Back in March, Google's Matt Cutts spoke at the Search Marketing Expo, and said that Google was working on the next generation of the Panda update, which he said would be softer and more friendly to small sites and businesses.
Last week, Google pushed Panda 4.0, which Cutts reiterated is a bit softer than previous versions, and also said will "lay the groundwork" for future iterations.
@Marie_Haynes think of it like P4 is a new architecture. Brings in some of the softer side, but also lays groundwork for future iteration.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 23, 2014
Barry Schwartz at SMX sister site Search Engine Land, who was in attendance at the session in which Cutts spoke about the update, gave a recap of his words at the time:
Cutts explained that this new Panda update should have a direct impact on helping small businesses do better.
One Googler on his team is specifically working on ways to help small web sites and businesses do better in the Google search results. This next generation update to Panda is one specific algorithmic change that should have a positive impact on the smaller businesses.
It's interesting that Google even announced the update at all, as it had pretty much stopped letting people know when new Panda refreshes were launched. The world is apparently not bored enough with Panda updates for Google to stop announcing them entirely.
Here's a look at Searchmetrics' attempt to identify the top winners and losers of Panda 4.0.
Image via YouTube