By Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land
Google has confirmed reports of a Panda update with us. Thye company told us they have done a data refresh of the Google Panda algorithm about a week ago, and added that there were no additional signals or algorithm changes. This was only a data refresh.
I saw reports over the past week or so of webmasters commenting about their rankings. Most were complaining that they lost rankings, but some said sites that were originally hit by Panda regained their traffic levels pre-Panda. This would explain the data refresh, where Google ran the algorithm and updated the sites that should or should not have been touched by Panda.
Google Panda 3.2
Google said this happened about a week or so, so I would place this Google Panda 3.2 update as happening on January 18, 2012.
Why 3.2 and not 2.x? Well, I spoke with a Googler back in late November, they expressed that one of the 2.x updates we labeled as a “minor” update, should have likely been named as a major update and thus labelled a 3.0 update. I personally believe that was an October Panda update, that we did not cover here, but I do not have confirmation on that. In fact, Google does not number their updates, so it is hard to nail down.
The 3.1 update was likely the the minor update from November and now this being a basic “data refresh,” we’d label this as a minor update as well, and call this the 3.2 update.
There was a long gap between this update and the update from November because Google promised us no Panda updates during holidays.
Previous Panda Updates
Here’s the Panda update schedule so far, as we’ve tracked and had confirmed by Google:
- Panda Update 1.0: Feb. 24, 2011
- Panda Update 2.0: April 11, 2011 (about 7 week gap)
- Panda Update 2.1: May 10, 2011 (about 4 week gap)
- Panda Update 2.2: June 16, 2011 (about 5 week gap)
- Panda Update 2.3: July 23, 2011 (about 5 week gap)
- Panda Update 2.4: August 12, 2011 (about 3 week gap)
- Panda Update 2.5: September 28, 2011 (about 7 week gap)
- Panda Update 3.0 : ~October 19, 2011 (about 3 week gap)
- Panda Update 3.1 : November 18, 2011 (about 3 week gap)
- Panda Update 3.2 : ~January 18, 2012 (about 2 month gap)
We are waiting to hear back from Google on exact dates and will update our story with those dates if and when we hear back. But Google has indeed confirmed a Panda data refresh as a week or so ago.