Google’s Panda 4.1 Update Gives Small Websites a Boost
- Posted by Tom Dibble
- On September 30, 2014
Last Thursday, Pierre Far, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google UK, announced the new Panda update.
“Earlier this week, we started a slow rollout of an improved Panda algorithm, and we expect to have everything done sometime next week.
Based on user (and webmaster!) feedback, we’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice. Depending on the locale, around 3-5% of queries are affected.”
Refresh me on Google Panda, please?
Google Panda was introduced in February 2011 as an algorithm filter which prevents low-quality and thin websites from ranking at the top of Google search results. Websites that pass the Panda filter are not only considered to be of better quality, they are ranked higher as well.
Okay, so what’s new with this update?
The update is a result of Google finding new signals that help to make Panda better at separating low quality content via user and webmaster feedback. This change brings a greater diversity of high-quality small and medium-sized websites. It further separates relevant, updated sites from those with thin content.
Wait, what’s thin content?
Thin content, as defined by Google, is content that is automatically generated, scraped content or content from other sources, doorway pages or pages created for spamdexing.
“Thin or low quality content isn’t something Screen Pilot clients EVER need to worry about. All client website content is original and unique to their business. However to continue to ensure your website provides ‘fresh content’ we recommend communicating events and news with your customers through a something like a blog. A blog that is tied onto your site (e.g. www.Brand.com/Blog) can assist your SEM team in obtaining new, quality links from appropriate websites and let Google know your website isn’t stale.” – Matthew Chantry, Search Engine Marketing Manager.
So how should I respond?
With all algorithm updates, it’s one size fits most. The best bet is to serve Google exactly what is needed: fresh, new content. Based on the Panda 4.1 changes, those likely to benefit most are news-related sites. However, websites that feature numerous pages that are created and never retouched or updated such as games, lyrics and medical content are likely to be negatively impacted by the new update.
“We run high quality linking campaigns at Screen Pilot, so our clients shouldn’t be impacted by this latest Panda release. For clients that have run aggressive inbound link programs in the past many of those links could have been the result of ‘thin content,’ and thus could experience slightly lower organic traffic. This release should be helpful with websites that engage smaller bloggers, those links may be slightly more valuable this week than they were last week.” – Michael Carr, Search Engine Marketing Manager.