Panda 4.1: A Push for Original Content

Sophie Hardbattle By Sophie Hardbattle

What is Panda 4.1?

To make sure Google can find exactly what its user wants, it uses algorithms. Algorithms are the computer processes and formulas that take your questions and turn them into answers- Google. Panda 4.1 is Google’s newest algorithm that searches through your domain for ‘clues’, which indicates its authority (i.e. domain authority) and if it is what the user is searching for.

Why is Domain Authority Important?

Domain authority is a premiss developed by Moz, which represents how the domain ranks against similar sites. To put it simply; having good domain authority correlates to ranking highly in Google searches. Moz looks at 40 different signals within the domain, to calculate the authority and how influential the site is. Therefore, determining how well the site ranks.

What Has Changed?

Towards the end of September Google started implementing their updated algorithm and since then it has affected 3-5% of search queries worldwide.

From what we can tell, Google’s aims are to target:

-Sites that have ‘thin content’, i.e. lacking in content.

-A large volume of duplicate content.

-Spun content (which is machine generated).

Google have said that they would ‘no longer be announcing Panda iterations’, as it would be part of the regular indexing process. They also ensure a ‘softer’ Panda, which will help small websites and businesses rank better in Google search results.

Sites That Have Suffered

The type of sites that have suffered from the update are those that aggregate and share articles or information, i.e. song lyric sharing sites.

SearchMetrics have posted a long list of Panda 4.1 ’losers’ and how their search results changed: Panda 4.1 Losers

Sites That Have Prospered

The main benefit comes to those who work hard on having unique and helpful content, i.e. those who have blogs that are written by professionals in the field.

SearchMetrics also released a list of the ‘winners’:

Panda 4.1 Winners

What You Should Be Doing Now

If you haven’t noticed a change in your organic search footprint, or domain authority, then I wouldn’t worry; it looks like your content is tip top in Google’s eyes!

If you have noticed a difference then there’s a few things you can do to try and resolve the issues.

For those who have been affected, Google suggest to ‘increase the quality of your website to improve user experience’. How do you do this? The main thing is to make sure that whatever you write about; you write about it in detail. Use specialised terms and words (without stuffing them in everywhere). Go through your old blogposts and make sure everything is relevant and correct. You need to think about what the person who is reading your content is wanting from it. The Panda algorithm also uses Google Analytics to determine whether people are engaging with your content. How long they are on the page for and what they do after they have read the content may be as important as the amount of traffic entering your site. To decrease bounce rates, for example, you could cross-link relevant blogposts to one another.

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