Pandas may look cute and cuddly, but they can be extremely hazardous to your health. The same can be said about Google’s most recent update to the way its search algorithm works, dubbed “Panda 4.0,”which is said to be wreaking havoc with some major brands on the web, according to Business Insider.
“The intent of Google’s updates is the same as all its previous updates: It is attempting to discriminate against spam webpages that publish duplicate, thin, or useless content simply for the purpose of getting search traffic from Google,” writes Jim Edwards for BI.
Major brands which have seen their results banished from the web include eBay, Ask.com, Biography.com and History.com, according to Searchmetrics.
This fourth generation of Panda started rolling out last week (May 20, 2014) and Searchengineland.com are projecting that it will impact 7.5% of (english) search queries.
An interesting point raised by SearchMetrics.com
“This could be the “learning from mistakes” (also from others), as some of these candidates have (now) written their own content. The losers on the other hand, tend to show syndicated content or even duplicate content.”
Some say this spells the death of so-called ‘SEO optimized press releases’ and presumably will be of major concern to any press release sites .
Sean Malseed at Seer Interactive pointed out that PRWeb lost over half of its traffic, and dropped out of the first 20 Google results for over 8,000 keywords, based on data from SEMrush.
Optimists seem to have faith in that spammers will be the only losers signaling good news for those whom maintain quality and natural seo work. But what if Google was to flag you as a spammer when you’re not one? Wouldn’t happen? Consider the following.
However Barry Schwartz of SearchEngineLand warns that the only way to really know if any update has hurt or helped you is to look at your search-driven traffic from Google, rather than particular rankings or lists like this, which have become popular after Google updates. If you’ve seen a significant increase, you’ve probably been rewarded by it. A big decrease? Then you were probably hit.
Unlike the furry kind, Google’s Panda is not an endangered species. Let’s hope the same applies to your website…