Google rolls out “Panda 4.1”

Google has confirmed that the latest update to its Panda algorithm has been released – the search engine’s 27th Panda update.

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The update, dubbed ‘Panda 4.1’, is designed to penalise “thin” or poor content, according to a statement on Google+ from Pierre Far, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, with 3%-5% of search queries likely to be affected.

The update, according to Google, has been developed based on user and webmaster feedback to make it difficult for sites to rank with poor quality or sparse levels of content. According to Far, this involves adding additional ranking signals to “help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely” and will see a “greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher”.

How will this affect me?

It is unclear whether these new signals are quantitative signals, looking at factors such as content depth and site structure, or qualitative signals, which consider user behaviour, engagement and social signals. It’s likely that the update features elements of both.

It is expected that the losers from this update will once again be aggregators; with a number of high profile sites being hit hard by previous Panda updates. These are sites that collate content and present it in a way that, whilst easy to consume, contains very little in the way of unique content and offers very little information or opinion to the respective topic of search.

We will continue to monitor the impact of ‘Panda 4.1’ and highlight any big trends as they emerge.

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