After 10 long months since the last Panda update, Google has finally begun its roll-out of Panda 4.2. We can officially say Google Panda 4.2 is finally here.
What is Google Panda?
Google Panda was first released in February 2011 and involved a change to Google’s search ranking algorithm that aimed to lower the rank of “low quality sites” and return higher-quality sites with rich content near the top of the search results.
As we all know, the original Panda update had a huge impact on the SEO industry and online publishing as a whole, but you probably haven’t noticed any impact from Panda 4.2 so far. The reason being, it is rolling our very slowly. Google has confirmed that this refresh affects only 2% -3% of English language search queries, which is lower than the previous refresh of 3% -5% in September 2014. So, it can both be good news and bad news for different website owners.
If your website was penalized by Google in September 2014 following the previous Panda update, then Google is offering you yet another chance to recover. But, it will happen only if you have made required changes in your website. However, you’ll be able to notice the improvement in rankings only after some time. It’s a change of pattern as the impact of the previous Google updates on the incoming traffic was felt immediately after they were rolled out but current refresh will take longer.
Google Panda 4.2 is a refresh rather than an update
Technically, Panda 4.2 is not an update: Google didn’t introduce new signals; it just reapplied the same signals on new data. This means, Google Panda is the result of a very profound analysis of Google’s index. One that it can’t run continuously, like it does its normal ranking, but a calculation that takes months. Hence, it is called a “data refresh with slow rollout”.
Who will this affect?
The slow rollout is not how previous Panda updates were done, where typically sites saw dramatic increases or declines in traffic overnight. But, if you were penalised by Panda previously and made the right changes to combat a drop in traffic you might see further improvement to your search rankings gradually over time with Panda 4.2. But the slower update will also make it harder to assess the usual “winners and losers” like we can normally do.
If you’re afraid of being hit by Panda, and want us to make sure you’re not going to be one of the website owners to be affected, get in touch with our experts on 01772 508117. We’ve seen many Panda victims over the years and we know we can help and guide you to overcome with Google Panda updates.