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Google Update: Panda 4.0 Assessing the Effects 1 month on

Google Update: Panda 4.0 Assessing the Effects 1 month on

A Marketing article written by Elle Meech

With it being just a little over a month since Google released their latest update on 20 May 2014, we studied the effects to rankings and how to get the most out of Panda 4.0.

So what does Panda 4.0 really do?

As another extension on the already established series of updates, Panda 4.0 rolled out late in May when it was added as a content filter of sorts.

The algorithm filters out content that is not relevant to the user or is somewhat bare in the eyes of Google - this being content that doesn’t offer any value to the user or is not unique, such as copied or auto-generated content.

Panda 4.0, by many reports, has also identified some black hat tricks previously deployed by SEO companies or individual webmasters that may have boosted rankings in the beginning.

This has resulted in penalties for many websites deploying such tactics; lucky for us, we have always based our practices on relevant and rich content (phew!).

Were the effects as bad as anticipated?

It was announced that 7.5 percent of English language queries were affected with Matt Cutts confirming that Panda did indeed roll out on 20 May 2014. It was suggested that eBay was affected by the Panda update but we can’t be 100% certain that the update attributed to their drop in rankings.

Many press release sites were said to have taken a big hit as several contain what Google sees as ‘thin’ content. Panda 4.0 "Winners and Losers" includes some big names such as ask.com, ebay.com and health.com.

What does this mean for the immediate SEO future?

As with most of Google’s updates we don’t really know the long term impact until we can gather long term data, however, there are things we know that will help.

  • Use valuable and user friendly content
  • Link building – think quality not quantity
  • Make sure you remove any black hat tricks you may have deployed in the past
  • To avoid any drops in the future it is always best to stay up to date with SEO best practices

Keep tracking updates from Google and make sure you know what is going onto your site to ensure you don’t ‘disappear’ from search results.