It's been a pretty exciting week for Google. After being crowned the world's most valuable brand by BrandZ, Matt Cutts took to twitter to announce Google's new Panda 4.0 algorithm update.
Matt Cutts is Google's Head of Webspam, his recent twitter broadcast announced the fourth generation of the Panda algorithm, which is in place help Google provide top notch results by penalising spammy sites or those with low quality content. Of course, as with all major algorithm updates, the announcement was heralded by speculation from marketers and SEO experts worldwide who noticed puzzling a shift in their SERP's.
Panda 4.0 - the gentle update
After twenty-four smaller tweaks to Panda since its creation in 2011, the latest algorithm change appears to be fairly large-scale. Search Engine Land has estimated that around 7.5% of English search queries will be affected by Panda 4.0. Despite concerns from businesses who rely on their web presence, this update is said to be more 'gentle' than previous changes, and affirms Google's commitment towards providing the best search engine results for their users. This adjustment is also rumoured to provide the basis for future modifications to Google's search processes.
As with all algorithm updates, there are winners and losers. Sites most likely to be confined to Google purgatory in Panda 4.0's wake are those which have poor quality content - this aims to weed out spam and sites which 'scrape' (duplicate) content from other online sources. The winners in this case? Panda 4.0 aims to provide a level playing field for smaller businesses which have quality content but struggle to achieve a high SERP visibility due to bigger competitors.
Look after the Panda
Here are some simple steps to keep Google Panda happy:
- Create regular, quality content - keep content fresh and relevant by regularly adding blog posts, social media posts and maintaining page content.
- Reputable backlinks - check your backlinks to make sure that you are only referencing respectable sources.
- SEO tactics - make sure that you avoid 'keyword stuffing' and instead focus on long-tail, niche phrases.
- Fix duplicate content - never use the same copy across multiple platforms (e.g. press releases turned into blog posts). If there are any duplicate items on your site, from your own site or other sources, then resolve this immediately.