On Thursday, September 25, Google released its latest incarnation of their Panda algorithm, sequentially named Panda 4.1. The update serves as the first update Google has rolled out to their Panda algorithm since May and has been found to affect roughly 3-5% of all search queries, depending on your location.
The update was officially announced via the Google+ profile of Webmaster Trends Analyst Pierre Far and has been slowly impacting search engine results over the past few days. Once again, the Panda update aims to improve the overall quality of webpages that are receiving the top rankings within a search.
New Signals of Low-Quality Content
According to the announcement, Google has “been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely.” Apparently, the update hopes to result in a more diverse amount of high-quality small and medium-sized websites seeing an improvement in their rankings. For many, the update comes as a sign of good news, providing smaller sized websites the opportunity to compete amongst some of their largest competitors and potentially capture some of the top search ranking spots.
As no surprise, the small update aims to penalize pages with weak or thin content. Some of the biggest hit pages include those that focus on using a lot of images, but provide only a small amount of content on each page. Many lyric sites, gaming sites and some medical portals have seen some of the worst effects of the update – seemingly due to their thin or sometimes copied content. Contrastingly, news, content sites and download portals have been found with some of the best traffic increases after the update. Once again, we have seen Google work towards weeding out low-quality, weak content in order to help their users find the most useful sources of information available on the web.
What the Panda 4.1 Update Means for Your Site
The 27th Panda update should be released completely by the end of this week. If you have continued to follow the best practices of SEO – producing high quality and engaging content for your website, then your site’s traffic should mostly be unaffected. However, sites that are simply aggregating content, not providing enough content on their pages or just producing low quality, keyword stuffed content will see a significant drop in their web traffic.
For those who were hit by the last Panda update issued back in May, the latest changes to the algorithm offers you the chance to see if your newly adopted strategies have been working. If you have worked to make changes to your site based on previous penalties, you should be able to see how those changes have affected your site’s SEO and search engine rankings. Additionally, newly created sites will begin to see how Panda updates impact their search engine rankings.
If your site is experiencing a drop in traffic, the best way to recover is to create high-quality content and webpages. When Google crawls your site, they are looking for pages that add value to the internet with an adequate amount of content needed to fulfill the site’s purpose. Not only does this ensure that a user will be satisfied with a search query that leads to your site, but it will also help to keep an audience engaged with the content you are creating.
If you’re looking to expedite your recovery or just provide a boost in your site’s SEO performance, contact the SEO professionals at Eyeflow Internet Marketing. The Eyeflow team explores your site to pinpoint trouble areas and boost your site’s SEO performance while creating high-quality content to help your business build authority and drive traffic. Make sure your website is performing at its highest level, contact Eyeflow for a free evaluation today!
Key Takeaways of Panda 4.1:
- With “new” signals of low quality content, Google continues to move towards cleansing the internet of thin, weak or duplicate content while hoping to enhance the quality of search engine results.
- Aggregator sites and websites with thin content have been the hardest hit sites by the newest update.
- If you were hit with a penalty, do some website housekeeping to clean up your site from thin content or duplicate pages.
- To keep your website performing well in search engine results, focus on consistently producing unique and high-quality long form content for your website.
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