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Google Panda 4.1 Update

Google recently released a slow rollout of their updated algorithm Panda 4.1. This update was designed to improve upon the last major update which would be Panda 4.0. The reason behind Google’s latest update, was to increase the “sensitivity’ per se of the Panda algorithm so that it will begin removing low quality sites from Google’s index even if they are smaller or medium sized websites.

This update also provides an opportunity for those who have been negatively affected by the last Panda update, to bounce back and get back into the search results. It looks like Panda 4.1 is only affecting 3%-5% of search results which doesn’t sound like a lot, but compared to the other updates, it’s quite a considerable amount. The last update, which was a major Panda update, only affected 7.5%, so for a minor update, Panda 4.1 is fairly large.

The Victims of Google Panda 4.1

Below is a list of some the victims of Panda 4.1 according to searchmetrics.com:

   Domain – Loser

   Before

   After

 Change in %

yellow.com

16383

3413

-79%

similarsites.com

118771

25197

-79%

free-coloring-pages.com

12268

2960

-76%

dwyer-inst.com

13225

3229

-76%

issitedownrightnow.com

69354

18376

-74%

updatestar.com

13232

3788

-71%

office365.com

29365

8781

-70%

findthebest.com

30848

93937

-70%

homewyse.com

14161

4410

-69%

adelaide.edu.au

20351

6537

-68%

pearltrees.com

16769

5503

-67%

ok.co.uk

18226

5995

-67%

socialcomments.org

27476

9058

-67%

mybillcom.com

12258

4136

-66%

tgiblackfriday.com

10037

3420

-66%

discountsstory.net

20907

7337

-65%

indyweek.com

13373

4826

-64%

zabasearch.com

42679

15697

-63%

exacttarget.com

14849

5729

-61%

okc.gov

12547

4907

-61%

no1reviews.com

18403

7235

-61%

mademan.com

23006

9779

-57%

studymode.com

10756

4611

-57%

thefair.com

14067

6277

-55%

appappeal.com

11265

5149

-54%

chronicle.com

17244

8208

-52%

lyricstranslations.com

16944

8077

-52%

onhealth.com

118017

56735

-52%

cherrybam.com

20178

9736

-52%

nerve.com

17264

9016

-48%

emedtv.com

30739

16266

-47%

hubpages.com

30493

163548

-46%

brothersoft.com

25357

13969

-45%

collider.com

47733

26383

-45%

337.com

21172

12141

-43%

hypestat.com

18047

10553

-42%

telecomfile.com

17652

10448

-41%

discountednewspapers.com

19472

11624

-40%

bugmenot.com

25339

15152

-40%

medterms.com

286956

172836

-40%

translationcloud.com

43295

2674

-38%

archive.today

48603

30085

-38%

game-oldies.com

47279

2932

-38%

kxan.com

26622

16609

-38%

thinkbabynames.com

22762

14246

-37%

amtrakcalifornia.com

18965

1192

-37%

theepochtimes.com

34385

21638

-37%

addresses.com

33042

21012

-36%

hrblock.com

24599

15775

-36%

areacode.org

33412

21799

-35%

buzzle.com

76279

50134

-34%

militarycac.com

30014

1977

-34%

howstuffworks.com

1251213

827093

-34%

eprize.com

42565

28358

-33%

travelandleisure.com

110818

74347

-33%

webutations.info

190251

127762

-33%

appbrain.com

59235

40254

-32%

enjoygram.com

28335

19322

-32%

dailypuppy.com

24775

1701

-31%

oxforddictionaries.com

383172

265208

-31%

offers.com

56036

39082

-30%

guardianlv.com

34268

24045

-30%

thinkexist.com

138435

97364

-30%

hallmark.com

61087

4381

-28%

ehow.com

101928

73157

-28%

laws.com

26208

18839

-28%

greenwichmeantime.com

45629

32906

-28%

miamiherald.com

99912

72274

-28%

dubbed-scene.com

26502

1926

-27%

bobdylan.com

27307

19881

-27%

cardhub.com

49508

36101

-27%

mommysavesbig.com

46118

33913

-26%

healthcentral.com

47799

35173

-26%

appcrawlr.com

29088

21595

-26%

One of the largest victims of the 4.1 Panda update, was Office365.com, which while it is clearly a reputable website, fails on the basis that there really is not much usable content n the site. It’s also a redirect to the products.office.com page, and therefore does not hold as much value as a URL on its own. Office365.com saw approximately a 46% loss in search results according to searchmetrics.com. Yellow.com was the largest victim losing almost 80% of it’s search results due to Panda 4.1.

