About two weeks ago Matt Cutts announced they had released the newest version of the Panda algorithm: 4.0.

In case you hadn’t remembered the earlier iterations of this algorithm change saw quite an impact on websites employing mass link building, thin content, exact domain names, and more.

The largest of the hits came from the first affecting around 11.8% of the queries. Ones afterward were mild in comparison.

So now that 4.0 is out and has been going for some time now what do we know and what can we expect this time around?

Panda 4.0: Some things to know

According to SearchEngineLand.com it appears that this update isn’t about a data refresh but an actual change to the algorithm. They say it should change how Panda identifies sites.

A later post on SEL (and data compiled by Searchmetrics) put together a ‘winners and losers’ list of the Panda 4.0 update.

The big losers were:

  • Ask.com
  • Biography.com
  • RetailMeNot

Here was the list they compiled:

On the other end there were some major winners including:

  • Medterms.com
  • Whosdatedwho.com
  • Yourdictionary.com

And here was the list for the winners:

Overall it’s a head scratcher (like always) especially when Matt Cutts put outs a video like this explaining what Google is doing to rank pages if they do not have a lot of links:

Click the image to see the video.

So something about determining the page based on the content of the page. Sounds a whole lot like what it was before based on keywords but that still doesn’t fill in the full picture.

Overall the best we can do is fall back to the trifecta:

  • Good content
  • Quality links
  • Social signals

Google does seem like it’s trying to get away from links and placing more weight on social but even that’s a mystery. In the end we are all at the will of Google and the best we can do is focus on our community and deliver them the best we can. Hopefully, without enough value exchange, that will lead to better brand recognition, increased online presence, and higher sales.