Matt Cutts confirmed on Twitter, shortly after midnight (UK time) on 21 May 2014, that Google has started the roll-out of Panda 4.0.
The Panda algorithm is designed to prevent sites with poor quality content from manipulating their way into prominent search positions and instead, reward those sites that provide enriching and original content for their users.
The update has led to significantly increased volatility in the search engine results, indicating that this is a major update to the algorithm, rather than merely a rolling update.
The roll-out of the update is still ongoing and although it is too early to state which brands are the biggest losers of this update, and to what degree, SearchEngineLand reports that the update affects around 7.5% of English language search queries. A full picture will emerge when all of the major data centres are fully up to date.
The update comes just days after an update to the Payday loan algorithm, which launched over the weekend.
The payday loan algorithm, which Google claims is targeted at “very spammy queries”, was first rolled out in June last year with the intention of targeting notoriously spammy SEO activity in particular industries.
Initial data from our search data suite reveals some movement, with Peachy.co.uk and fresh-club.co.uk the notable fallers. Highly respected publishers such as The Guardian and The Money Advice Service have seen notable gains.