Google Panda 4.0 Announced

Stephen McCance May 23, 2014

As Google’s latest update to the Panda algorithm (Panda 4.0) was announced a few days ago, we take a look into what Panda is and how it can effect your SEO and your website overall.

Google’s Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, announced on his Twitter page on the 20th of May that they were beginning to roll out the newest version of the algorithm that is expected to effect around 7.5% of searches in English to a degree that a user might notice.

Google’s Panda algorithm was first released in February 2011 and was designed to hit sites that had poor quality content and move them down the search rankings, tidying up search results and enhancing the Google experience for users. This was a huge change to the SEO landscape and started what has become a complete shift in online marketing, placing much more emphasis on content, especially its quality and usefulness to users.

Since it’s release, the Panda update has done an excellent job of filtering out the quality in the top SEO rankings. Google announced that there would be no further updates from them regarding the Panda algorithm as there would now be monthly rolling updates, meaning there was no need to inform us every time. So, why have they chosen to inform us this time? Put simply, it is because Panda 4.0 is set to be a much bigger algorithm change than the monthly updates. We estimate that this change is to the way in which sites with poor quality content are actually identified by Panda, and this will be effective from the 20th of May onwards.

It has been suggested by Google that this algorithm change, although significant, is actually a precursor to set the groundwork for further and bigger changes to the way in which Google works to generate rankings.

The news of this release comes after hints from Google in March of this year that a big update to Panda was on the cards.

To ensure your site and rankings aren’t effected by any future Panda changes, ensure your content is relevant, high quality and generated specifically to be useful for users. If you have any doubts then consult an SEO professional.

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