At the end of this week or by early next week, all signs point to another Google Panda update hitting the Google search results pages. Not far behind will be another Penguin update, so it is important that you get your website up to par for these Google updates that can be seriously detrimental if you choose not to abide by them.
The goal of both of these updates within Google are to provide the user with quality results. This means weeding out the spam pages and raising the search location for quality pages, pages that actually contain content that is fresh and is related to the search query. Google Panda had a previous update at the end of January, and 1.2 percent of English search queries were affected. See some crazy traffic fluctuations on your site in the next few days, and you may be one of the site's on Panda's hit list.
Panda-proof your website TODAY:
Get rid of duplicate content. Large levels of duplicate content (that appear intentional rather than a few republished works), and Google has a specific set of guidelines that they prefer for cleaning up duplicate content, which you can read here and subsequently implement. Remember to keep duplicate content in the back of your mind when you make future changes to your site, as it is an issue Google takes seriously.
Take away the low quality content. Content that is specifically on your site to fill space and lacks any actual value or quality should be removed. While this may seem obvious, it can be hard deciphering what is "low quality" to Google when it may not be low quality in your eyes. Look at your analytics and see what pages aren't getting clicks, where users aren't spending any time, and read over Google's take on the issue and how to fix it here.
Develop high quality content. In keeping with cleaning out the bad content, your quality content may need a little work as well. Beef up existing content with new statistics, helpful links, add images, and make existing content appear more thorough and useful for a Google searcher. Remember, original content is ideal, and lots of it. Read more here. Develop high-quality content and make it the rule for your site. When adding content, ensure it meets these criteria: It offers value, it's something you want to share, and you can link it as an informative resource.
As for Penguin, the date of this update is still a mystery. However Matt Cutts, Google's engineer extraordinaire, did say that there will be a new generation of Penguin, an algorithm also designed to weed the junk out of the Google search results and penalize websites with suspicious and unnatural link portfolios. As you probably know, there are still plenty of sites like this lurking the web and hogging the search results, so this follow up Penguin attack could help level the playing field. The update will be a big one, as Cutts himself referred to it as "significant and one of the most talked about Google algorithm updates this year."
Remember, the Panda and Penguin are both coming, so it's best to be prepared than take your chances. Be sure to reach out to your friends at Tandem Interactive if you have questions or need pointers.