Google confirms a major update to its Panda algorithm

   Google had launched a new iteration to its panda algorithm on September 27th, naming it "Panda 20". A major Panda update affecting 2.4% of the English queries, and even more. They baptized this Panda update as 20, since this is their twentieth Panda update. But in reality, how the name switched from Panda 4.0 to Panda 20 is still oblivion. Whatever...Google dances and we dance along with it. Should this be a vast major one, that it has jumped 16 places forward? Matt Cutts' reply to Search Engine Land, when asked for confirmation, is as follows - 

"Google began rolling out a new update of Panda on Thursday, 9/27. This is actually a Panda algorithm update, not just a data update. A lot of the most-visible differences went live Thursday 9/27, but the full rollout is baking into our index and that process will continue for another 3-4 days or so. This update affects about 2.4% of English queries to a degree that a regular user might notice, with a smaller impact in other languages (0.5% in French and Spanish, for example)."

It seems no huge majority of sites are reported to be affected by this major update, officially. The reason behind may be that the implementation has not yet completed its one full run and should be done by this weekend. But why does Google never open up when a major update is done? Matt hid back this update done on Sep. 26th and announced the EMD update on Sep. 27th. Search Engine Land should be their spokesperson. Or, Google waits to get a data enrolling the percentage of affected sites, to publicize along with their press release on this recent update. They claim to be more transparent towards their activities, but their actions speak more than words. Matt Cutts behaves much like a trickster at times.

Exact Match Domain Update


Google announced an update to reduce EMDs (Exact Match Domains) on September 27th, outranking low quality exact match domain results. This was claimed to be a simple algorithm update run by Google targeted low quality sites that rank high specifically for the domain name. Exact domains were proclaimed valuable only if the site holds good quality and updated content. Websites that lack quality content, yet possessing a huge reputation were possibly affected by this update. While Matt Cutts has confirmed that this "minor and small" update affects only 0.6% of the English-US queries, the end result was more than this scrubby percentage and many more of the sites got hit. Cutts tweeted,


  "Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality "exact-match" domains in search results."


It definitely should be a bad weather day for those sites hit by your update, Mattie. He also confirmed that this update has nothing to do with Panda or Penguin. Was sort of relaxing to people the instant, but he deliberately had the bomb set just a few days after, releasing the Panda update. Are they rehearsing on a thriller climax for a Jonathan Demme film or what?



How to proceed


Google's frequent updates have become a real headache for the webmasters. Due to the folks at Google released both updates simultaneously, sorting out the cause for sites being hit becomes a hectic job. When you compare the number of sites affected by Panda 1.0 and those affected by Panda 3.9.2, the difference is huge, and no one tends to mind Panda anymore, except for this new major one. We have to admit and realize that Google is right on its path achieving its goal, set to rank only quality sites high. Penguin is on the way, and probably should be a killer, affecting a whole lot of websites, as per what Matt Cutts said at the SES San Francisco. Below is what he replied to Barry Schwartz's question on Penguin during his keynote,

"Expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact"

All we have to do is to change our strategies and take necessary steps to fix our rankings instead of just blaming around and cursing Google for their job done. Always remember that algorithm updates are the ones adding fuel to the SEO flame. Anyone who runs a query in Google should arrive at the correct destination, whether it is from the ads area or organic area. SEO plays a vital role in this and is definitely an elixir for businesses who wish to compete against well established brands.

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Google update, Google panda, Panda 20, EMD update, Matt Cutts, Panda update

About Prejushya Kalicharan

Prejushya Kalicharan SEO is a challenging field and I try my best to surpass this challenging environment which is unconditionally filled with opportunities, knowledge building and problem solving. I pursue what I .... more info