Panda. Those five little words have struck so much fear into the hearts of webmasters and bloggers. When Google launched its first Panda update back in 2011, many people saw their sites’ rankings drop overnight. But now there’s talk of another Panda being released, it may happen sooner rather than later.
What Is Panda?
In case this is your first time hearing about Google’s infamous Panda update, let me explain: “Panda” is the name given to a series of search ranking algorithm updates implemented by Google. The Mountain View company uses hundreds of different factors to determine where and how to rank websites, which is collectively referred to as its ranking algorithm. Occasionally, Google releases a major update to this algorithm — one that shakes up the entire search results, such as the case with Panda.
The purpose of Google’s Panda update is to improve its search results by increasing the rankings for high-quality websites while subsequently lowering the rankings for low-quality sites. As a result of this update, however, many decent sites were caught in the crossfires, sustaining huge losses of rankings and traffic.
When Will The New Panda Update Happen?
This question remains unanswered at this time. In fact, the only news we have on this upcoming update comes from the folks at SearchEngineLand.com, who claim that Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed the “next Panda update” would occur in the upcoming weeks. SEL didn’t provide an exact date, but they did say that it would likely happen in 2-4 weeks.
“Illyes referred to it multiple times as a data refresh, not an algorithmic change. So sites that have been suffering from this algorithm may see a recovery in the near future. However, not all sites will see a recovery: Some may not recover, and new sites may also be hit by this data refresh,” said Barry Schwartz of SearchEngineLand.com.
If you own a website or blog, you should take this time to make your site is prepared for the new round of Panda updates. This means analyzing your content, performing an audit of your backlinks, and making sure it’s viewed as a leading authoritative figure in its niche. Because if you turn a blind eye to updates like Panda, you could be hit with a huge penalty.
Have you been the victim of a Panda update? Let us know in the comments section below!