Google Panda 4.0 algorithm updateLast week Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed the roll out of Panda 4.0 and Payday Loans 2.0, which has definitely caused some waves in the search results across the world. News about many companies (especially ebay) getting hit by this update is all over the web.

What is Panda 4.0?

Panda is Google’s name for updates to its search algorithm meant to improve the quality of search results by increasing rankings for sites with quality content while penalizing sites with thin, low-quality content or duplicate pages meant to boost results. It has been stated that this update affects different languages to different extents, however in English, the affect is around 7.5% of queries.

There’s already been accounts of sites previously hit by Panda seeing significant recoveries and, as such, it looks that the update has indeed been a little softer and more generous to sites, especially those previously affected.

What is Payday Loans 2.0?

Google first launched their Payday Loan Algorithm last June and it’s been expected that a second update would follow for some time. This update is intended to specifically target ‘very spammy queries’ which typically get associated with excessive web spam, primarily payday loans, insurance, accident claims and the like.

Google’s Intent

The intent of Google behind all such updates is always the same i.e. it attempts to discriminate against spam web pages that publish duplicate, thin or useless content simply for the purpose of getting search traffic from Google. Google has always said that the no.1 goal of its search engine is to point readers to the highest quality web pages possible, and to bury results for low quality sites.

Overall Analysis

With the payday loans refresh impacting extremely spammy queries and Panda targeting low-quality content, some webmasters could potentially get hit with both of these or by just one or the other. However, the fact that Panda 4.0 is also hitting at the same time as a refresh of an algorithm targeting spammy queries like payday loans makes it a little bit more difficult for webmasters to sort through the damage.

But, one important point to be noted here is, that, there may not always be a damage. Search Engine works like stock markets and if one website is losing a rank then some other must be gaining from it. So, if done properly, all these updates can actually benefit a company’s website as well.

Next Steps for SEO

Google will continue to update their algorithm in future as well and a lot of uncertainty is always there when it comes to SEO and algorithm’s update. Following strategy will always help you to ensure your success in SEO.

Think Different, Write Original and Interesting Content

When you search for something, say recipe for omelet, you get thousands of results, but, there is no need for more than 5 articles on how to make an omelet – it’s really easy. So, you can’t win by writing a new article on something that has already been covered many times before. So, the questions you have to ask yourself are:

  • What are you going to do that stands out?
  • What are you going to do that’s exceptional?

Learning how to answer this question well may take practice, but, having an answer to this question will really help you a lot.

Long story short, publishers of original and interesting content have nothing to fear. No algorithm update can penalize or damage their search engine rankings.