Google has updated Panda, the algorithm it uses to weed out what it deems to be low-quality search results.
Panda was introduced in early 2011 as part of The Chocolate Factory's never-ending quest to sell more ads ensure search results satisfy searchers' thirst for knowledge. It's been controversial because some web publishers and businesses have felt it reduced traffic flowing to their sites, sometimes unfairly or arbitrarily.
Dishing out a little pain is Google's intent as is evident in the fact that Matt Cutts, author of the Tweet below announcing that Panda 4.0 is now upon us, glories in the title “head of the webspam team at Google.”
Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014
Panda is updated regularly, but the designation of this month's release as a point-oh release indicates it is a significant release. Searchengineland opines that “Google has made changes to how Panda identifies sites” and that ~7.5 per cent of sites could be impacted.
The Chocolate Factory isn't saying what's changed in Panda, at least in public. But it won't be long before plenty of others share their theories about what it's changed and who it hurts. ®