Google's search results ranking algorithm got another update this week as Google released Panda 4.0, a Google employee announced on Twitter.
Marketers should take note, especially since more than 70 percent of searches online take place in Google.
Google's Matt Cutts broke the news last night on Twitter:
Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014
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"Panda 4.0 affects different languages to different degrees," Google spokesperson Jason Freidenfelds told CMSWire. "In English, for example, the impact is 7.5 percent of queries that are affected to a degree that a regular user might notice."
The first Google Panda release came in March 2010, an algorithm update that significantly affected certain sites to the point that some webmasters reported traffic declines so bad they said it drove them out of business. Google wanted to lower the rank of "low-quality sites," and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.
Website broker Thomas Smale, co-owner at FE International, blogged today that "sophisticated buyers" in the next few weeks could "acquire distressed assets."
"Webmasters often panic," he said, "when their sites are affected by updates as it can wipe out a lot of value overnight. I like to look for sites that have proven models of profitability but have just lost their main source of traffic, specifically Google, if we are referring to sites affected by an update. From the previous earnings data, you can calculate what an organic visitor was worth to the site and then figure out how replaceable that traffic source might be."
Title image by Martinez de la Varga (Shutterstock).