The Panda will continue to strike in 2012 after a brief holiday break in December 2011. This was announced by Google on Twitter. While Panda updates have ceased for 2011 after the last update in November, they will continue after the New Year. The announcement on Twitter was a part of the weather updates that Google decided to keep coming, about its algorithmic update.
Many webmasters are seeing it as an early Holiday gift from Google. They are getting a breather to Panda Proof their site. The last update in November was considered a minor one which affected only 1% of the searches. Another interpretation has been made that a Panda Update can be expected in as early as January next year.
The Panda Story:
The Panda update (then referred to as the 'Farmer Update') was first rolled out on February 24th. It was directed at content and link farms. Then the international version of the Panda Update rolled on the 11th of April for the English sites outside the USA. The Panda 2.5 was rolled out in the last week of September and since then a number of tweaks have been made by Google in the algorithm.
Brace Yourself For the Panda:
If you are lucky enough to have survived the Panda, or want to know how to not be whacked by the update again, you need to work on you site to ensure it is Panda proof.
Get Rid Of Broken Links:
Check your site for broken links, find them and fix them. Get rid of any links you have from “link farms” and poor sites.
Watch Your Keyword Density:
The Panda comes down heavily on keyword stuffed content. Follow the recommended keyword density ratios that Google prefers. The ideal keyword density ratio is between 5–8 percent if it is higher than this, then the Panda may penalize you.
Ensure You Have Relevant Keywords:
You may not have done it deliberately, but you may suffer if your keywords have been abused by other sites. The Panda penalized news sites like Forbes just because their keywords (names of celebrities etc) had been abused by low quality sites. You must check the sites that rank for your keywords and keep an eye on the domain authority score. You must figure out the authority of the chosen keywords and keyword phrases before optimizing them for your site.
Google has given a couple of weeks respite. Fix your site or hire a reputed SEO firm to do the same for you.