Google Panda 4.0 launched. MAY-2014

Algorithm updates are sure to give web-masters a headache as they scramble to survey the damage (if any) and initiate damage control countermeasures. Algorithm updates almost always mean a shift in search engine rankings. According to Search Engine Land, Google’s Panda algorithm is designed to prevent sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results.

Therefore, if you’ve taken our repeated advice to keep your content high quality, fresh and engaging, you’re likely to see SERP improvements as the full impact of 4.0 is felt over the next few days. This is not to say that a negative impact hasn’t been felt. We’ll get to that in just a minute.

Pay-day Loan 2.0 – Cracking Down On Spammy Queries

Speculation regarding an update to the Pay-day Loan algorithm has been circulating for a while. Search Engine Land reports that the original roll-out of the algorithm specifically targeted “very spammy queries.” An update was confirmed over the weekend. We documented the introduction of this algorithm last year in our “Time-line History of Web Copy-writing” info-graphic. According to Search Engine Land’s article, “Google told us this specific update is an international roll-out and it affects different languages to different degrees, but this impacts English queries by about 0.2% to a noticeable degree.” In essence, the upgrade to Pay-day Loan is cracking down even harder on spammy queries as Google flexes its muscles and continues to weed out quality from spam. eBay Experiences an Update Shock-wave. Moz documented a noticeable change in eBay’s SERP ranking as they dropped from #6 to #25 between May 19th and 20th – even before Matt Cutts announced the Panda update. At this point, the reason behind the drop is left to speculation (Moz’s report offers some viable probabilities). One thing is certain: for whatever reason, eBay has experienced some negative impact from the 4.0 implementation, specifically to their category page rankings.

What It All Mean?

It’s too soon to tell. Currently, there is a great deal of speculation surrounding these updates and their overall impact. If you’ve been around for previous algorithm releases or updates, then you know it’s time to batten down your hatches, weather the release storm and assess the damage as it appears. Search Engine Watch is even venturing the prediction that we are likely to see a Google Penguin update in the near future as Penguin 2.0 launched one year ago this week. Seeing how Google has released the Panda 4.0 and Pay-day Loans updates so close together, this speculation does not strike us as far-fetched. The good news is that for those who have focused on high quality, well written content while keeping their audience firmly in focus, not much appears to have changed. And with Google focusing so heavily on quality content as a rank increaser, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any-time soon. If you’ve invested in high quality content, keep up the good work, you’re on the right track. If not, it’s time to dig into just what awesome, quality copy is and how to attain it.

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