With the very recent announcement of Google’s new Penguin algorithm in late April of this year, many have have forgotten about their Panda algorithm. We reported on previous updates in March. This latest update, released earlier this week, will be fully implemented over the next few days.
Many even wondered if the Penguin was replacing Panda, which is not the case at all. So what’s the difference? Well, Penguin focuses on on penalising pages that don’t adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by practising unethical SEO, while Panda is a learning algorithm that focuses on an entire site by filtering out low-quality ones. This is based on data collected by thousand of site quality testers.
According to Google, not that much was changed. They say that Panda 3.8 will only be affecting 1% of search queries. Of course, being the most popular search engine in the world, this will equate to around 300 million queries daily affected.
The release was only rolled out earlier this week, but many webmasters jumped the gun over the weekend by screaming bloody murder about sudden dips in their traffic on Google’s webmaster forums and Google+.
It’s an issue that arises with every update as essentially, the new algorithm is designed to re-index sites based on new parameters. It’s logical to think that this will be followed by a change in the rankings.
However, Google has claimed that the search signals have remained untouched and that the update was just a simple data refresh: when the importance of an element in the algorithm is adjusted.
While the extent of the change can only be debated for now, while its being fully implemented, a lot people are talking about the timing. Google last Panda update was as recent as June 8th , breaking their informal tradition of only releasing updates monthly. This could potentially affect SEO practices.
Although Google says this won’t be the new pattern, they simply felt they needed to release a new update.