September ended with a bang when Google announced the launch of a new Panda algorithm update. It began rolling out on September 23. The update, which was stated to affect around 3-5% of queries depending on the locale, is the first official notice from Google since May’s Panda 4.0.
This new update incorporates user and webmaster feedback to more precisely identify low-quality content, according to the announcement from Google UK Engineer Pierre Far. The goal of the update is to better surface higher-quality small and medium-sized sites in the search results.
Searchmetrics published a Panda 4.1 Winners and Losers report and some trends were easily identifiable. Winners were predominantly News, Content Sites, and Download Portals while Losers reflected Games, Lyric, and Medical/Health Information Sites.
As far as our clients are concerned, we haven’t seen any major rankings shift for their websites after this roll out. Our continuous efforts remain to keep ourselves updated and make sure that we future proof our client’s websites from such updates as much as possible.
In other news, Google Engineer John Mueller announced in a Google+ Hangout the following when asked if Penguin 3.0 would launch before the end of 2014:
“My guess is yes. But as always there are always things that can happen between. I am pretty confident we will have something in the reasonable future. But not today, so we will definitely let you know when it is happening.”
The last Penguin update was 2.1, launched almost a year ago on October 4, 2013. Since then, thousands of affected site owners have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a refresh which will hopefully recover their affected sites. According to the news above, their wait may soon be at an end.