The only thing constant is change and this seems to be Google’s mantra. Over the years, things are constantly changed and updated with Google’s algorithms and if you have been in the SEO industry, learning about each update is the wise thing to do.
Among the most recent update that caused a ruckus in the world of SEO is the Google Panda. Its latest update was released only recently together with a different Google update targeting spammy queries. Here are some information to help you understand these two recent updates more.
What is Google Panda?
The Google Panda was initially released in February 2011. The goal of this update is to filter out sites with poor quality content from search results. This simply targets websites that have been putting content that have been written specifically for increasing the website’s search engine ranking by stuffing it with keywords or reaching a particular word count even if the content has no value whatsoever. The goal is to only have websites that offer real valuable relevant content on search engine results pages.
What is Google Panda 4.0?
The latest version of the Google Panda algorithm has just been recently released last 20 May 2014, as announced by Matt Cutts on his Twitter account. Although the Panda algorithm updated monthly, this most recent which they call Panda 4.0, is a major one. According to Matt Cutts, the Panda 4.0 impacts around 7.5% of English queries and while some websites might hardly feel its effects, some would significantly feel its effects.
What are the effects of Panda 4.0?
Initial results and analysis of what happened to search results following the roll-out of Panda 4.0 showed that websites with useful good quality content have clearly gained from this update. Some of these websites are
- and buzzfeed.com
On the other hand, some websites that experienced a major loss in traffic after the Panda 4.0 update are
- and yellowpages.com
If one would analyze this initial list, many of the websites that lost rankings are those that do not offer unique content – the content that they have on their website are usually syndicated or duplicate. In other words, the information on these sites is often from external sources.
What to do?
Many SEO companies will hurriedly try to address the effects of this Panda update. Judging from the analysis of websites that experienced gains and losses in traffic after the release of Panda 4.0, websites wanting to increase their rankings should focus on high quality content that is valuable and relevant to their industry. Avoid putting syndicated or duplicate content even if the quality is really good.
What is the Payday Loans update?
Aside from the Google Panda 4.0, another update was released during the same weekend – the Payday Loans 2.0 update. The first Payday Loan algorithm was released last year in June. If the Panda targets low quality websites, the Payday Loans update targets ‘spammy’search queries. The Payday Loans does this by focusing on links and keywords with high search volumes and CPC such as those related to payday loans (hence the name of the update), insurance, accident claims, and other similar topics. The release of the Payday Loans 2.0 affected fewer searches, specifically only around 0.3% of queries.
The full impact of these two updates has yet to be felt. Despite the initial effects observed by some, the extent of its impacts will only be evident after a few months. Also, the Panda will continue to have monthly updates and it will take several months before things settle down once again. The simultaneous release of these updates also makes it more difficult to differentiate between the effects brought about by which update.