It has been over 9 weeks since we had an official Google Panda update. Now I am seeing some chatter in the forums of a possible sign that Google had updated the Panda algorithm and pushed a new one out – this would be version 3.2 or higher.
A WebmasterWorld thread has some uptick in discussion around ranking changes, indexing changes and so on – specifically on Panda suffering web sites. One webmaster said:
Yeah, some movement on one of my pandalized subdomains. Not for sure until the stats settle, but it looks like on the 19th of January Google “accidentally” gave back the traffic they took on February 24th, 2011. An increase in traffic of about 80%!
Others recently responded saying:
40% traffic increase for me today, not sure if it is thanks to hundreds of small changes made on my website or some one big lucky change in algo.
There is always a bunch of Panda rumors floating around, but it seems like there was an uptick recently in that discussion. Of course, this doesn’t mean it was a Panda update – but in this case, I am thinking it might be.
Past Panda Updates:
Panda 3.1 on November 18th
Panda 2.5.3 on October 19/20th
Panda 2.5.2 on October 13th
Panda 2.5.1 on October 9th
Panda 2.5 on September 28th
Panda 2.4 in August
Panda 2.3 on around July 22nd.
Panda 2.2 on June 18th or so.
Panda 2.1 on May 9th or so.
Panda 2.0 on April 11th or so.
Panda 1.0 on February 24th
There was a rumored Panda 3.2 update during the holiday season but Google never confirmed it.
Matt Cutts is in India now, so I am not sure if we will see a confirmation or not from him until much later.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.
Update: Google sent me a statement confirming there was an update in the past week or so. It was a minor update, with no new ranking signals, but rather just a data refresh of the Panda update. Google added:
We’re continuing to iterate on our Panda algorithm as part of our commitment to returning high-quality sites to Google users. This most recent update is one of the over 500 changes we make to our ranking algorithms each year.