Last week, Google announced its latest algorithm update: Panda 4.0. To explain what it’s all about, we created a series of videos. You can watch them all here:

What’s an algorithm?

Google, and other search engines, use algorithms to solve queries that people are searching for. An algorithm is a computerised process that is used to solve problems. In Google’s case, the problem is how to return the most relevant web page for the users’ query. It’s hugely complex and contains an astounding amount of calculations.

What’s Panda 4.0?

Panda 4.0 is the latest, major refresh to Google’s Panda algorithm, which was originally rolled out in 2011. Panda is focused around content and tries to cut out sites with low quality, thin content.

Google updates its algorithms all the time, but doesn’t normally announce it unless there’s a major change. We believe Google has announced this update to reinforce its objective of trying to improve the quality of websites.

Should I be scared of Panda 4.0?

There’s no need to be scared of the algorithm updates, unless of course, you’re doing something wrong! If you provide good quality content on your site, there’s no need to worry. You can check your search traffic to see if there have been any spikes or declines in traffic. This is a pretty good indication of whether your site has been affected by the algorithm update. When creating content, your focus should be on understanding your customers, what they want and providing content that they would find interesting and useful.

Why has eBay been affected by Panda 4.0?

The online auction site, eBay, has been affected by the algorithm update. This is likely to be caused by the huge number of category pages they have which have very little content on them. This is seen as thin content in Google’s eye. The update means they are probably now not ranking as high as they were previously for certain keywords, possibly resulting in less traffic and potentially less business.

Will the Panda 4.0 update affect the way we operate here at SGM?

The short answer is no, the update will not change the way we carry out work for our clients. We will continue to provide high quality, unique content. We work to understand our clients’ customers to ensure that content on their site is interesting to them, which will increase the chances of our clients ranking ahead of their competitors.

Who will be the losers and winners following Panda 4.0?

The losers seem to be sites that are low on content, for example those (like eBay) that have huge product ranges with no content to explain what those products are. The winner will be those sites that go a little further to give their customers additional information and answer questions their customers might have. If your site contains high quality content that reads naturally, you should eventually see good results for the keywords you are targeting.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop us a line below.