The 12 faces of Google Panda 4 – Is this what the bear looks like?


After a couple of weeks’ worth of head-scratching over Google’s latest generation Panda update, the situation is becoming clearer.

Less speculation, more observation: here’s a quick run-down of some of the real-life implications of the Big G’s best practice-led blockbuster, gleaned from a bunch of blogs, articles and forums all over the lovely interweb.   

What does Google Panda 4 really mean?

  1. Some sites have made dramatic recoveries from previous Panda related-ranking hits.Others have lost as much as 70% of their organic search traffic.
  2. The Google Panda 4 roll out seems to have kicked in around 17th May. The most volatility was recorded between the 24th – 28th of May.
  3. Although Panda updates can take up to about 10 days to roll out, Matt Cutts acknowledged that this one rolled out faster than usual.
  4. Some sites which have suffered badly seem to include a lot of syndicated content. Suffering sites  using syndicated content haven’t brought the cross domain canonical tag into play to show the original source of the content.
  5. According to some reports, removing questionable content from Google’s index and significantly reducing the number of indexed URLs can be beneficial post-Panda 4.
  6. Some sites including content copied wholesale from other sites have suffered.
  7. Sites with poor engagement have also been adversely affected.
  8. Some sites with only few pages, which were ranking for a broad range of keywords, have been hit, even though the content was good.
  9. Sites with plenty of user interaction, revealed by the number of  shares and comments they’ve attracted, have come out better post-Panda 4.
  10. Sites presenting thin or automated content have suffered.
  11. Sites with clear navigation and unique content did well.
  12. Simply re-writing non-unique content to make it unique might not be enough. But it might help to regularly update facts, figures, statistics and other time-sensitive information.

I completely forgot to note down the sources of this lot. Duh, sorry… I’m really busy writing copy at the moment and took my eye off the ball. But I hope it proves useful anyway. If you have any extra insights, leave a comment.

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