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After days of rumours and speculation it has finally been made official, Google’s Panda 4.0 algorithm is being rolled out to all web users across the globe, affecting an estimated 7.5% of English search queries.

This appears to be a major update for the algorithm rather than just a data refresh; meaning there has been an update to how Google identifies and crawls website content. Google is, as always, very secretive about the exact implications of this update, but we do know that it will affect websites with ‘thin’ or poor quality content.

There have already been some big websites losing large quantities of traffic, these include: ask.com, health.com and biography.com. By far the biggest loser seems to be eBay, losing an estimated 80% of its organic traffic. Another blow to the giant website; see our post for more information on password security and the web’s latest cyber-attack.

The Panda update is still in the early rollout stages, so it is premature to tell exactly how it will affect smaller websites. It is important to point out, however, that whilst there are some websites losing out, there are also many websites that have benefitted from this update, being rewarded for all of the hard work they put into their content.

It is highly likely that we will see some further (but smaller) updates being rolled out over the coming weeks as Google fixes bugs with the new algorithm update. Studio 24, like many in the SEO industry, will be poring over the data in the coming weeks to work out what the exact implications of this update are.