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What’s New with Panda 4.0 from Google?

July, 08 2014
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Jo Stephens

Google uses constantly changing algorithms to rank top search results. The latest Panda algorithm is designed to stop sites with poor content from getting to the top. Panda 4.0 is a bigger update than the usual data refresh. Google has altered the way Panda identifies sites. This update may be kinder to some sites, while laying the groundwork for future changes that go softer on small businesses.

Panda Update

The original Panda Update is a filter that was introduced in February 2011, designed to reward quality content and prevent poor content from making its way to the top of the search rankings. When Panda is updated, sites that were previously damaged may have a chance to redeem themselves. However, only if they have the correct changes. Sites that were previously missed may be caught for their “black-hat” practices.

Google has said that Panda 4.0 affects different languages to different degrees. In English, for example, ~7.5% of queries have been affected to a degree that a regular user might notice. Meaning that about seven percent of the keywords that used to bring up certain websites will no longer bring up the same list.

Interestingly, the Panda 4.0 update came out the same time as a refresh for an algorithm. An algorithm that targets especially spammy search engine queries like payday loans. The fact that the two changes came out simultaneously makes it particularly difficult for web masters to determine where the update came from. Many SEOs worried that the update came from Penguin, Panda’s more punishing counterpart. But, luckily rewards will be doled out by Panda.

We will definitely see more about what kinds of changes to make as webmasters and SEO professionals have a chance to evaluate the updates and analyze their sites.

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