Frequent algorithm changes are what make Google the king of search engines. The prime and only reason why Google brings frequent algorithm changes is that it wants users to have the optimum experience, and the best results possible.
Google introduces updates every now and then, however, there are some updates that stand out from the rest of them, and which affect the search engine results at a greater magnitude compared to others. One such update is Google Panda, which caused and continues on causing a lot of buzz among internet marketing services providers. The lines below give all the versions of Panda update in a chronological order starting from its origin till present.
1. Panda 1.0:
The first Google Panda update launched on 24th February 2011. The update impacted about 11.8% of the search engine results. The main purpose of the update was to reduce the ranking of the websites that contained low quality links, and remove the low-quality websites that did not offer any value to the users from the rankings. The update was initially released in US only and was also named as Farmer Update in some circles of the webmasters.
2. Panda 2.0:
Google came up with the official announcement of further update in Panda on 11th of April. The update was the rolling of Panda update across the globe over all users that use Google in English language. The update did not go live on countries that use Google in some different language.
After the update, as per Google’s official announcement, the update impacted additional 2% queries in US further to Panda 1.0. Moreover, Google said that after the update the algorithm analyzed the long tail and low quality websites in a deeper manner and came up with high-quality results.
3. Panda 2.1:
It has been suspected that the Google Panda 2.1 update was released around 9th of May, 2011. Although the update was not made official, however, most of the webmasters witnessed great shifts in search engine results and rankings.
4. Panda 2.2:
On June 18th, 2011, Google rolled out its next version of Google Panda. It was called as Panda 2.2 update in the series of Panda updates. After the update some websites experienced a substantial loss in rankings, while on the other hand, some websites saw the good news when their websites started to recover, which were earlier hit by Panda in February.
5. Panda 2.3:
The Panda filter was further updated to Panda 2.3 on July 22nd 2011. According to Google, in this new update, new signals were incorporated that let the algorithm differentiate between lower- and higher quality websites in a better manner. After the update, a good number of websites experienced a soar in their rankings.
6. Panda 2.4:
In August 2011, Google officially rolled out its Panda update globally across Google users of different languages. According to Google, the update affected about 6-9% of the search results among searchers of languages other than English, which is significantly less compared to the initial launch of Panda in US, which affected 12% of the search results.
7. Panda 2.5:
On September 28th, 2011 came another update in the filter of Panda. With this update the websites that took long to recover from Panda’s earlier hit, were again hit severely resulting in cases such as loss of half of the traffic. Google later on confirmed the update.
There was further a series of updates in Google Panda 2.5. The updates are listed below:
Panda 2.5.1- For websites that were hit by Panda 2.5, the improved version of Panda 2.5 in October 7th, proved as a blessing where the websites hit by parent version, observed an increase and revival in about 70-80% of their traffic. However, there were websites that still did not see any change in their ranking or traffic.
Panda 2.5.2- Google rolled out the upgrade in Panda 2.5 series, on October 13th. This update received mixed response from the webmasters, along with depicting mixed implications, where some website retrieved from the previous hit, while others got sunk even deeper by the hit.
Panda 2.5.3- On October 19th 2011, it was suspected that Google released a minor update in the Panda 2.5 series. After the date, most of the webmasters observed an improvement in ranking of the websites that previously got hit by Panda.
8. Panda 3.1:
On November 18th 2011, Google announced the release of Panda 3.1 update via tweet. Google called it a minor update, which brought very little changes in the search engine results, though not an insignificant update.
9. Panda 3.2:
After 9weeks of the launch of Panda 3.1, Google rolled out the next panda update on January 15th, 2012. The update was speculated to bring changes in the ranking, and indexing areas, however, the main change the update brought was the revival of traffic for the websites that were hit by the first Panda update. The hit websites observed a 40-80% revival of their lost traffic.
10. Panda 3.3:
On February 26th, 2012, Google came up with the Panda 3.3 three update. According to Google the launch basically focused on refreshing the data which made Panda system, more sensitive and accurate pertaining to the recent changes in the web. The update had a great impact on organic referrals which experienced a great boost their numbers compared to the last Panda system refresh.
11. Panda 3.4:
The Panda 3.4 update was also announced by Google on twitter, on March 23rd 2012, where Google called it a minor Panda refresh, which would only affect 1.6% of the search queries. The important thing that search engine optimization services providers inferred from the tweet was, firstly, that Google was not going to make any changes in the Panda algorithm, rather it was only going to refresh and rerun it through its index, and secondly, the 1.6% figure seems small, but for those who got hit by it, it is a very big figure.
12. Panda 3.5:
Like previous few updates that Google Panda 3.5 was also a Panda refresh made on April 19, 2012. Although the update was not initially made public, but later on Google accepted and regarded it as an official Panda update.
13. Panda 3.6:
On May 24th, 2012 Google announced the release of Panda 3.6, which according to Google was one of the 500 minor changes brought in the Panda throughout the year. The update was rolled out with an objective of bringing high-quality websites in search results for the user.
14. Panda 3.7:
It was speculated that last week Google discreetly rolled out a new Panda update, the suspicions were true and now Google has accepted that there was a Panda roll out last week, and that it would affect less than 1% queries in US, and about 1% search queries worldwide.
In short, the Google Panda has been one of the most significant and noticeable algorithm updates from Google. Till now it is at its 3.7 version, and more refreshes are expected to roll out as the year progresses.
- Major Google Algorithm Updates of The Last Decade (Part-I)
- Major Google Algorithm Updates of The Last Decade (Part-II)
- SEO Services – Survival Kit For Google Panda Update
- Framing the SEO Practices and Recovering From Google Penguin Update
- Areas of Implication of Panda Update And Ways to Avoid the Penalty