Home Blog Panda 4.0 Swipes at Automated and Thin Website Content

Panda 4.0 Swipes at Automated and Thin Website Content

The biggest SEO stories coming out of May were Google’s release of Panda 4.0 – which aims to filter sites with minimal content from the top of the SERPS, and the update to the Payday Loan Algorithm.

Google has been regularly refreshing their Panda algorithm on a monthly basis, so specifics of the tweaks are hard to predict. It’s therefore possible to assume that the notification from Google’s Matt Cutts about Panda 4.0 indicates a completely new algorithm as opposed to a simple refresh.

There has been much speculation in SEO circles regarding the biggest winners and losers of the recent update, this includes conflicting reports about whether or not eBay manually penalised or pummelled by Panda 4.0?

Now that the dust has somewhat settled, it appears that topical authority sites that have a strong base of content have fared the best in terms of rankings. Their visibility in the search results compared to sites that only haphazardly report on a topic has increased. This appears to be the case even if the thin reporting sites have solid general authority. What can we learn from this? Well, if you’re looking to turn your site into an authority on a topic, multiple articles covering the same or similar topics increases the chances of the site being treated as such.

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Further cementing Panda’s position that quality content will be rewarded is the upwards trend for sites with significant user interaction. Although not as noticeable as the previously mentioned reshuffle, research indicates an improvement for sites that have an active fan base. So when you’re developing content for your readership, don’t forget to work in some ways to encourage people to contribute their thoughts and opinions. Can you think of anything that hasn’t been done before? Be sure to leave us a comment below!

Some other sites that were among the hardest hit by the angry panda were those that feature automatically generated content. Site aggregators and comparison sites that are filled with automatically generated content scraped from different sources around the web were the target. RetailMeNot (A site invested in by Google oddly enough) were reported by Searchmetrics to have seen a 33% loss in organic search visibility, although the company’s press release was quick to quell these rumours stating that “It is too early to judge any potential impact of the latest algorithm change.”

Key Takeaways

Since Panda’s inception back in 2011 there has been the common indication that a couple of awful articles or a minor amount of duplicate content can greatly affect the overall success of an otherwise genuine site. So looking forward, it is important to make sure your website is portraying the best possible image it can, to the Google spider. If a page is not adding any value to the web, it’s not adding any value to your site and it might be time to no-index that page or rewrite the content!

  • Jump into Webmaster Tools and take a look at how many pages of your site are indexed and of those how many are going to increase the user experience. No value? No-index!
  • Examine your site structure – Is your content linked correctly?
  • Are you building links? Don’t just publish content on any old site. Aim to get published on sites that are relative to your niche and have a high editorial standard to ensure your hard work still offers value in the future.

If you think your site has been affected by the latest update or if all this talk of algorithms and pandas has you utterly confused, get in touch with us and see how BrisDigital’s digital marketing and SEO services can help panda-proof your website and secure you the traffic your business needs to succeed online.

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