Thanks Google, just when we thought we could quietly sneak into the holiday period with little fuss, you go and release a new ranking update. Talk about a buzz kill!
Google confirmed the 23rd Panda update on 21st December, which is said to have impacted around 1.3% of English queries.
Surprisingly, this is a bigger update that the previous one in November, which Google says impacted only 0.8% of English queries. What’s more surprising however is that at the same time in 2011 Google promised they would not do a Panda update before the holidays. What a difference 1 year makes!
Google’s Matt Cutts initially squashed rumours of the update when it was first speculated on 13th December, with many webmasters turning to the WebmasterWorld forum to vent their suspicions, including:
Looked like something got rolled back to me. My positions have all reverted to where they were last week.
There has been some shuffling overnight (in which my main key term page has gone from page 2 to page 4).
Then a week later, Google bowed to pressure and tweeted the following on 21st December:
New Panda data refresh rolling out: ~1.3% of English queries noticeably affected
Every time Google announces an algorithm update, SEO professionals scramble to measure its effects on traffic and PageRank. While keeping an eye on these metrics remains an important task, you must remember that high-quality, custom content, white hat SEO tactics and well-designed sites are the key to withstand any Google update.
So if you’ve been a little slow to get back into your website’s online marketing after the holidays, this latest update might be the just the motivation you need.