The latest Panda update by Google has been shaking up the SEO world since its introduction a few weeks ago. SEO professionals were surprised to learn that even the biggest and most well-known websites were affected by the update. Read on to see what the main changes are, if your site could have been impacted and what you can do to improve your outcome in search results.
The First Panda Update
Panda was originally introduced in February 2011, affecting up to 12% of search results. Usually Google rolls out quiet refreshes to its algorithm as monthly updates; they’re not anything major, small changes that don’t impact websites in a major way. This is not one of those updates. Panda 4.0 is cleaning up search results in a big way. Even big name websites have taken significant hits noticed by the SEO community. For example eBay had a huge decline in search results as soon as Panda 4.0 rolled out.
The following is a list of websites most affected by Panda 4.0:
What does it mean?
So, what exactly is the latest version of Panda going after? Low-quality content, that’s what. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it before: content is king. This becomes clearer and clearer with every single one of Google’s algorithm updates. The goal is to remove websites considered to have more spam content from high ranking Google search slots. While this update has been dubbed a gentler one as it’s supposed to be friendlier to small sites and businesses, it still has had major impact on major sites.
There isn’t anything to fear if you have original, useful or interesting website content. This update can be considered a big win for websites that are producing content that no one else is. For example, the popular website BuzzFeed always has original content and they received a 25% increase in search results. The more valuable and less spammy your website is, the more likely it will be to rank higher on Google.