Google recently announced a refresh to its Panda algorithm update, Panda 4.0. As with every Google update, there’s a great deal of confusion around.
In this post, we’ll explore the update in more detail, how to check if you have been affected, and what to do next.
What is Panda 4.0?
First, we need to look at the algorithm itself. For those who are unfamiliar with it, the Panda update was designed to prevent low quality pages from appearing in its search results. Low quality means content that is:
- Not unique or original.
- Delivers little or no value to visitors.
- Has been created solely for the purposes of driving search traffic.
Who has been affected?
According to Google, 7.5% of all English language queries will be impacted by this update.
It has been widely reported that one of the sectors that Google targeted with this update was the notoriously spammy Payday loans sector. Perhaps more surprisingly, a high profile casualty was retail giant eBay, which saw widespread loss of search visibility on its many ‘doorway pages’.
How can I check if I’ve been affected?
If any of the above resonates with you – the first step would is to check your Google Webmaster Tools account. A warning in the ‘Manual Actions’ section, or a sharp drop in traffic over the past few weeks could be an indication that you have been affected by this update.
What you need to do…
Whether you have been directly affected by this update or not, it’s advisable to carry out an audit of your content. Use Screaming Frog to generate a list of all pages on your site then check each page for unique or original content. Pages which you suspect may be lacking should either be updated or removed.