Google’s Latest Update: Panda 4.0
It’s been nearly a month, and the dust has settled from Google’s latest update: Panda 4.0. The biggest shift seen was Google’s punishment of eBay with a large drop in their organic rankings.
eBay’s traffic is seen below, with an obvious drop after the change on the 26th of May. Shown is their US traffic. As you can see, the bleeding hasn’t stopped; they are continuing to lose search traffic from the update from weeks ago.
When Panda 4.0 Hit
It appears that the update happened on May 20th, but our clients have seen big changes even prior to that. Google’s Matt Cutts indicated on the 20th of May changes were rolling out, but we don’t know for certain exactly when the update was pushed through.
Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014
Who Got Hurt?
Panda 4.0 was designed to filter out “thin” content. It’s difficult to pinpoint what “thin” content is, because we’ve seen good site content get hurt by this update. These were other big losers from the algorithm update:
What Sites Benefited?
This update has been largely beneficial to our partners, but it may not have as much to do with content as Google has indicated. The sites we’ve noticed performing well have a level of good content, backed with popularity and quality inbound links. Google doesn’t like to discuss links, because that will create a rush for everyone to go link build, which ultimately makes for a bad web.
How Well Did Some Benefit?
Below you can see Glassdoor.com’s search traffic. They tripled their search traffic overnight. We believe the reason might have something to do with their 955,000 inbound links to their site.
Another big winner was emedicinehealth.com. They were a small to medium publisher prior to May 27th, and now appear to be averaging 4 million uniques from organic search traffic per day.
Emedicinehealth.com also has 5,200 referring domains, with a total of 285,000 backlinks. This cannot be overstated how valuable this metric has contributed to their recent success. In the end, we believe this update had more to do with a new evaluation of quality links matched with good content than just good content itself.