Last week was an interesting week in the world of search, Google started rolling out the latest update to its Panda algorithm which helps it rank websites. The roll out, which comes 4 months after the last one named Panda 4.0, is purported to affect between 3-5% of search queries, and is expected to finish rolling out at the end of this week.
Google Panda is an algorithm change that was first introduced in February 2011. It was tasked with identifying and penalising websites with thin or poor quality content. Originally a lot of the big directory websites were hit.
Google took the unusual step of announcing this latest roll out via Pierre Far (Google UK) on his Google+ page
According to Google, this latest release is said to be more precise and could allow a higher number of small and medium-sized websites to benefit. Obviously whenever there are ‘winners’ there will also be ‘losers’.
Winners and losers
Searchmetrics has done an initial analysis in the US of the biggest winners and losers based on their website SEO visibility.
According to the list, some huge websites have taken a dive; Yellow.com, Office365.com, Hubpages.com and Brothersoft.com albeit there may be other factors at play with some of these websites.
In terms of the big winners, there are some interesting results too; Thepiratebay.se, a controversial website which facilitates people accessing torrents (a file enabling downloading of metadata) to download often pirated digital media (films, music and software) has increased by 162%.
Comdotgame.com has had a whopping 1353% increase in visibility, joining other gaming websites that seem to have benefited from improved visibility.
So far we have not noticed any big changes in New Zealand, however as the roll out is not supposed to finish until the end of this week – there is still time!
Richard Conway is founder of Pure SEO. The company has won numerous awards and is among Deloitte Asia Pacific's Tech Fast 500 company.