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Panda Raises Its Head Again – Slowly

According to information originating from Google itself, Search Engine Land reports that the latest update to the algorithmic search filter used by Google and cutely named Panda began last weekend, Saturday, July 18th, 2015. However, while the roll-out of new code indeed started to take root several days ago, don’t expect to see real or dramatic changes in the search engine results pages just yet: The update will take months to complete.

This isn’t the first time Google took its time to implement an update to its algorithm, though assuming that pace is relatively rare. Perhaps to prevent unexpected upshots to search results pages or (more likely) to make it difficult to model the precise details of the change, Google similarly staggered a few of its previous refreshes to Panda. And while there will be winners and losers with this newest version – Panda 4.2, according to Search Engine Land’s nomenclature – only about 2% to 3% of English language queries will feel its effects.

Admittedly, this is a very different situation from what happened when Panda was first rolled out. Launched in February 2011, Panda 1.0 brought many gray and black hat search engine optimization practitioners (versus those operating similarly to Overdrive Interactive’s white hat SEO approach) into a world of pain. So, comparatively, not exactly pandemonium this time around.

As for which ranking signals were adjusted or tinkered with, no information is available as of right now. Have you noticed any sudden shifts in your organic search traffic, or is Google Search Console reporting new and strange keywords your site is ranking for? Report them here!

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