Google Panda 4.2 update and what it means for you

Posted on July 27, 2015

 

Something most business owners won’t be aware of and website owners will have hardly noticed, but SEOs will be flapping about all over the place because of, is the latest round of updates from Google HQ to its Panda algorithm – which is happening right now.

Panda, as you may or may not know, is the deceptively cute and fluffy name given to one of Google’s most devastating algorithm updates of all time. It concerns content, or the lack thereof, on websites, particularly targeting thin, low quality content. It’s one of Google’s many updates designed at making its search results better for users. You know, the people actually searching for stuff.

Should you be worried? Well, if your website is brimming with excellent, engaging, well-written and original content, then no – this update shouldn’t concern you at all. If, however, your website is full of auto generated garbage, or churned out web copy that exists purely for the purpose of increasing your website’s rankings for particular keywords, then yes, perhaps you should be concerned.

What is interesting about this update, compared with previous ones, is the length of time over which it’s expected to reach fruition. Google claims the update could take months to fully roll out, meaning its effects could be felt months from today. Indeed, as we write this, most website owners and SEOs around the internet are saying they haven’t noticed any changes to rankings at all. This could, of course, be because the sites they’re looking at haven’t been affected by the update, but history tells us that this is unlikely. It’s more likely that, as Google says, the update will take longer to impact upon on search results.

Whether or not this update has affected you, it’s worth pointing out that an update to Panda isn’t necessarily a bad thing that will have dire repercussions for your website. In fact, if you’ve been the victim of a Panda update in the past, it could be quite the opposite this time. You see, Panda updates every so often (it’s almost 10 months since the last one) and the effects of the update will last until the next one, whether they’re good or bad. Therefore, if you’ve been negatively affected during a Panda update, any work you do to clean up your website will have no impact until the next update – which has just happened.

What this also means, however, is that if you’ve been the victim of Google’s Panda update in the past and you haven’t taken steps to clean up your content, you’ve just missed your window to put things right. You need to get your content in order now, not tomorrow, next week or next month. Get it done so it’s ready for Google’s next update, which may or not be as long as another 10 months.

Remember, if your website is being updated regularly with good quality content then none of this should even be on your radar. Sit back, relax and be assured you’re doing exactly what Google wants you to be doing. It’s in both your interests after all. Good quality content engages your website’s visitors and keeps them coming back (good for you) and ensures people who find your website on Google are happy with what they find, and don’t feel the need to use another search engine instead (good for Google).

Do the right thing by you, your website’s visitors and by Google – keep that quality content coming.

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 20 years’ experience in these fields.

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