If you've got your ear to the ground regarding all things "Google", you'll know that the search engine giant started rolling out Panda 4.0 a little while ago. To re-cap for those of you who aren't fully aware, Google often updates their algorithms to include various enhancement that they've been working on. The most prominent of these updates have been Penguin and Panda; Penguin, which targeted sites making use of dodgy link-building tactics and Panda, which clamped down on sites with very poor or thin content.
I am particularly fond of the Google Panda algo-update because in my eyes, it's a great mediator for the web that prevents poorly written content from getting any air-time. In the digital age, everyone has a blog or platform from which they're able to offer their opinions, but some of them don't deserve the airplay they previously received. A lot of spun content and poorly constructed, keyword infested posts used to manage to crawl their way up in rankings, but now you really have to put in some effort in order to make it to the limelight. This ensures that whatever we search for is met with accurate, relevant and well written results, which can only benefit us as search engine users as we'll always find something worth our time.
What Can You Expect With Panda 4.0?
Google stopped keeping us posted on when they were updating Panda, as these became more of a monthly data refresh. This time around there are more specific and bigger changes and even everyday users might have noticed a change. The update has been said to affect a number of different languages to varying degrees. Matt Cutts has also said that Panda 4.0 is a much "gentler" version of the previously rather vicious algorithm update, as it lays the way for a more reasonable and tolerant Panda of the future.
Searchmetrics offered an analysis of the winners and losers of Panda 4.0 that leaves us a bit unclear on the manner in which sites have been gauged. It does show that a few of the sites lost out because of duplicate content, syndicated content and aggregated content... so perhaps writing your own is always the answer? The results are not 100% clear yet and the article will be updated once Panda has fully rolled out.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Panda 4.0?
If you think in terms of what you create and how you create it, always do it ethically and for your users' benefit. By creating 100% original, quality content that is geared towards enlightening your users or helping them solve an issue, you're always going to be rewarded with traffic, shares and the lack of penalization from search engines. In summary, you should keep the following pointers in mind when trying to avoid being ravaged by Panda 4.0:
- Always create 100% original content
- Create content that will be appreciated by your users and is not necessarily a hard sell for your products or services
- Don't use your content to talk about yourself, but rather about your experience and expertise
- Don't ever allow spelling mistakes or grammatical errors - unacceptable
- Write more lengthly content that offers value
We can no doubt expect to see a lot more from Panda 4.0 in the near future and will keep tabs on the progress for you. Have you noticed a difference in your rankings since the release towards the end of May? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you Business 2 Community for the very cool image.