Google Panda Update 20 Released, 2.4% Of English Queries Impacted

Google has confirmed with us that on Thursday, September 27th, they released a Panda algorithm update – this would be the 20th Panda update and thus we are naming it Panda 20. This is a fairly major Panda update that impacts 2.4% of English search queries and is still rolling out.

Late Friday afternoon, Google announced a exact match domain update that removed the chances of a low-quality exact match domain from ranking well in Google. But over the weekend, many non-exact match domain site owners noticed their rankings dropped as well. What was it?

Google confirmed that they pushed out a new Panda algorithm update that isn’t just a data refresh but an algorithm update. Google told us this “affects about 2.4% of English queries to a degree that a regular user might notice.”

There is more to come with this update, where Google promises to roll out more to this Panda algorithm update over the next 3-4 days. Here is the comment Google’s Matt Cutts sent us after asking about this update:

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 rollout 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).

The confusing part is that there are many sites affected by either this Panda update or the EMD update and it is hard to know which update you were hurt by. For more on this concern, see The Return of the Google Dance.

Panda Update History

We’ve had a string of updates since then, as follows, along with the percentage of queries Google said would be impacted:

  1. Panda Update 1, Feb. 24, 2011 (11.8% of queries; announced; English in US only)
  2. Panda Update 2, April 11, 2011 (2% of queries; announced; rolled out in English internationally)
  3. Panda Update 3, May 10, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  4. Panda Update 4, June 16, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  5. Panda Update 5, July 23, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  6. Panda Update 6, Aug. 12, 2011 (6-9% of queries in many non-English languages; announced)
  7. Panda Update 7, Sept. 28, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  8. Panda Update 8, Oct. 19, 2011 (about 2% of queries; belatedly confirmed)
  9. Panda Update 9, Nov. 18, 2011: (less than 1% of queries; announced)
  10. Panda Update 10, Jan. 18, 2012 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  11. Panda Update 11, Feb. 27, 2012 (no change given; announced)
  12. Panda Update 12, March 23, 2012 (about 1.6% of queries impacted; announced)
  13. Panda Update 13, April 19, 2012 (no change given; belatedly revealed)
  14. Panda Update 14, April 27, 2012: (no change given; confirmed; first update within days of another)
  15. Panda Update 15, June 9, 2012: (1% of queries; belatedly announced)
  16. Panda Update 16, June 25, 2012: (about 1% of queries; announced)
  17. Panda Update 17, July 24, 2012:(about 1% of queries; announced)
  18. Panda Update 18, Aug. 20, 2012: (about 1% of queries; belatedly announced)
  19. Panda Update 19, Sept. 18, 2012: (less than 0.7% of queries; announced)
  20. Panda Update 20 , Sep. 27, 2012 (2.4% English queries, impacted, belatedly announced

Previously we used numbers like “Panda 2.2″ or “Panda 3.92,” but this was proving too confusing. That’s why we’ve shifted to a sequential numbering format.

For more on EMD, see also our follow-up story, The EMD Update: Like Panda & Penguin, Expect Further Refreshes To Come.

Postscript: There’s also a new Penguin Update out. See our story, Google Penguin Update 3 Released, Impacts 0.3% Of English-Language Queries.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Features: Analysis | Google: Panda Update | Panda Update News | Top News

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoff-Lohrere/1013361371 Geoff Lohrere

    Google have lost the plot! I found several of my sites knocked back down by EMD and they are high quality and very much loved sites. One has even been added to sold software because of the accuracy of the information.
    Also, one of my pages was penalised out of existance in April 2012 by Penguin but now it is back in first place with the blue links under it as very much loved by Google. How can it be bad one month and excellent a few months later with no changes?? I have also found Google disobeying robots.txt and indexing pages that they shouldn’t be. And on their forum they say it is because they cannot read the “noindex” because it is blocked by robots.txt but they read it anyway
    so how can that be? And to state another obvious point, if robots.txt blocks a
    page, then isn’t it blatently obvious that you do not want it indexed??? So I
    physically blocked the pages with mod_rewrite and the next thing I found was
    Google trying to gain access through FTP on my server!!! What on earth are they
    up to? I also had Zonealarm saying that some Google software wanted acess to
    the net and yet I have no Google software installed and never have. Are they
    putting spyware out there now as well? Something is very wrong here and there
    can be no doubt that Matts changes are seriously flawed. I am now using Bing
    and helping them make changes for the better and I am finding excellent
    results. http://www.bing.com is now the best choice I have found. Since the results are intelligent and stable in Bing, what can we do to make it more popular and then we no longer have to do the Google dance?

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