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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Google Rolls Out Panda 4.0 Algorithm Update – How Will This Affect You?

It was officially announced yesterday that Google had started rolling out Panda 4.0 – the latest version of its algorithm that targets low quality content sites in the search results.  The Panda algorithm debuted in February 2011 in response to Google’s dislike that content farms were ranking well.  Although Google announced some months back that they would be using more subtle monthly updates rather than the bigger updates we had previously experienced (think Penguin April 2012), it seems this is a big one.  The best way of looking at it is a new version of the algorithm rather than a refresh of existing versions.

Google tells us that 7.5% of English language queries will be affected to a degree that a regular user might notice.  That seems like a pretty big number so how will this affect webmasters and business owners who rely on the internet to gain sales?

panda 4.0 algorithm update affects search

If your site has purely been designed to rank well in search then you have permission to start panicking now.  Google is no fool and if you haven’t been hit by previous versions of the black and white bear, you may well experience a drop in rankings following this latest algorithm update.

Google has been proclaiming for a long time that sites must deliver good quality content that delivers something back to the site visitor in order to gain good positioning in its SERPS.  The more sensible members of the online community will have gone back to the drawing board a couple of years ago to ensure their websites were delivering on this score, however we all know that there are also plenty of sites still with coveted page one positions that are quite frankly appalling in terms of content.  Google also reassures us that some sites will gain in visibility thanks to the update, though the upside is one that is rarely talked about!

So where does this leave us?  It’s too early to tell the impact from the Panda 4.0 update but I expect activity to be high over the next few days as SEOs, webmasters and business owners scratch their heads to try and fathom out what the brains at Google are trying to achieve this time.  How many website owners will be hurt in the process?  Only time will tell I’m afraid.

Posted by Frances Berry