Google launches the Panda 4.0 algorithm

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Have you recently noticed a sudden drop in organic search traffic from Google?
Well this means that your website has been affected by Google’s Panda 4.0 update.

Yesterday, Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Webspam, announced the release of the Panda 4.0 update via his Twitter feed.  In line with Google’s intention to point readers to the highest quality webpages possible, the new Panda algorithm is aimed at boosting great-quality content sites while pushing down low-quality content sites.  From now how, thin content without much substance, duplicate content and spammy content will consequently be filtered out from Google search results.

This fourth generation of Panda started rolling out yesterday and Searchengineland.com can already predict that it will impact 7.5% of (english) search queries considering the storm it has caused over the past days in the SEO world. Other languages will be affected as well, but in differing proportions.

To give you an idea of the content that Google is now essentially hiding from users, here is what Eric Enge, CEO at Stone Temple Consulting told Search Engine Journal about the simple act of searching for a recipe for French toast:

“There are over 31,000 results! There is no need for more than or 5 articles on how to make French toast – it’s really easy. You can’t win by writing a new article on something that has already been covered many times before. So, the question you have to ask yourself today is – what are you going to do that stands out? What are you going to do that’s exceptional? Learning how to answer this question well may take practice.”

Publishers of original, interesting and useful content have nothing to fear. However it is essential to have a complete audit of all past content in order to determine if any historical content has now become a liability.