What's new in this algorithm?According to Google, this version is supposed to be more precise and will allow more high-quality small and medium-sized sites to rank better. Google also claims to have been able to discover additional signals to help Panda more accurately identify low quality content, thanks to user and webmaster feedback.
This means that you don't need a massive site to earn the top spot. In the announcement, Google said;
Based on user (and webmaster!) feedback, we've been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice.
So far so good.
Another piece of good news is if you were penalized by Panda previously, then this update means the damage may have been undone if you did all the right things to correct the issue. If you see an increase in traffic by the end of next week, then it’s a good sign this update worked out in your favor.
Here is what SEJ's founder Loren Baker had to say about this update;
This new Panda algorithmic update reinforces the fact that Google is not a fan of thin content and that crawl efficiency along with serving clear and direct data messages to Google are becoming more important than ever.
Specializing XML sitemaps, trimming back on thin content and making sure that you are serving Google exactly what they need with minimal effort expended on part of Google-bot needs to be a huge emphasis. More so, also making sure that even in XML sitemaps, crawl priority is properly defined, and old content is not recrawled unless there is specific reason.
Now obviously, this new update can't be good news for everybody. If the estimates are true, then we're looking at a total of 5% queries effected, which is a significant number. If you have been hit, you'll know after about a week. Best of luck :)