Google Panda 4.1 Update
Last week saw the release of Panda 4.1 and early signs are that it has followed a similar pattern to previous updates. Panda updates are targeted at punishing thin and low quality content and this iteration is no different with such sites being hit hardest.
The earliest indicator available for who has been hit by the update is the Searchmetrics winners and losers list. There are a number of aggregators on the list of biggest losers supporting the standpoint that unique, original and quality content is what google is trying to encourage. The sites that seem to have gained the most out of Panda 4.1 appear to be sites previously hit by Panda 4.0 like Hotelguides.com and ivillage.com as well as sites providing quality content around niche topics like livescience.com and geekwire.com.
What does Panda 4.1 mean to you?
If you have built your site well there is little to worry about with a Panda update. Providing you have good quality and useful content on your site you may see an increase in visibility.
There isnt necessarily a need to panic if you have seen a drop in visibility since the latest Panda rollout began last week; the two are not necessarily related. If you take a look at the list of biggest losers from Searchmetrics ok.co.uk, the domain of OK Magazine seems to have had a significant 67% visibility drop since last week. A closer look at the history of their visibility however shows a spike the week before returning to normal levels.
Other prominent names in the list of adversely effected sites include office365.com who suffered a 70% drop. Search Engine Land has suggested that this may be due to a recent migrate that coincided with 4.1.
It is important to remember to investigate ranking drops thoroughly even if they coincide with algorithm updates. It is far too easy to blame a Panda or Penguin and overlook other issues affecting a site at the same time.