Hot on the heels of Google’s payday loans algorithm update, comes the new Panda 4.0 algorithm.
Matt Cutts announced on Twitter this week that Panda 4.0 has now hit Google search results. This new version of the algorithm is designed to boost sites that contain high quality content while penalising those whose content is of a lower quality. The double whammy of payday loans and Panda may hit some spammy low quality sites very hard, and reinforces the importance of building high quality, consistent and informative content to keep your site floating nicely on the search rankings.
Google has often said that it tries not to throw out multiple updates at once or within a very short period of time, so it is unusual that two major updates, which could have a huge impact on some sites, were released within days of each other. This could mean that it will be harder for webmasters to analyse the effects of the changes on their search rankings, and harder for them to know what changes have to be made in order to improve their position in the rankings.
The Panda algorithm was first used in February 2011, named after Navneet Panda, the Google engineer who created it. While there have been many small Panda updates and a couple of larger ones, Google announced several months ago that the new Panda updates would be integrated into the algorithm and be ‘softer; however the changes have been noticeable, even to inexperienced algorithm watchers.