There was a lot of confusion about what Google did and why they chose to “penalize” certain sites by the quality updates implemented earlier this year. We have learned a lot about those updates since and I will share what I have since learned.
The series of updates released by Google dubbed the PANDA update, aimed to cut low-quality content from the SERP. They never actually penalized any websites, they just ranked poor quality content lower in the SERP. This new series of updates marked the first time Google used an algorithm to test content quality against a standard.
Sites that had a lot of content that failed to meet the quality standards of this new algorithm may have felt that their “website” was targeted, but that isn’t accurate. Google doesn’t rank websites, they index and rank individual web documents. This new algorithm targeted specific pages that failed to meet certain quality standards.
If the editors of Diet-Blog.com were to go back and clean up the quality aspects of the content that fails to meet Google’s new quality standards they would mitigate much of the damage to their rankings. Granted this would be a colossal task for a site the size Diet-Blog.com and they may decide it isn’t worth it.
Sadly, many folks are still confused and haven’t yet grasped what Google considers low-quality content. It seems many folks confuse quality with usefulness or value, all import, but not the same things.