Sorry film fans, Panda 4.1 is not, as it may first appear, the latest in Dreamworks’ wildly popular Kung-Fu Panda series – but it is a sequel, of sorts.
This iteration of Panda, dubbed 4.1, is designed to prevent bad content from ranking as well as good content. Google refers to the bad content as “thin”, although quite what that means is unclear..
The world’s most terrifyingly powerful company announced via its almost-defunct social network that a “slow rollout” began at the end of September, continuing into the first week of October. The search giant estimates between 3% and 5% of search queries will be affected.
Who is this helping?
Google says the update will allow more high-quality small and medium-sized sites to rank better.
It’s also a shot at redemption for those sites that got hit in the last update. If they’ve started playing Google-ball (made changes to their site) then they may well reappear in search results.
Well the early indications are that lyrics and games aggregation sites are the worst-hit, although we’ve also noticed a certain premium British rainwear brand seemingly vanish from the SERPs overnight. Observe.
Of course we can only speculate that this mysterious absence is due to the recent update and not some cunning plan on the part of Mackintosh itself. Similarly, we’re only speculating on what’s going on at Google, as the company is playing its cards typically close to its chest.
Colleagues across town have also felt the wrath of Google’s mighty fist. One site manager told us his ecommerce platform had seen a big drop in traffic from search too – a sure sign Google has penalised you.
How do I avoid this terrible fate?
Simple, you need great content that doesn’t imitate, plagiarise or pastiche other people’s. If you’re worried you might be in the firing line then drop us a line. We can help you craft a content strategy that will see your search ranking (and your brand equity) soar.