It’s Panda Update 2.1, Not Panda 3.0, Google Says

There have been rumblings that Google has unveiled another huge algorithm change being dubbed “Panda 3.0″ in some quarters. Officially, Google says it’s not so. Only a minor update, “far smaller” than Panda 2, has happened.

Changes have been spotted by some sharp-eyed SEOs over the past few days, and Google agrees that there were some tweaks made. But as I said, the company says this impacts far fewer rankings than in the past.

Let’s recap:

Panda 1.0: Launched on February 24, this targeted “shallow” or “thin” content and impacted about 12% of the rankings in the United States. See our coverage from then, Google Forecloses On Content Farms With “Farmer” Algorithm Update.

Panda 2.0: Launched on April 11, this incorporated Google “blocking” data and impacted about 2% of searches in the US. It also saw the algorithm roll out globally. See our past coverage: Google Rolls Out Its Panda Update Internationally And Begins Incorporating Searcher Blocking Data.

Panda 2.1: Google won’t release the percentage of queries impacted but says this is far less than in the other updates. Changes were made in the past few days.

It’s important to remember that Google is always making changes to its search algorithm. Panda was a big algorithm change, but it’s not likely that Google will make similar huge change for months.

If it does, it’s likely you can expect news will come from us, along with perhaps a new name and confirmation from Google. Until then, little changes that happen should be seen as what they probably are, small tweaks that regularly happen.

Still, I’ve no doubt we’ll be hearing people continue to talk Panda for months. Indeed, just as Chinese years are named for different animals (we’re in the year of the rabbit right now), 2011 looks to be Google’s Year Of The Panda.

For more about the Panda update, see some of our many past posts:

Also see our post earlier this week Impacted By Google’s Panda Update? Google Asks You To Consider This…, which covers over 20 questions that Google asks publishers to consider about their sites, and ways to improve, if they were swiped by the Panda paw.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Features: General | Panda Update Must-Reads | Panda Update News | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Michael Martinez

    It sounds like they’re getting closer to the ideal mix they have been seeking.

  • Azi Azimi

    Danny, Google is the king they did a great update. I see it every day. We paid 7 figures for an exactmatch which was ranking#1 for over 8 years with links from amazing places now we are outranked by a guy with Adsense ads, it certainly was a great update. Kudos to google and that guy Panda.

  • O.P.

    Still waiting for the panda update” on spanish & french’s SERP’s.

  • Bo Cakmak

    It seems like the results are getting worse rather than better.

  • Michael Martinez

    @Bo Cakmak: What is the purpose of sharing a screen grab of the 4th page of search results for “braun electric kettle”?

  • Joe Youngblood

    how would anyone know about 2.1 with analytics all messed up…

  • Bo Cakmak

    @Michael Martinez: I suppose I should have been clearer about my intent. The search term itself is not the relevant point.

    Panda like any other update by Google is intended to provide more relevant results. The screen grab shows one example (there are many) where Google fails to do that. I should probably have posted a first or second page snapshot but I don’t think that results should diminish in quality regardless of page.

    I am not sure about the rest of the community but the results I have been seeing seem less relevant than they were previous to the update. I was hoping for responses geared towards other instances where users have seen results that are not up to standards. I.E. Google displaying 6+ results that are different domains and yet exact duplicates with the exception of color.

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