What is the Google Panda Update 4.0?

The Google Panda Update 4.0 is a new and improved generation of the algorithm change “Google Panda Update“, which was first deployed to the US-American search market on February 23, 2011 before being rolled out worldwide for all English-language search requests on April 11, 2011.

The Panda Update 4.0 was rolled out worldwide on March 20, 2014 and affected about 7.5% of all English-language search requests.

Matt Cutts Tweet über den Rollout des Google Panda Updates 4.0
Matt Cutts tweeted about the rollout of the Google Panda Update 4.0

What makes the Panda Update 4.0 so special?

The Panda Update 4.0 is not another data refresh of the “Panda” algorithm change, but can be understood as a comprehensive algorithm change on the side of Google, as the technology at the heart of the change – which is responsible for identifying inferior content on a website – has been noticeably upgraded and improved. To that end, Google kept searching for additional signals to be able to differentiate between high quality content and inferior quality content and thus weigh them differently.

The new generation of the filter algorithm is supposed to treat affected domains more cautiously and also be the foundation for the future development of the Panda Update.

Was the Panda Update not merged into the Index-Refresh?

Yes and this process will continue to exist. As of March 2013, it is no longer possible to identify the Google Panda Update iterations anymore. Google started to add the Panda Update to the refreshes of other algorithm-changes and index-refreshes, instead of rolling out big updates like those they used to. The Panda Update data refreshes have therefore become a Panda Everflux on a monthly basis. That is also why Google has stopped communicating new versions of the Panda Update.

Then why did Google announce the Panda Update 4.0?

Because the Panda Update 4.0 is no such iteration, but a new filter algorithm altogether. With this algorithm change, Google has set the course for future updates of the Panda filter.

Video explanation by Matt Cutts / Google about this topic

What should a site owner do if they think they might be affected by Panda?

Recently Google has integrated the Panda update into its normal indexing process. Now, how will webmasters come to know whether Panda hit their site or not? In addition, if their site has already been hit, how will they recover?

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