Google have announced the slow rollout of Panda 4.1, Google’s 27th Panda update originally released back in February 2011.
To recap, Panda is a filter which is designed to identify low-quality content and penalise accordingly through lesser organic search ranking.
In an announcement via Google+ Google’s Pierre Far confirmed that the improved Panda algorithm commenced rollout earlier this week and is expected to complete next week.
The recent announcement follows the launch of Panda 4.0 in May 2014 which many believed would be the start of the “next generation” of Panda updates aimed towards helping small businesses perform better within organic search, as discussed by Matt Cutts at the Search Marketing Expo earlier in the year; but Google neither confirmed nor denied this.
However, one of the key take-aways from Pierre’s announcement is the promise of better rankings for high-quality small and medium-sized websites. According to Pierre Panda has been re-engineered to be more precise with additional signals to help better identify low-quality content, in turn leading to a greater diversity of small-medium sized websites within search.
Panda 4.1 is said to effect 3%-5% of search queries depending on location and if the promise of increased rankings for high-quality SME’s is indeed correct this will be great news and music to the ears of many small business.