Confirmed Google Panda 4.0 algorithm update being rolled out

Finally… Google supports what we’ve been saying all along!

Kung Fu PandaGoogle’s Head of Web Spam Matt Cutts last night confirmed on Twitter that they have started rolling out their long anticipated Panda 4.0 algorithm update.

After weeks and weeks of major flux on the SERPs, all confirmed on sites such as MozCast,  Serps.com, SerpMetrics and Algoroo (all showing huge increased flux ranges); it appears that the mass of activity was all pre-testing updates prior to the big roll out. Considering the sheer amount of reports and chatter online within the SEO community seen these past few weeks; it is safe to assume that this latest cute and furry algo update is a biggie.

However, don’t be fooled by the name into thinking this algo update is all good news. This latest update will reportedly affect around ~7.5% of search queries, which is a huge amount when you consider the sheer scale and size of the internet these days. That is literally millions of sites that could see ranking changes. Some could rise, some could remain as they were and some could drop like a stone!

It’s far too early to make any assessments on the resulting changes as a major algo update such as this does take several days to complete and bed in, but from our initial investigations, we’re pleased to see that our clients sites have hardly been affected. At Rocket SEO, our mantra has always been about advising clients to build and maintain quality on-site content. And considering Panda is aimed at rewarding or penalising sites with poor or manipulative content, we feel this approach is still the best way forward.

So what exactly is Google’s Panda algorithm?

For those not in the know, here’s a rough overview of what Panda is aimed at achieving…

In short, Google’s Panda algorithm is designed to prevent sites with poor quality content from manipulating their way onto Google’s top search results pages. Over the years, numerous webmasters devised cheats and techniques to get themselves ranked higher using lots of spammy coding practices.

Okay so this worked for a period, but Google got wind of it very quickly and dealt with it firmly. Gateway pages, tons of invisible keyword text, spammy meta tags and links are just a few ways that used to work but will now simply push your sites down the ranks. Google has seen it all and dealt with it.

Quality is now the only way to get ahead and rightly so. Google’s sole aim is to ensure that searchers get the best experience possible. There’s no benefit in searching for something and to find the top result is a site full of garbage and has nothing to offer you on the subject you searched for.

Write your content for humans, not search engines!

Hey, here’s a crazy idea – why not ensure your site is actually useful to those who read it! This may seem like stating the obvious but so many webmasters and site owners only think about search engines and write their content in a way that repeats and repeats the same “key words” over and over, believing this will get them ranked higher.

Google’s artificial intelligence is getting smarter. If the keyword balance of your content is so heavily weighed in favour of one or two glaringly obvious keywords then guess what… Panda’s gonna hit you with a kung fu kick!

So here’s our advice (and there’s nothing better than free advice right?). Write your content for your audience. Make it informative, make it useful and above all… make it original!

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