at risk for the panda penalty: - Duplicate content/thin content - Usage metrics - Template footprint Duplicate Content: Panda looks at the ratio of unique content to duplicate content both internally and externally. This was mainly put in place to target autoblogs. Many autoblogs have a high % of duplicate content which puts them at high risk for the panda penalty. "Thin content" refers to any page with little or no content. Having a high % of thin content is another high risk factor in the panda penalty. Basically make sure you don't have 100s or 1000s of pages with just an image and/or no text. Also, if you are autoblogging make sure you always spin the articles. Usage Metrics: Google looks at the bounce rate of websites as a panda factor. If people are clicking on your page and then returning back to the SERP, Google is aware and can pandalize your site. Many people recommend having some sort of call to action to get visitors to click on at least 1 additional page which can reduce your bounce rate. Template Footprint: Having a small % of original content on your website template can come across spammy to Google. Try to minimize your template footprint and be careful about how you use you are using your ads. Having too many ads can also get you pandalized. The misconception of links: Many people on this forum mention that spammy links can get your website hit by the panda penalty. This is 100% untrue and I will explain why. Google already has their own methods of detecting and devaluing spammy links. They have also had link related penalties in place way before panda that specifically target websites with spammy link profiles. So in theory you could get a link based penalty as well as the panda penalty. That said, many correlation studies on panda shown that links are not a factor and it is mainly the previously mentioned factors. Other notes about panda: - The panda algorithm is ran against Google's index every 4-6 weeks - It is a domain based penalty, if you get the penalty all your rankings will suffer, not just the duplicate/thin pages. - The penalty works more like a volume knob than a light switch. The severity of the penalty is based on the amount of duplicate content, % bounce rate, and how heavy your template foot print is. More about panda: I can't post links but one of the best SEO's in the world, Rand Fiskhin, has 2 good resources for learning more about panda. If you want to read them search for the following, both are from SEOmoz: - "Google's Farmer/Panda Update: Analysis of Winners vs. Losers" - "How Google's Panda Update Changed SEO Best Practices Forever - Whiteboard Friday" Hope this clears some things up!