Google began rolling out a major change to their Panda algorithm earlier last week. Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, announced the update via Twitter.
The goal of Google’s Panda algorithm is to weed out the low quality sites to provide searchers with the best search results possible. Every Panda change is an effort to reduce black hat SEO techniques and reward sites with high quality content. Google had stopped confirming when a Panda Update has hit because they became more of a “rolling update” of gradual changes over time. But Panda 4.0 is proving to be more than a gradual change. The Panda 4.0 update can be considered a major revision to the actual Google algorithm rather than just a data refresh, as we've been seeing since its initial roll out in February 2011. This update may be presenting us with a more soft, mellow Panda algorithm, which is welcome news for many websites. Based on our research, we have concluded that the Panda 4.0 update will be milder for some sites, and overall lays the groundwork for future updates focused on quality content.
Searchmetrics has dubbed some of the “winners” and “losers” of Panda 4.0 based on their initial analysis of the search rankings. Ask.com, ebay.com and retailmenot.com were among some of the top losers, while medterms.com, myrecipes.com and zimbio.com were among those that saw big gains in their rankings. How do you know if Panda 4.0 hurt or helped your site? Take a look at your organic traffic in Google Analytics. A big drop in traffic may mean that you've been hit, while a significant increase may indicate you've been rewarded by it. Check out the below chart for more of the top Panda 4.0 winners and losers, as predicted by Searchmetrics:
The important thing to remember here is that Google is constantly tweaking and updating its search algorithm. Not keeping up with these updates is risky business. The team at E-Power Marketing® not only keeps up with all of Google’s algorithm updates for our clients so they don't have to, but we understand how the change affects each of our clients' websites. For more information on how or why Panda 4.0 may have impacted your website, contact E-Power today!