Panda 4.0 – SME Saviour?
Panda 4.0, four point zero, has been put into motion as announced by Matt Cutts this week on his twitter feed. There is nothing strange about that as Panda is updated on a monthly basis, however what is rare is that he actually thought it worthwhile to mention, considering they stopped giving the SEO circles updates on the various 25 changes to Panda since its inception in March 2013.
So what’s the fuss?
Well there isn’t really a fuss just yet but more of a panic as SEO professionals and businesses wait with baited breath to see how their pages are viewed/dismissed/promoted. What is becoming clear however in the initial stages is that the use of ‘thin’ pages with poor content on them or ‘door way’ pages are continually in the Google Panda scopes. The biggest brand name up to now that will feel the update is Ebay as their ‘strategy’ seems to be built around the techniques that Google is heavily trying to eradicate. It appears that since Panda rolled out Ebay has lost roughly 60% of its natural traffic.
Who will this update help?
The whispers in the corridors are that the latest update will help the smaller companies who are trying to get brand presence however they can’t compete with the major players usually due to the financial burden of employing SEO professionals. Actually it’s not so much of a ‘whisper’ as Matt Cutts mentioned this in March 2014 at the Marketing Expo and it would appear that small businesses will show better in local results. Google were heavily criticised in the early days of Panda as it was these small companies that were heavily penalised by the various updates.
How long will it take to know who has been affected?
It’s too early to tell just yet due to the lack of time since the variation, however the big brands as well as smaller companies are collating the data as we speak. What is causing some panic is that Google have released two updates in such a short period of time and that such back to back activity could have massive implications on some key sites out there especially those sites that have used low quality content.
I’ve been recruiting extensively for Bolton based SEO agency Bring Digital (www.bringdigital.co.uk) recently and the firm headed up by ex AO.com search expert David Ingram have experienced what he described as a “surge of concerned calls and new accounts from businesses whose sites have fallen down the rankings and want advice on best practise to put them back on track”
And if that’s not enough to make agency side SEO teams rub their hands together, we have the Penguin 2.0 update to look forward to……it could be hiding just around the corner.