Have your Bamboo ready: Panda 4 is out
According to Mr Cutts (head of the webspam team at Google), Panda 4 has been released into the wild as of yesterday.
Generally, when these sorts of Algorithm roll-outs have occurred in recent years (and particularly since the Penguin release), it sends the SEO industry into a frenzy. Some are happy, some are mad, but most are left scratching their heads trying to figure out:
- Whether their site's ranking has been affected, and
- What they need to do about it.
Ultimately, if you have good quality content, you shouldn't have been hit.
It’s interesting to note, however, that a lot talk since the update a few days ago has been about previously affected sites and the results these particular sites have seen. Panda & Penguin affected sites that were originally penalised, and Google has since corrected their way and has seen an increase in rank for these pages since the Panda 4 rollout.
The following article written by Jennifer Slegg from Search Engine Watch seems to indicate that based on Moz and other sources, there were significant changes in the SERP indexes in the past few days. Of particular interest was the "Big 10", which is a term given to the top 10 domains ranked in google. It was noted that Ebay, in fact, slipped out of this.
Moz cast, an interesting site provided by the Moz crew, offers insight into the holistic metrics of Google. Based on the turbulence in the SERP indexes, Mozcast cleverly represents this in the form of a weather forecast; a Stormy day equalling significant movement in SERP rank and sunny meaning little movement.
So what does this mean for your site's SEO?
It’s hard to say right now. As the days progress and the SERP indexes flatten out a little, we’ll be able retrospectively to determine what some of the contributing factors are.
Initially, it does seem to indicate that content is the big thing here. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, obtuse reliance on targeted keyword links in your content will hurt you. Along with this, over-optimised content that is perceived by Google as spam content will be hit by this update as well.
When thinking SEO ensure it's ‘white hat’, ensure your content is quality (i.e. not over-optimised) and finally, ensure your link strategy involves quality, authority-driven sites.