Google’s very own Matt Cutts announced on his Twitter feed on Tuesday that they will be rolling out the latest version of their Panda Algorithm over the coming days.
Now, anyone who’s been keeping an eye out for this kind of thing will be aware that Google had previously announced that we would no longer be updated when they tweaked the Panda algorithm, purely because they would be doing it so frequently (many suspect weekly). So what does this mean? It means Panda 4.0 is a big one.
For Google to bother announcing it, they must’ve known that it would cause very noticeable, obvious disturbances in the SERPS – and that they may as well let us know first, rather than just be subject to a torrent of questions as a result of the effects (which was always going to be an inevitability!).
Moz.com confirmed this disturbance, as their ‘mozcast‘ (like a weather forecast which monitors the movements in ranking positions!) recorded the highest levels of movement (turbulence) of the year so far! Unlike Mr Cutts announcement however, the algorithm shift was recorded not on Tuesday, but instead, on Monday. But better late than never Matt!
So what does this mean, who, how and what has been effected?
As we know, Panda – as an algorithm – was originally tasked to prevent website with poor quality content ranking well. So, knowing that, we should be seeing signs along a similar path…
One of the first and largest casualties of this update so far is the auction giant; eBay. It is not clear why, but average rankings from their SERPs have fallen , along with overall presence falling from the 6th best online presence of any company in the US, to a worrying 25th. The ‘why’ for this is not conclusive, but educated guesses are being made with reasons ranging from the site structure (use of sub-domains), to duplicate content and low content pages, all of which being no more than calculated guesses… In truth, only time will tell as the experts begin to gather more data and watch as other sites follow suit – at present, there’s just not enough data to draw upon.
But remember, where there’s losers, there will be winners – so watch this space, and keep plodding away with your best practice techniques! Good luck!