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How rankings are affected by Panda 4.0

By Jo Savill


Is your site safe from Google algorithm changes? Or will you fall to the dreaded page 2 when the next update drops?

If you try to give your site a boost using sketchy SEO techniques, often called black hat, you’re bound to end up on Google’s naughty list. Sure, you can come back from fallen rankings, but it takes a lot of time and energy. You’re far better off using legitimate techniques from the get-go.


Panda update from google


Many website owners noticed a change in their organic search engine traffic on May 20th, 2014, when Google updated their search algorithm with Panda 4.0. The changes were confirmed by Matt Cutts, the head of the Web Spam team at Google with this tweet:



Imagine thousands of SEO and online marketing managers across the globe watching and waiting to see if their sites would improve or decline in SERP rankings according to the Google algorithm update, when this second tweet came through:



As Dr. Peter J. Meyers , Marketing Scientists at Moz observed, “Google’s numbering scheme suggests that Panda 4.0 is a major update, which probably means that it is both an algorithmic update and a data refresh,” so SEO managers have a reason to be watchful. So do you need to worry about your organic search traffic taking a hit?

You don’t need to worry if:

  • You have a genuine website where links have grown through content marketing – writing and sharing quality content.

You do need to worry if:

  • You have been involved in any black hat SEO tactics in the past, such as paying for backlinks from all over the world.

  • Your website has content on payday loans, which was hit by its own special Google algorithm, "Payday Loan 2.0."

One of the big sites to be hit is eBay, which has dropped in its position on Google search substantially. It does make you wonder about what Google is doing, considering eBay is owned by Google.

You can find a great list of winners and losers from SearchMetrics in their article Panda Update 4.0: Winners and Losers – Google USA. Other quality coverage of the new SEO algorithm roll out includes:

My website was hit by the Google algorithm changes, what now?

Now is the time to start focusing on quality content marketing instead of dodgy techniques. The first step is to get rid of any spammy backlinks you have to your site. Here’s a great article from SEM Rush on recovering from Penguin 2.0.

Fortunately, anyone who built a website using online website builders noticed little change in ranking after this algorithm update, provided they were not using black hat SEO techniques. The SEO options that are built into the top website builders, such as page titles and descriptions, are still valid and important way to drive traffic to your website.

Here are the two best tips for what you can do to build up your organic search traffic with quality links, so that you wont be worrying about any future updates from Google.

1. Write valuable content and share it everywhere!

Here’s tips on How to Write Great Content for Your Website. Package your content in every way possible – infographics, slideshares, videos, blogs, social media posts, even press releases – go for gold with your valuable content!

2. Build relationships with top online influencers in your field.

You can find the top influencers on handy tools like Twtrland and CircleCount. Make your interactions with the thought leaders genuine, and always give back.

Stay safe from future Google algorithm updates by sticking to these genuine methods for building traffic to your website.


Stick with a website builder so you’re in good shape for the next Google algorithm. Check out our review to learn more about using an SEO-friendly template.

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