Recently Google began rolling out the new Panda 4.2. Panda was created to refine Google search results so that site’s with unique content were rewarded and site’s that used outdated SEO strategies were no longer included in Google’s index. Google encourages webmasters to publish high-quality content regularly so their search results will point users to relevant content. Many businesses will remember the first Panda update because it hurt there search rankings.
Panda 4.2, however, is different from the algorithm updates that we are used to seeing from Google. For one it’s not even really an update but a refresh. No new signals have been introduced to Google search. Panda 4.2 is a refresh, the same signals that have been in use are being applied to new data. To complete the refresh Google will be running an analysis using Panda on a new set of data.
Another thing that makes Panda 4.2 different from the preceding Panda updates is how much time it is going to take to fully roll out. After the update was started a Google spokesperson was quoted:
“This past weekend we began a Panda update that will rollout over the coming months”
Previously Google updates have taken anywhere from a few hours to a few days but not Panda 4.2. This Panda rollout will take months to completely.
The shift to slower rollouts has some major consequences for SEO marketers around the globe. It will make it almost impossible to connect the rise and fall of search rankings to specific Google updates. Google aims to create an environment where the very best sites are showing up near the top of the rankings. These slower updates make it more difficult for bigger more well-known companies to dominate the rankings. Look for the slow rollouts to become an almost continuous process for Google as it seeks to evolve with an ever-changing landscape on the web.