Today marks the one year birthday of Google’s Panda update. And what a year it has been.
February 24, Panda Update 1.0 was released to lower the rankings of low-quality sites and restore higher-quality sites to the top of search rankings. The intent was to reward those with original content and to punish scraper sites that were low in quality and contained lots of advertisements. This update affected 12% of results.
April 11, Panda Update 2.0 was released affecting all English language users worldwide. By this time many users were negatively impacted and posted their thoughts on Google’s Webmaster discussion forum. Web owners were told to look at the total user experience to help their rankings.
July 23, Panda Update 2.3 was released confirming that if websites had been affected by the previous Panda update that it wouldn’t see a change in its search rankings until the next update, which usually comes each month.
August 12, Panda Update 2.4 was released rolling out to all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This update impacted around 6-9% of non-English users around the world.
January 26, Panda Update 3.2 was released as the last major update.
Google Panda has had quite a first year. The update has caused a lot of angst against sites who had lost a lot of traffic due to Panda. Some have regained their previous rankings, while some still flounder in the flux. Only time will tell what will come next for Panda.
Here is the Panda Infographic from Search Engine Land.