Google Rolls Out Panda 4.0

What to Know About the Current Update and How to Keep Your Website from Being Affected

As you might have already read, Google rolled out two algorithmic updates covering content healthiness and backlink profiles. These algorithms are called Panda 4.0 and Payday Loans Algorithm 2.0. The latter has been said to be affecting only .3% of searches and websites. Panda 4.0 however is a different one as many regard this update to be unexpected due to some speculations that the next update will be embedded to the search algorithm rather than stay independent. However, during the SMX West, Matt Cutts announced that this next update will “soften” the algorithm and will eventually help small businesses. Panda was finally announced by Cutts over his twitter account on May 20, 2014.

So, what do we really know about Panda 4.0 and what does it really target?

Panda algorithm was designed to target content farms and scrapers sites. Basically, what is does is eliminate, penalises, or discredit a site that contains low quality, scraped, & duplicated contents. The first roll out of this algorithm, the first sites that were heavily affected were articles submission sites, press release sites, and content aggregator sites. Over the past 2 years, there had already been more than 26 updates and had impacted 12% of all searches and many low quality content farming sites and sites that are linked to these. Below are just of the pointers on how to detect a low quality content:

                  1. Scraped content also known as syndicated content

                  2. Auto generated content using spinners

                  3. Contents that are plagiarized

                  4. Less substance content

                  5. Spammy content

                  6. Too much advertisement on page

                  7. Overly optimised content or keyword stuffed

Panda 4.0 is expected to be still enforcing critical filtration on content but because this is just an update, it’s possible that the effect would be more subtle and would target more on quality, engagement, and advertisements.


Source: MozCast –


What can we do then to avoid being hit by Panda 4.0?

1. Create fresh content that is absolutely high-quality and geared toward real readers rather than just to gain search engine notice.

2. Make sure that the content you create is engaging, informative, and unique.

3. Consider using correct grammar and composition and avoiding plagiarism.

4. Avoid duplicates of content. Make sure that your meta tags do not contain exactly similar texts and also your page content. In case of duplicates, better use canonicalization or you may completely remove the duplicate page and save the links to the old URL by implementing a 404 redirect.

5. Avoid having too much ads being served on a single page. 1 to 2 ads should be enough.

6. Make sure that your page does not contain too much of internal links that is irrelevant to the page’s content.

7. Make sure that you have not submitted to content farms or spammy sites contents that are link to your site. In case you did, you can opt to manually remove them or edit the link. For a last resort, you can disavow links that you think are bad and can greatly harm your site.

How would I know my site was hit? In case my site was hit, what should I do to resolve the issue?

For the next few weeks, Google will be dancing and changing results. Monitor how your search keywords are faring so far with your target index. You may also monitor the traffic of your site through Google Analytics.

To rebound back after a Panda 4.0 hit, you may want to consider the following suggestions:

  • Check where your backlinks are coming from

  • If you believe that your links are from content farms and low quality sites, you may get rid of them by removing or alter the links manually by going to the website and asking the webmaster to remove the link or content. If you believe this to be a herculean task, our SEO team would always be ready to help you out;  just give us a call.

  • Investigate your on-page contents. Make sure you don’t have too much advertisement, keyword stuffed articles, advertorial links, and you are not doing over optimisation.

  • Start creating quality and engaging content that’s written with your target audience in mind. In any instance you get stuck on this, you can contact us and try our Copy Writing Service.

When everything comes to worst, making sure that you have corrected your pages’ contents, got rid of the bad links by disavowing them and submitting a reconsideration form to Google will not hurt you a pinch.

For more information regarding this update, feel free to contact our SEO Team or alternatively review and implement the recommendations we have included in your initial technical review.

In the event you have stories to share about Panda 4.0, hit the comment box below and let’s share some views!