Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014
That Tweet was Google’s official announcement that they are rolling out version 4.0 of the Panda algorithm.
What you need to know
The Panda algorithm is a key search algorithm which stops sites with poor content creeping up the SERPs. It targets sites which feature:
- Duplicate content
- Little to no content
- A lot of advertising delivering no real value to users
- Over-optimised of keywords
Panda usually rolls out over a 10-day period , so although we are waiting to hear more about the impact the Panda 4.0 update has had, it could be a couple of weeks before we know the true scale (but if Google’s numbering system is anything to go by, one could assume 4.0 is a pretty big change to the algorithm, rather than just a data refresh).
The Panda 4.0 update was announced just an hour after confirmation of another algorithm update, Payday Loan 2.0, which looks to have hit on May 19th 2014. The Payday loan algorithm targets “very spammy queries” and isn’t related to Panda or Penguin.
Do I need to worry?
In short, no.
Firstly, this is targeting very poor sites. Sites which shouldn’t be ranking and have known for a long time that their time on the web was limited.
Secondly, the algorithm is designed to boost sites which are doing a great job of providing useful, relevant and unique content to their visitors (which we hope you are doing, especially after reading our content marketing blogs!)
So, it seems to have been a busy week at Google… I wonder if they have any Penguin-shaped tricks up their sleeves in time for bank holiday weekend…?