Google’s Panda algorithm is intended to help sites with original and quality content to achieve better search rankings, with those sites that contain poor value or spam-laden content losing out on top spots.
It has been confirmed by Google that a new version of the algorithm, Panda 4.0, has been rolled out.
It had previously been stated that we would no longer be kept informed on changes and refreshes to Panda, accepting that monthly rolling updates would occur, with small tweaks here and there. It is therefore implied that this must be a larger, more significant update to the algorithm as a whole as appose to the minor data refreshes that have been taking place until now.
This more substantial amendment to the algorithm would signify that Google have made alterations to the way in which Panda will recognise and identify websites. This brings about potential for impacts in search results pages, with the possibility of a big mix up in rankings.
Changes in rankings have in fact already been noticed, with eBay for instance among some of the top sites to have been badly affected by the new Panda version.
It has been reported that there will be a variation between the extents to which different languages will be affected by the new update, with approximately 7.5% of English search queries impacted upon.
So with this new version of Panda released, what can you do to avoid becoming affected by and slipping down the rankings?
You should ensure that you are creating content with your readers in mind. Aim to write in depth, engaging, quality articles that people will actually want to read. Don’t take text from elsewhere online and simply duplicate it on your site, think original and think of the value to your readers.
In addition you should keep in mind that content should include more than a few sentences of text, covering a subject thoroughly and insightfully, a couple of relevant images to help back-up your point (with alt tags of course!), some internal links pointing to related pages of your site, the opportunity to share via social media, and a clear call to action.
Keep an eye on search traffic coming from Google, if you notice a dramatic change in rankings and traffic then your site may well have been affected by the launch of Panda 4.0, with issues in quality of content requiring addressing.