Today on Google Plus, Google’s Pierre Far announced that a Panda algorithm update has been rolling out since early this week, and that Google expects to have the update completely in place sometime next week. I, and many others, are already calling it Panda 4.1, since it makes sense to call it that, as it is the first minor rollout since Panda 4.0.
The posts states that based on user and webmaster feedback, they’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low quality content more precisely.
How to tell if you have been hit by Panda 4.1
There will be no warning in your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard, as this is an algorithm change, not a manual action. Affected websites will see a decline in traffic (or if you were previously affected by Panda and you’ve cleaned up your act, you may see an increase in traffic). With sites we manage we usually expect either no changes or mild traffic increases as similar sites with low quality content get penalized.
What is low quality content?
Any content that offers little or no value can be considered low quality content. A wide variety of content fits this bill. Examples include everything from “reblogged” content, duplicate content, pages containing very little text, aggregated content, etc. I recently bumped into a whole bunch of real estate sites that were all literally identical and publishing the exact same blog posts, and those are also examples of useless content that doesn’t provide anything unique that I really don’t want in my search results. I’ll elaborate on this more in the future.
Worried about future penalties?
If your SEO company has been telling you that you should be nervous about upcoming algorithms or you are significantly affected negatively by a penalty or algorithm change, run! Feel free to reach out to us, we can either help you, offer consulting, or point you towards someone who can assist you in your future efforts. Good content is unique and ranks in search, great content is linkworthy, and awesome content gets linked to by Wikipedia, educational institutions, and government websites, or at least engages or makes the phone ring.