A surprise victim on this list is Miamiherald.com who were penalized and saw a 28% decrease in their ranking after 4.1 rolled out.  Today their SEO visibility is still down and is currently at approximately 65,499. This makes it a total decrease of 34% in 4 weeks of the roll out of Panda 4.1. It’s surprising to see a reputable news company that produces good quality content, or so we thought, to be affected so badly by the Panda update. It could be that a various other number of factors were the cause of the drop of the Miami herald, but based on the metrics over the last 4 weeks, it looks like they haven’t figured out what is causing their drastic drop in Google.

So how about the other end of the spectrum? We’ve seen some of the websites that were victims of the Panda 4.1 update, but how about the victors?

Victors of Google Panda 4.1

   Domain – Winner

   Before

   After

 Change in %

comdotgame.com

2632

38231

1353%

hongkiat.com

135

68372

406%

babble.com

8963

42916

379%

rd.com

17209

71434

315%

mediamass.net

6839

27876

308%

hotelguides.com

8563

32957

285%

yourtango.com

30624

109148

256%

moreofit.com

6431

22864

256%

celebrity-gossip.net

10727

38068

255%

spoonful.com

2813

89573

218%

ivillage.com

11818

37065

214%

800-numbers.net

11809

34631

193%

thepiratebay.se

2571

67457

162%

aceshowbiz.com

21679

55059

154%

dummies.com

42806

104764

145%

geekwire.com

11606

28319

144%

ispot.tv

12242

28062

129%

womansday.com

11868

27195

129%

bncollege.com

36738

76969

110%

afterdawn.com

18519

38775

109%

allwomenstalk.com

19836

41088

107%

livescience.com

79499

164323

107%

savings.com

25874

52886

104%

fastcodesign.com

25303

50326

99%

mystore411.com

24262

47482

96%

health.com

120733

212827

76%

unblocksit.es

23559

40897

74%

newseum.org

36201

59205

64%

netdoctor.co.uk

25973

41246

59%

celebdirtylaundry.com

34511

53817

56%

digitaltrends.com

137257

21076

54%

quickanddirtytips.com

28288

43284

53%

tvtropes.org

105715

160152

51%

simplyrecipes.com

100684

149017

48%

glamour.com

53907

77933

45%

astrologyzone.com

45185

65237

44%

chow.com

117933

168931

43%

arstechnica.com

121742

171708

41%

parenting.com

49936

70185

41%

realsimple.com

180553

252922

40%

webopedia.com

153512

213758

39%

healthgrades.com

70386

97103

38%

laptopmag.com

53221

73249

38%

dispatch.com

44614

60412

35%

dealcatcher.com

95757

128887

35%

businessdictionary.com

104606

140213

34%

vice.com

157693

208496

32%

smithsonianmag.com

18069

238733

32%

thefreedictionary.com

2124356

2774647

31%

internetslang.com

50578

65093

29%

Almost immediately you can see that the victors have benefited to a higher extent than even the worst of the victims. With the highest increase coming for comdotgame.com who had a staggering 1353% increase in SEO visibility after the panda 4.1 update. The odd thing here, is that the website does not really offer anything in terms of quality content. A quick look at the website and you start to wonder what has this site done to be so high in SEO visibility.Sure they have several adult games that are probably being searched for, but does that truly warrant such a large boost in SEO visibility? It could be that they have worked to ensure any content on the website is unique, but perhaps they’ve also implemented some clever link building tactics simultaneously and the Panda 4.1 update boosted their visibility thanks to the unique content.

Ironically, one of the largest pirate torrent downloading sites, thepiratebay.se, saw a huge 162% increase in their own SEO visibility which is also very odd considering the nature of the website. It looks like Google really just looked at a few specific factors to determine how they will change the SERPs with Panda 4.1. But judging on how Miamiherald.com was penalized, yet a pirate downloading site saw a huge boost, makes one wonder about whether Panda 4.1 was truly a beneficial update.

There are plenty of sites such as simplyrecipes.com, or glamour.com who benefited greatly from the update, and also provide top quality content. Sites like these give us hope that Google is closing in on providing a truly great content based search result, but perhaps a few more tweaks are needed before the end of the year to ensure visitors are getting the best results.

 

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