Google has now confirmed swirling rumors that it has pushed out a new Panda data refresh in the last few weeks, probably right around Christmas. The newest Panda update affects about 1.3% of search queries in English.
This is the 23rd update of Panda since the algorithm was first introduced in February 2011. Since that time, there have been a total of 22 updates to the algorithm and also to the index and the data refreshes. Google, which has been the subject of a recent lawsuit over Gmail privacy, likes to update Panda frequently to enhance the quality of search engine results.
While the current update has affected 1.3% of queries, version 22 affected .8% of English queries.
Some in the SEO industry did see the signs of a significant update in December, but Google indicated that no update had been made. However, it is now clear and it has been confirmed that the Panda update did take place.
Some people are surprised that there was a Panda data refresh right around Christmas. In 2011, Google promised that it would not update the algorithm or do any data refreshes until after the holidays.
Google Panda is a major change to the search results of Google that started two years ago. The original aim of the change was to lower the rank of sites that it deemed lower in quality, and to put higher quality sites near the top of the search engines.
Meanwhile, Google has been busy updating its Adword Campaigns as well….