What is Panda 4.0?

What is Panda 4.0?

The Panda 4.0 Google algorithm update impacted the way Google viewed your website. Google started rolling out this algorithm update on 20th May 2014 in the US, and by the end of the day on 21st May, some major sites were feeling the impact, including EBay (both UK and US) seeing massive drops in traffic share.

Why do Google update their algorithms?

Google conduct regular data refreshes and new algorithm changes 1-2 times a year.  Their aim is to provide the best, most relevant results to the end user.

Google Panda updates specifically target what Google deems to be “low quality websites”.  By low quality, this means sites that have “thin content” which is either very little content or very little original content e.g. ecommerce sites that use manufacturers copy or syndicated content and offer hardly any other content.  There are considerations to the rule, where category pages contain little or no category or sub category copy, or very little additional copy such as news, blogs, articles etc.

How does this impact my site and me?

If your website falls into the “thin content” category, then it is likely that you would have been impacted by the update. If you believe that your site is at risk of having thin content then it is likely that you will have started to see your keyword rankings decrease and traffic drop.  This may be a gradual decline however; in more severe cases Google may have applied a partial or full penalty.  If you have had a full penalty applied to your site you will have seen a noticeable sudden drop off in traffic (massive drop in your Google Webmaster Tools).

On the flip side the update may have also had a positive impact on your rankings.  If you have a large amount of lengthy (350 – 500 words) pieces of content on your website then you may have seen the reverse happen which will increase your rankings and website traffic.

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