The Panda 4.2 Mystery: Search Engine Land’s Interview with Google

After nearly 10 long months since the last Panda update, Google has finally released the latest version of the algorithm in July this year. Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed the rollout—but apart from that, the search engine giant remained mum about the update despite its potentially huge effect on search rankings and revenue of businesses. Barry Schwartz Tweet There have been many questions about the update since the announcement. Search Engine Land, fortunately, was able to clarify some of those questions through an interview with Google. Here’s what they’ve gathered so far:

A Slow Rollout

Google is doing the slowest rollout ever. Unlike the previous updates that took only a few days to finish rolling out, Google Panda 4.2 will probably take several months. Google explained that the rollout is taking so long due to “technical reasons”, but clarified that it’s not meant to “confuse people”.

Effect on Sites

The slow rollout may affect websites page by page. Panda 4.2 is a site-wide action, but it might not have the same impact on every page of a specific site. According to Google, more than 200 signals are affecting site rankings—and the algorithm is just one of them.

Escaping Panda 4.2

Those who’ve been hit by the current update might need to wait for months until it has finished rolling out, and then wait until Google does the next update. Google said the best way to see if you’ve escaped Google Panda is to isolate your Google organic traffic and see if there are big changes. Google advises those who’ve been hit to build a high quality site as well—packed with unique, relevant, and factual content.

What Now? Google is Still Rolling Out

In September this year, Google Panda 4.2 seems to have taken a U-turn, with Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz reporting that the update has been possibly reversed. He saw that the sites that have previously seen improvements saw their gains wiped out overnight. Now if you’re wondering whether the rollout of the latest Panda 4.2 update is over now, it’s not. Gary Illyes recently confirmed that Google Panda 4.2 is STILL rolling out—and the SEO community can expect it to continue for quite some time, as Google initially announced. Google Panda

Panda 4.2 as a Big Marketing Mystery

For marketers, SEO companies, and webmasters, there are still many questions unanswered, especially with Google seeming to become more and more secretive when it comes to communicating their algorithm updates. In addition, the earlier updates allowed SEO marketers and decision makers to accurately identify whether or not the respective changes have affected them, making it possible for them to react. Now, with the updates taking too long and Google remaining mum, things are becoming more challenging for marketers and decision makers. There’s no clear differentiation between updates anymore, and it’s more difficult to know when an update has started in order to determine whether a particular site has been affected or not.

Quality Content is Still Key

Since Panda first hit the web in 2011, its purpose was to make sure sites providing valuable content, not just SEO-optimized content, rank high in search results. This means that the most effective strategy to keep your traffic strong and rankings high remains the same: create high quality, original, and accurate content that’s better than what’s already out there. It’s important to look at search engine updates on an analytical level, too, rather than solely focusing on producing quality content. Marketers and decision makers must also measure and identify the impact of these updates. Now if you’re unsure just how to manage and implement all of these solutions, you need the expertise of C1 Partners—the SEO firm that knows the ins and outs of the algorithm best. Our Denver SEO experts put a premium on quality content, and are skilled enough to help you create a site that deserves to be on the page 1 of Google. Get in touch with us today.