Yesterday Google rolled out its Panda update to all the rest of the world after trialing the algorithm on the US search market. The update affects websites in locations with mostly English speaking countries including the UK.
As discussed in February, Google released its Panda algorithm update in the US which saw up to 12% of searches affected in rankings. The main negative affects were to do with sites commonly labeled content farms which lead to some calling it farmers update.
Although initially large sites with more pages but now include smaller sites as well, Google confirmed that they think the algorithm change had a positive impact in the US which is comprised of 50% of its market. They therefore felt confident to rollout the change to the rest of the world as part of its quality update to improve user experience.
Google’s proprietary algorithm uses various matrix to determine relevancy of a site for search queries. This includes the html text on the page, content subject and anchor texts of links from other sites and page load speed. However, big G has also introduced ways for searchers to block results which they deem irrelevant to their search. Although still on trial, this may lead to searchers feedback being a ranking factor in the future so if many people block a certain site it may drop in rankings.
Google has also reiterated opening up of their webmaster help forum for anyone who feels aggrieved, as discussed before, while not
promising any manual review.
A list of the sites immediately affected by Panda UK update can be seen in search metrics blog here.