The newest update to Google’s Panda algorithm is here, and SEO experts are confused. Over time, Google has become more and more secretive about updates to its algorithm, despite the potentially huge effect they can have on companies’ search ranking and revenue.
While this change is the first official Panda tweak since 4.1 ten months ago, that doesn’t mean Google has been inactive. In fact, two big changes have already happened this year: The first was dubbed, a bit hyperbolically, “Mobilegeddon,” and the second as either the “Phantom Update” or the “Quality Update,” depending on whom you ask. If you need a refresher, you can read about those here and here.
Put in simple terms, “Mobilegeddon” required sites to be mobile-optimized or face a fall in their search rankings, while the “Quality Update” rewarded sites that featured what Google considers to be quality content.
This update, like the “Quality Update”, was never officially announced by Google. Instead, Search Engine Land’s news editor, Barry Schwartz, had to plead with Google employee Gary Illyes on Twitter to confirm that Panda was indeed in the midst of an update.