The Google Panda 4.0: Meaning and Implications
The rollout of the Google Panda 4.0 has been long speculated and awaited. Post the last Panda update on 15th March 2013, Google had confirmed that they weren’t quite working on any updates and that there was nothing to look out for in this regard. But then, it happened.
The Panda 4.0 has been officially declared, and its entry has already created a stir. Bringing happiness for some and resentment for some, this Panda update shows a strong connotation that is both assertive and supportive.
But what does the Panda 4.0 have to say?
The Google Panda 4.0
It’s a content update and it’s all set to affect different languages at varying degrees. In an aim to weed out low or ‘thin’ quality content and encourage ‘high quality’ content, Google has begun rolling out the Panda 4.0.
What does it mean?
As per Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land, the Panda 4.0 implies that, “Google has made changes to how Panda identifies sites”. Now this means sites could either upgrade or down-grade in this process.
In fact, this is precisely what has happened since the update hit the Google search engine.
While many sites, ones as big as e-Bay, ask.com, etc. have seen their rankings and visibility fall flat on their face, many have benefited from this version of Panda too.
Jennifer Slegg of Search Engine Watch shows an example of how AlanBleiweiss.com has seen positive outcomes when the Panda 4.0 wave hit the Google. Here’s a snapshot of the website’s jump, taken from the blog post:
Looking at the snapshot, we see how AlanBleiweiss.com, even after being affected by penalties at earlier times gained, having fixed the erroneous areas.
Keeping aside the usual outcome of an algorithm update, where a site loses its rankings, clearly this Panda update means a more meaningful approach to analysing websites. In a way, this update is a softer version of its previous releases.
The Gainers and Losers
A careful look at the list of gainers and losers will help webmasters and marketers understand the reasons that brought the below-mentioned websites to this fate.
The top gainers and losers were declared initially by Search Engine Land, based on the Searchmetrics analysis, which were as follows:
Among the top winners stood:
Leading the losers list was:
Is it really a big deal?
Well yes, unless you wouldn’t mind losing out your hard earned traffic and visibility!
As far as the Panda 4.0 penalty is concerned, it completely depends on the practices you choose to adopt to achieve your marketing goals.
If you’ve been going that extra mile to provide your visitors with something worthwhile to read, something that they’ll love, rest assured that the Panda 4.0 will be a dear friend.
However, if you’ve been trying to cut corners to focus on how your keyword stuffed content can achieve your sales turnover only, beware.
Andy Calloway of Pinnacle Marketing says, “Google really wants people to get right to the content they asked for when searching. They don’t want people to search and then have to navigate through a forest of more links and internal searches to find what they’ve after.”
Even Tim Worstall of Forbes conveys a similar thought, when he says, “Google believes that those low-level spam page creators are damaging to the Google search product. Thus they are continually changing the algos in order to protect against such parasites.”
Clearly, Google, over the years has evolved to become the to-go place for any random thought that comes to the mind, no matter how miniscule or enormous it is. It has been able to secure a position of being the biggest search engine in the world. It thrives on providing help to its viewers and therefore its primary goal is to ensure its visitors get the most useful results for their queries. Now, it wouldn’t want to mess with its business; right?
This is precisely why it launches such updates. These algorithms help it conduct a house-keeping round, keeping what’s relevant and what’s not.
To sum it up, through the Panda 4.0, the focus continues to remain on ‘content quality’. In fact, it’s only gotten stronger. The message to marketers and webmasters is thus loud and clear – Focus on creating quality and helpful content only; results will follow.
So what do you have to say about the Google panda 4.0? Has it affected you website? Share your thoughts and experiences with us; we’d love to hear from you.