With the SEO community and webmasters everywhere buzzing about fluctuating rankings in recent days, Google’s Matt Cutt’s confirmed Tuesday evening that the search giant had begun rolling out Panda 4.0, a refresh of its algorithm designed to keep websites with low quality content out of the upper search results.
Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014
Cutts also confirmed that over the weekend, Google had rolled out an update to its Payday Loan Algorithm, which targets spammy search queries.
Some webmasters had seen their sites drop over the weekend, fueling speculation that there had been an update to Penguin, Google’s algorithm that targets websites with spammy and unnatural back link profiles; that movement was in fact the update to the Payday Loans algorithm. Meanwhile, dramatic ranking shifts and a Monday Mozcast score of 98 signaled that another update was taking place. With Cutts announcing that the rollout of Panda 4.0 began on Tuesday, the recent ranking volatility was likely a product of Google testing out the algorithm prior to the rollout.
More shifts in the rankings for many terms can be expected in the coming days as Panda 4.0 takes full effect in the search results.