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Panda 4.0 Update Released; eBay Likely Among Sites Affected

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Spam Team, announced via Twitter the release of Panda 4.0 update to the algorithm. Panda is an algorithmic update concerned with quality of content, namely duplicate content and overuse of tags and keywords (known as ‘keyword stuffing’). Several months ago, Google announced that Panda would run for a number of random days every month, no longer being activated once every few months. This schedule is not slated to change; the recent update is one that concerns the Panda algorithm itself, which has become more sophisticated and thus affected sites that weren’t affected in the past.  Due to the relatively frequent activation of this algorithm (monthly), sites affected can expect some degree of rehabilitation once the content issues are tended to. matt cutts panda 4 According to Google, Panda 4.0 affects different language sites to different degrees. English sites, for instance, were affected in relation to 7.5% of search query – an impressive percentage which should definitely be noticeable to Google users.   Panda Victims and Victors – is eBay Among Victims? According to a report published on searchmetrics, a number of larger sites appear on the list of those affected negatively by Panda, including eBay and Ask.com. The following graph depicts the damage to eBay.co.uk’s organic traffic. search metrics panda 4 Among the victors, or those affected positively by the update, are large sites like WordPress and Buzzfeed, as well as famed recipe website myrecipes.com. As Google’s algorithm gets more and more sophisticated, SEO becomes a more difficult, multi-faceted process. We often hear of websites penalized and suffering damages both in terms of finances and in terms of reputation, as a result of unprofessional SEO strategies. We assume many websites were affected negatively by the last update, but there is a silver lining: unlike the Penguin update which concerns links and can only be removed after a thorough, time consuming link-removal process and a painstaking wait for a semi-annual update that cannot be foreseen, Panda updates are held during random days every month. This means that site owners can address content issues on their site promptly and effectively, and therefore see their rankings rehabilitated in a relatively short time. [Read the original article on Search Engine Land]

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