Yes, it's a Panda picture.

On the 21st May, Matt Cutts, the head of search spam at Google, announced the Panda 4.0 update was now underway. Within a short time, news from the search engine was shared over 3000 times on Twitter and search marketers were looking to their analytics tools to see what impact it would have.

But, what’s the Panda 4.0 update all about and why does it matter?

Good question. The Panda update was a filter introduced in February 2011 and was designed to stop websites with poor quality content from ranking highly in organic results on Google.

It’s important for website owners, big and small alike, because it is the algorithm that determines the quality of your content. As its perception of what ‘quality’ looks like becomes more sophisticated, content creators must respond and evolve or risk losing organic search traffic.

Yes, there are rolling monthly updates from Google, but this is more significant as it’s been designed to punch websites it may have previously missed. It’s an update of the algorithm, rather than a refresh of the data, and businesses would be wise to use this as an opportunity to assess the quality of their content, and how it is currently performing against their marketing objectives.

Encouragingly, Matt Cutts stresses that the update should be something small businesses welcome. He said, “This new Panda update should have a direct impact on helping small businesses do better.” One Googler on his team is dedicated to working on ways to help small sites and businesses do better in Google search.

As the updates to Panda are monthly rolling changes, we don’t expect further announcements to be made – unless they’re something significant.

For more information about this Panda update and what it might mean for your website, please get in touch with a member of our team by calling 01787 388038 or emailing