Unlike all major algorithm update release being informed by Matt Cutts as Weather Report on twitter a major update was released by Google on 27th September, 2012. Google rolled out a Panda algorithm update on this date.
This was not just a normal data refresh but it is an algorithm update to the existing one. It is termed as Google Panda 20 because it is the 20th Panda update till date.
It is considered a major update because it has affected 2.4% of English search queries. Google hasn’t updated anyone about its release however Matt Cutts did confirm news of its release to SearchEngineLand via a mail stating:
“Google began rolling out a new update of Panda on Thursday, 9/27. This is actually a Panda algorithm update, not just a data update. A lot of the most-visible differences went live Thursday 9/27, but the full roll out is baking into our index and that process will continue for another 3-4 days or so. This update affects about 2.4% of English queries to a degree that a regular user might notice, with a smaller impact in other languages (0.5% in French and Spanish, for example).”
History of Panda update
Since the release of Google Panda algorithm there have 20 updates in total including the release and this latest one. Below mentioned are it’s major updates which impacted the search engine queries in a major way. Only the updates which created noticeable impact in the search results are mentioned here.
Panda Update 1, Feb. 24, 2011 (11.8% of queries; announced; English in US only)
Panda Update 2, April 11, 2011 (2% of queries; announced; rolled out in English internationally)
Panda Update 6, Aug. 12, 2011 (6-9% of queries in many non-English languages; announced)
Panda Update 8, Oct. 19, 2011 (about 2% of queries; belatedly confirmed)
Panda Update 12, March 23, 2012 (about 1.6% of queries impacted; announced)
Panda Update 15, June 9, 2012: (1% of queries; belatedly announced)
Panda Update 20 , Sep. 27, 2012 (2.4% English queries, impacted, belatedly announced)
Panda 20 release overlapping EMD update
After the release of the Panda 20 update it was rolled out for next 3-4 days and by this time another new major update Google EMD update was released. Thus the dilemma for the site owners starts here. For the sites which were affected during this time frame it was difficult to find out what hit their sites: Google EMD update or the Panda 20 update.
Google webmaster is coming down strongly with these updates in such small time period on the low sites which use black-hat SEO techniques. Hence it always advisable to hire a reliable SEO consultant and design the website for users and not for search engine bots.