You may have been aware of Google’s infamous search algorithm updates, ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’, from last year. They specifically targeted and penalised websites with unnatural and spammy links as well has sites with duplicate content. These updates certainly rewarded websites with fresh, unique content and quality backlinks because it meant they ranked higher in the search results. Webmasters who previously got their sites ranking through dodgy link exchanges and by copying all of their content had to go back to the drawing board!
Google have just announced that webmasters can expect the 2nd update for both releases within the coming months – see Google’s statement from spokesman Matt Cutts below.
Panda is Google’s algorithm aimed at surfacing high-quality sites higher in search results. It was first released in February 2011.
The next Panda update (or refresh) is due to arrive either Friday (March 15) or Monday (March 18, Cutts said according to reports coming out of the SMX West conference. Google’s last Panda refresh (and only one so far in 2013) was January 22 and affected 1.2 percent of English queries.
Keep on your analytics over the next few days. If you see an unexplainable surge in traffic, it could indicate that Panda is about to maul your website.
It isn’t known when the next Penguin update will arrive, but Cutts revealed Google is working on a “new generation of Penguin.” The Penguin algorithm, initially released last April, was designed to reduce web spam and also hit website that had link profiles that appeared unnatural. The most recent Penguin refresh was in October.
Also, Cutts said the update will be significant and one of the most talked about Google algorithm updates this year. Which would make that two years running.
Cutts also put out word that Google plans to target more link networks this year, including one or two big ones within the next few weeks.