Have your Bamboo ready: Panda 4 is out
So according to Mr Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google - Panda 4 is under way as of yesterday's tweet here. Generally when these sorts of Algo roll outs have occurred in recent years, particularly since the the penguin release, it sends the SEO industry into a frenzy. Some are happy, some are mad - but most are left scratching their heads trying to figure out 1, if their site's ranking has been affected and 2, what they need to do about it. Ultimately the end game is this - if you have good quality content; you "shouldn't" have been hit.
It’s interesting to note however that a lot talk since the update a few days ago has been about previously affected sites and the results these particular sites have seen. Panda & penguin affected sites that where originally penalised, have since corrected their ways and have seen an increase in rank since the Panda 4 roll out.
The following article written by Jennifer Slegg from Search Engine Watch seems to indicate that based on Moz and other sources, there were significant changes in the SERP indexes in the past few days. Of particular interest was the "Big 10", which is a term given to the top 10 domains ranked in google. It was noted that Ebay in fact slipped out of this. Moz cast, an interesting site provided by the moz crew, offers insight into the holistic metrics of google. Based on the turbulence in the SERP indexes, Mozcast cleverly represents this in the form of a weather forecast; a Stormy day equalling significant movement in SERP rank and sunny meaning little movement. The below diagram illustrates the big 10 for today. You will notice Yelp has now slipped in there.
So what does this mean for your site's SEO?
It’s hard to tell just yet. As the days progress and the SERP indexes flatten out a little we’ll be able retrospectively determine what some of the contributing factors are. Initially though, it does seem to indicate that content is the big thing here. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, heavy use of targeted keyword links in content – will hurt you. Along with this, over optimised content that is perceived by google as spam content be hit by this algo update as well. When thinking SEO ensure it's ‘white hat’, ensure your content is quality and not over optimised and finally ensure your link strategy involves quality authority driven sites.