Extra, extra! Read all about it! Panda update 2014 is here! That’s right, folks—Google has officially updated its Panda algorithm. For about a year now Google hasn’t been announcing their Panda updates because the changes have been relatively minor and the updates are performed monthly. So for Matt Cutts (head of Google’s web spam team) to decide that this update was worthy of an announcement and a new name (Panda 4.0) . . . you know this panda is a big shot. The Panda update 2014 will thwart the efforts of websites that have poor quality content, preventing them from ranking at the top of Google’s search results. So what’s this new panda bringing to the SEO game? Scroll down to find out.
Panda Update 2014
SHOULD I TAKE NOTICE OF THIS UPDATE?
Yes, definitely. This was a major update to the Panda algorithm. As we mentioned above, Google previously said that they would not announce their rolling, monthly updates because they were too subtle to be worthy of the attention. The fact that they mentioned the Panda update 2014 is a big deal. Sit up and take notice because (according to Matt Cutts) the update will notably impact about 7.5% of English search queries.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS PANDA UPDATE?
The stated purpose of this update is to filter out spammy pages with low-quality content, and it seems to have both updated the algorithm and refreshed data. Although Google has updated Panda (which was introduced in 2011) over 25 times, this update is far more noteworthy than their usual monthly upgrades. Some suspect that Panda 4.0 will be gentler and that we can expect it to benefit small businesses (Cutts mentioned that this was a goal for Google at the Search Marketing Expo in March 2014). It’s too soon to tell if this suspicion is a reality. Ultimately though, websites with quality content can sit comfortably through this update, but those with spammy links and poor content might be stressing out due to the blows inflicted by this most recent Panda update.
WERE ANY MAJOR WEBSITES AFFECTED?
Yes! In fact, the Panda update 2014 crushed eBay. The well-known, online auction website watched many of its top 10 rankings fall after the implementation of Panda 4.0, and they’ve lost a lot of their organic search traffic as well. Why? Well, about a year ago, eBay stopped using Google AdWords and instead decided to concentrate on organic SEO. That in itself was not a major misstep, but they certainly failed in their choice of SEO techniques: doorway pages, thin content, incredibly long-tail keywords placed in footers (with links that point toward internal pages) . . . Bad idea.
According to Moz, eBay lost about 75% of their terms from page one and they’ve dropped out of Moz’s Top 10 (domains with the most web real estate). Although we can’t say for certain why eBay was penalized, their poor choices in SEO strategy seem to be the obvious answer.
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Was your website negatively affected by the Panda update 2014? As always, we recommend that you focus on high-quality content and avoid spammy links and thin content if you want your domain to stand strong through future algorithmic updates.
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