Google has released a new algorithm update, dubbed Panda 4.2, which is the latest Google Panda refresh for over 10 months. The big news is that, well, no-one really noticed that Google rolled it out.
Google began the Panda refresh over the weekend, starting on July 18th, and has begun rolling out very slowly. Despite the fact Google have begun the Panda refresh, it could still be a matter of months to complete the roll-out in full. Even after this stage, your site will not necessarily respond for months yet.
The last time we saw a Panda shift, it was back in October 2014. This new Panda refresh is a site-wide algorithm, meaning it won’t affect you on a page-by-page basis. The last major algorithm update we saw from Google was the mobile search update back in April 2015 dubbed mobilegeddon; but failed to live up to the name that sparked such panic within the industry.
Google has stated that the new Panda refresh impacts around 2-3% of English language queries, so it is not a monumental update by any means. But it’s worth keeping an eye on when monitoring your traffic levels.
What is Google Panda?
Google Panda was introduced in order to change the search results ranking algorithm to lower the rankings of “low-quality sites”, or those that are thin on content.
This means that every time the algorithm is refreshed, websites that Google deems of “high-quality” get better rankings.
The last time Panda hit, it was a very significant update. In October 2014, Panda affected many sites, and favoured those with a top content marketing or SEO strategy, and produced quality content that were useful for Google users. For those “thin” on content, they took a dramatic hit. It’s understandable then, why people are both excited and nervous about Panda being updated this time around.
What does this Panda 4.2 update mean?
Any websites which were penalised by Panda last time around, has the opportunity to get back their rankings and gain some traffic back. However, don’t expect to see this impact straight away; but your organic rankings should change over time.
All in all, if you’ve been producing quality content that provides useful or entertaining information for visitors, you’re bound to do well out of Panda 4.2. You can expect to see that your organic traffic and SEO rankings will grow in the oncoming months ahead.
If you’re producing low quality, or thin content, or perhaps producing “click-bait” content that doesn’t provide anything substantial, then you may see lower organic rankings in the future.
Why is the update rolling out so slowly?
There’s a lot of speculation and frustration online, but there are a couple of theories that could be true.
One is that Google are decreasing the overall speed of which sites are impacted by algorithm changes in order to make Google Panda a daily update, as part of their regular algorithm. This would mean websites do not suffer every once in a while when a new update hits. However, this could be unlikely due to the amount of data processing and time it would take on a daily basis.
Overall, if you want to climb the search engine rankings, then now is the best time to get started with an SEO or content marketing strategy. Contact us to discuss your next best move.