Google ‘rolls out’ the Panda 4.0 Update
Let’s start with the basics.
On the 21st May 2014, Matt Cutts (head of Google Spam) took to Twitter to announce a new algorithm update.
Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 21, 2014
Now although the name ‘Panda 4.0’ may lull you into far away lands, where animals graze gently in the wild. It’s not that at all.
In fact, it would be better to imagine the update as a type of evil Step-mother of the web development world. If your website is guilty of flimsy content and low quality sources, be prepared to be banished to the naughty step. Well, to the very bottom of the Google search pile anyway.
Normally when these types of announcements are made it takes between 3-5 days before the effects are noticed on Google.
Here at Netbiz however, we like being prepared.
Surviving the algorithm change
The change is based on the premise that websites with good quality content deserve some limelight.
Here are some tips to keep that spotlight in focus:
- Update your website and get rid of all those low quality pages, content and keywords.
- Be sure to double-check any over-optimized pages.
- Websites that have been hit by Panda need to work on brand awareness and social media networks in a new campaign.
- The web pages that have been affected need to be isolated from those that weren’t harmed.
- Check for pages with no or little content, as well as, for plagiarism. Creating elaborative pages with FAQs and more for a website should help.
So, how do the algorithms affect a site?
It’s possible that an entire site can be affected through Panda.
Usually single pages of a website are not targeted in the algorithm. However Panda doesn’t look for thin content but the overall content, so in websites where little original content and more duplicate or thin contents are present, those are likely to be fully penalised.
Some good news
Let’s go back to the evil step-mum metaphor. The update only really cares about if you’re doing as you’re told in terms of content quality. This means you can get away with things like not tidying your room…or well, in this case, not manually removing any links from your site.
This content focus also means that if duplicate and/or thin content is removed from your site, you have a good chance of recovery by the next refresh.
Okay, what sites have been hit?
Although it’s still early and time is needed for the algorithm to settle, there does seem to be a big name causality. Ebay.com has already seen a slide in some of its rankings:
With this said, the update isn’t intended to scare. It’s main purpose is to prevent Google’s top hits being overrun with spam and low quality content.
If you have any reason for concern, follow our tips, protect your website and you will find that before long Panda 4.0 will be nothing more than a distant memory.
Nothing more than some kind of Google update that made you spend the rest of the day daydreaming about safari adventures.