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Panda 4.1… A Cause for Concern

After 4 months of silence, Google have finally announced an update for Google Panda. The algorithm that evaluates a website’s content. Updates to any of Google’s major search algorithms (Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird) often leads to many businesses and search engine optimisation agencies worrying. There’s a reason for this.

Google Panda - SEO  Search Algorithm for Content

This update, named Panda 4.1 by Search Engine Land, is the first alteration to the algorithm since May. It’s expected to affect 3-5% of global search queries. The update began being rolled out last week and should continue for the majority of this week. As with any updates to the big three search algorithms, it’s expected to have a real impact on what is needed to succeed in search engine results pages (SERPs).

This update is said to consider many ‘new’ signals to help Google detect low quality content. Content that is not original or is ‘thin’ will cause a red flag. The content of large websites like Yellow.com and socialcomments.org have been reviewed and heavily penalised by Panda 4.1. Google have used feedback from users and webmasters to identify a number of new factors that will help them discover bad content. If the content on your website isn’t deemed worthy, then you may see a significant drop in your SERP performance.

With yet another barrier to successful SEO, it will be even harder for your website to rank for keywords. Your website’s content could make or break your website’s performance in SERPs. The only way to ensure your website isn’t hit hard by this update is to make sure your content is original and high-quality. This update provides websites, especially small and medium sized ones, with a real opportunity to compete against some of the larger more developed websites. However, this will only be possible with a comprehensive content based digital marketing strategy.

Panda 4.1 demands only the best from websites, which will need to focus on providing high quality content now more than ever. This is essential not only to rank for new keywords, but also to retain existing positions in SERPs. Countless websites have already been affected by Panda 4.1, with search visibility dropping by up to 79%. Make sure your website is safe.

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