Forceful Panda Update Confirmed on September 27th

Panda AttackHappy times at the GoogleZoo. You can never know what/when/where to expect and if the next animalistic update will bite or lick you. Things are never as they initially seem and most times you only catch them in hindsight (if at all). Sometimes we can get so perplexed that we don’t even recognize what’s what.

Like now.

Back on Friday September 28th, Google’s top anti-spam cop Matt Cutts announced on the Exact-Match Domain update. Even though he stated that only 0.6% of search queries will be affected, the impact was certainly much more sensed than this skimpy percentage. Too many site owners whose domain names weren’t exact-match, reported they got hit as well.

So after a few days of a fierce roar from the webmaster community, the good fellows of Search Engine Land demanded some clarifications from the Google Lords. They had pleaded for some answers, and answers they had received. A day before the EMD update on Thursday September 27th, Google released an undisclosed (until now) Panda update.

But this Panda update wasn’t the ordinary data refresh we got used to over the past year… this update also contains a change to the algorithm itself, very likely with additional quality signals. SuperCop Cutts says this Panda had a collision effect of 2.4 percent with English queries, which is pretty aggressive.

On top of all that, it appears that this Panda update hasn’t done shuffling the search rankings quite yet. Its full implementation will only finalize at some point over the coming weekend, so you should anticipate further fluctuations on the next few days. Oh yeah, fun times at the GoogleZoo.

If you still follow the numbers, this update has been dubbed as Panda update 20, while the prior one which was released less than a couple of weeks earlier on September 18th has previously been dubbed as Panda update 3.92. If you were hit and your traffic from Google sunk recently, identify the exact date where your site got slapped so you’ll know which specific update lunged to batter you.

“What about the Penguin?” some of you probably eagerly asking right now. Well, I guess it is still creeping in the shadows, plotting the upcoming attack and waiting for the perfect moment to strike.