Google is back at it again, most recently rolling out their latest update. With the release of Panda 4.1 SEO marketers and site owners cringe, waiting to see what is next for their sites. If you have played by Google’s rules you should be alright, however, as always, if you’ve been spammy, you will be penalized.
Since the release, in late September, there have been many sites that have seen big gains, and of course many who have seen big losses. The winners tend to be sites that have quality content that is unique. This includes news sites, content portals, and in some cases download portals, according to SearchEngineLand. The release is designed to help small and medium sized sites get a bump in rankings. Some sites that saw a decrease in traffic happen to be sites related to lyrics, games, and even medical content sites. Overall, sites with little or thin content saw a decrease in traffic.
This latest updated has come four months after Panda 4.0, which has many SEO marketers believing this could be the beginning of quarterly updates. What this means for sites is if you were not hit, you have time to adjust. The update targets 3-5% of search queries which can have a huge effect on a site.
What Can You Do If You’re Hit?
If you managed to sneak under the radar with the release of Panda 4.0 and have noticed your traffic recently had a drop, the most recent update is most likely to blame. Check webmaster tools to see if search queries have been affected.
Have you seen a decrease? Now what do you do? Revisit that content. Update existing content that may be outdated, or in some cases add additional information if the content is thin. Make sure this new content is adding value, as we know creating content, just to create content doesn’t help. Google wants to see content that provides useful information for users.
Google’s aim with the latest release is to create ‘search neutrality’, yet has not perfected it. Many SEO marketers expect to see additional releases similar to Panda 4.1 in the next few months. If this is true rankings will continue to bounce around as Google giveth and taketh away as they see fit. If your site was not penalized from the latest update, take this as a warning to make sure all pages on your site have high-quality content. It is best to be prepared in case the next release is aimed at your site. If your site has seen a hit in traffic take this time to re-evaluate your site’s content. Does it need to be updated? Are there pages lacking content? Anything duplicate? Let Google know you are making changes to the site to operate at maximum efficiency.