Google’s Panda update was first introduced in February 2011 to improve the quality of search results for their users to include more relevant and authoritative websites. There have been several updates since its launch to further improve this.

Today in USA, Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that Google has rolled out 4.0 version of Google Panda Algorithm.

Matt Cutts on Panda Update

Is there Good News for Small Businesses?

Not many details about Google Panda 4.0 update has been released yet. But, Matt Cutts announced at Search Marketing Expo in March 2014 that his team is working on the “next generation” softer Panda update that should directly impact to help small businesses do better in the search results.

This would not be the first time that Google is softening the Panda update; they did soften the algorithm in their July 2013 Panda update as well.

Let’s wait and see what changes this new update has to bring for small businesses. We can expect more visibility in search results for small businesses in local results.

How Google Panda affected Small Businesses

Specifically, Google Panda filtered the low-quality websites with little or poor content. It was designed to tackle content farms that were being used to manipulate search rankings for a website in Google. As a side effect of this update, many small businesses were caught and lost their search visibility to big brands overnight, which created a big buzz in small business & SEO communities.

Some quotes by people at

Getting hit by Panda is like having your business burned down, only in the real world you can rebuild. With Panda, there’s no coming back. Your business has been nuked.

I can remember my first weekend after Panda annihilated my site of 6 years… a site that I had put my blood, sweat, and tears into. At the time Panda hit my first child was less than a month old and it seemed as if my world was falling apart.

smallbusiness panda victims

10 Tips on Improving your Website Rankings

  • Write high quality original content for your website
  • Keep design and navigation of the website clean & well-structured
  • Don’t stuff keywords for the sake of rankings, build websites for users
  • Keep META data unique and relevant to the pages across whole website
  • Post fresh quality content on your website (blogposts)
  • Have the website properly geo-targeted to your targeted location
  • Don’t let ads takeover your content on the website
  • Don’t use any black-hat SEO tactics i.e. low quality links, content farms, etc.
  • Focus on a great content strategy that gets you natural links from authority websites
  • Increase your social media efforts, Google consider this as a strong signal that your content is high quality

Hopefully, this new Google Panda update will bring good news for small businesses/websites and help them get the leverage from Google search engine.