Google Releases Panda 4.2 & You Didn’t Notice

As I announced last night at Search Engine Land, Google has released Panda 4.2 after being without a Google Panda refresh for about 10 months.

The most interesting thing about this Panda refresh was that virtually no one noticed. Really, no one. I track the forums heavily, no one this weekend noticed.

Google told me on the record that the Panda refresh began this weekend, around Saturday and is rolling out incredibly slowly. It can take up months to fully roll out and even on a site by site basis, not all of your pages may pick up on the roll out for months. This does not mean the algorithm is page-by-page basis, it is a site-wide algorithm, I’ve confirmed that too when I heard about the roll out being slowly pushed on a page by page basis.

Google wouldn’t tell me why it was going to be such a slow roll out, I asked, but they didn’t want to say much about it.

One point to add, even though it is rolling out slowly, making changes to your site now, won’t make a difference with Panda 4.2. Of course, it may help when Google pushes Panda 4.3, whenever that might be.

That being said, I can say for sure, that this site does seem to see an uptick in Google organic traffic since this weekend. Yes, this site was hit by the Panda 4.1 update on September 25, 2014. But now, it seems that there is a significant recovery happening since 4.2 released this weekend.

Here is my graph (click to enlarge):

I’ll keep you all posted on how this site does over time as this Panda rollout impacts more of the pages on this site.

Google also told me that this Panda refresh impacted about 2-3% of queries, so it was relatively small.

The last Panda shift we saw, unofficially was in October 2014. So we are due an update, however, many folks are not happy it will take months to fully roll out.

Many still don’t see the update, here are some tweets:

Not seeing any obvious evidence of Panda wins or losses in my data so far. A long rollout is going to make interpretation difficult.

— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) July 22, 2015

@rustybrick yeah I monitor dozens of sites hit by panda – none are seeing any movement yet.

— Alan Bleiweiss (@AlanBleiweiss) July 22, 2015

I’ve reviewed my Panda data multiple times to gauge the impact from Panda 4.2 so far. Not much movement at all on Panda-susceptible sites.

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) July 23, 2015

But Glenn did spot one site that saw a shift:

That said, there were a few sites that saw movement (and some Panda-like). For example, notice the bump & surge: pic.twitter.com/IuDc19tmDE

— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) July 23, 2015

Either way, Google did tell me, without me even asking them, that there was a Panda refresh this weekend. This is what we’ve been waiting for weeks and weeks and it is finally here.

For more on our Panda coverage, see our Google Panda section.

Keep me posted if you guys see any shifts on your Panda clients.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, Google+ and Twitter.

Update: I posted more early stats and data on my site’s Panda recovery, if you want to take a look.

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