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

Barry Schwartz on
  • Categories: Channel: SEO, Features: Analysis, Google: Panda Update 🐼, Panda Update News
  • 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.


    About The Author

    Barry Schwartz
    Barry Schwartz 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 can be followed on social media at @rustybrick, +BarrySchwartz and Facebook. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio and disclosures, click over here.