Panda 4.0 was rolled out less than a week ago, and its impact on Google’s search results didn’t go unnoticed. The Panda algorithm was originally designed to boost high-quality content sites while pushing down low-quality ones in the search results to give users the best results possible. Panda has been effective at its goal, although updates and refreshes are made from time to time. Now, we’re looking at Panda 4.0.

This Time, Panda Has a Friend

Panda 4.0 has definitely created some noise in the SEO community, but its true impact is yet to be determined. At the same time that 4.0 was rolled out, a second refresh of an algorithm was also launched, and this refresh is targeting spammy queries like payday loans. Webmasters that have been affected by the update don’t know if it’s 4.0, the payday loan refresh or both causing the change.

Assessing the Damage, or Lack Thereof?

Usually Google’s updates bring out negative chatter, but this time, some webmasters have actually seen their rankings improve. For sites that have been working hard to clean up their links, publish relevant content and follow Google’s best practices, this improvement is a subtle reminder that it IS possible for Google and webmasters to coexist in harmony.

After a long weekend and two updates in full effect, it’s a good idea to run analytics on your site and see how it has been affected. Keep in mind that both a Panda update and payday loan refresh were made, so it could be one or the other having an effect. Also, if your site has great content but has been penalized by Panda in the past, you may see an improvement, too. Some speculate that Panda 4.0 was designed to reverse some of the damage done to good quality sites that were wrongly affected because they were confusing to crawlers.

Could a Penguin Update be Next?

Google typically says that they try not to push out multiple updates at once, but as we all know, Google makes the rules, not follows them. It’s interesting to see that they have already rolled out two refreshes at once, and some wonder if a Penguin update will follow. It has been one year since its launching, and it will round out the Panda and payday loan updates.

The good news is that Google’s algorithms are becoming more refined and are able to decipher between truly good quality sites that users want to see, rather than those who skimp by on shady practices.