Google finally confirmed this week that they have pushed out the latest Google Panda refresh (Google Panda 4.2) after weeks of speculation. The last time the Panda algorithm was updated was 25 September 2014 so the news of the latest update has been welcomed by those who were hit with a penalty last time out but don’t get too excited just yet; Google have said that the update could take months to fully roll out.
The news of the roll out was reported by Search Engine Land on 22 July and was confirmed this week by Google’s Gary Illyes. It is believed that the update will affect 2-3% of English Language queries. As is normal with Google algorithm updates, the US is the first place that is likely to see the impact of the update with the roll out then heading to Europe a couple of weeks later. For us down in NZ, it could be a month or even longer before we start to see the impact.
So is there still time to fix up your content?
Penalty recovery and new penalties
The latest roll out means that anyone who was hit with a Panda penalty after the last update has a good chance of recovery if they have addressed the issues that caused the penalty in the first place. For site in NZ and Australia, unfortunately this could still be some way off but there is hope. It is unlikely that you will see an immediate recovery, however you should start to see slow improvements to your organic rankings.
One thing that is not clear is whether or not there is still time to fix up your content if you are based in NZ and Australia or even in Europe. Search Engine Round Table reported back in early July that it may already be too late to save your site as Google may have already run all the date for the refresh before they published the release. On checking this with Google Gary Illyes, SEO Round Table reported Gary’s response as, ‘improve the site continuously, don’t focus on these refreshes!’ – so, the jury is still out on whether or not it is too late for this Panda 4.2 update.
Focus on quality content
Although the response from Illyes is towing the corporate line a little, the fact remains that we should all be focusing on producing high quality content on our websites that benefit our end users. If we continue to do this, there is no reason to worry about these Panda refreshes as we know that we are delivering high quality content that serves our customers’ needs.
Although for some there will be a reprieve from a previous Panda penalty, for others, new penalties will no doubt be inevitable. Again, this is something to keep an eye on as it is unlikely that you will see any immediate drops in ranking but more of a steady decline.
Recovering from Panda Penalties
If you have been hit with a Panda penalty previously, then this could well be the news that you have been waiting for although there is still a need to be patient. If you need an audit of your content or a consultation on what to do if you have been hit with a Panda penalty, get in touch and we can arrange to come out and talk to you about a recovery strategy.