Google’s Panda Update 25 has hit, and the big news is what’s not going to be happening.
While all previous iterations of the Panda Update have been manually released and announced, Google is now saying that Panda will be permanently rolled into the regular search algorithm changes and will no longer receive manual updates or public announcements.
And while Google’s Matt Cutts had hinted that this latest Panda update might hit somewhere between last Friday, March 15, and this past Monday, the 18th, it seems that official announcements are a thing of the past and the confirmation we got for Panda #24 may be a courtesy that’s the last of its kind.
Cutts announced at SMX West that Google will no longer be announcing future Pandas. That’s because the changes to Google’s algorithm will no longer be as abrupt or nearly as discernible, as the search engine has incorporated these changes into their indexing process to be rolled out gradually instead of pushed out manually.
In short, it seems like this is the last time we’re going to be seeing a manual Panda Update, and it’s certainly the last time Google will be giving us an official announcement or confirmation notice.
From now on, Panda updates will no longer be categorized as refreshes. Instead, claims Google, the changes will be a regular, rolling part of their algorithm mechanism, meaning more frequent, less disruptive updates that businesses, analysts, and SEO experts will be left to their own devices to recognize and to optimize accordingly.
Now, this all may seem like a technicality. And on some level it is. But the Panda 25 is a pretty good idea of the maturation of the Google Search algorithm. That is, there are basic principles guiding the search engine rankings: user experience. (To get a better idea what we’re talking about, check out our recent post on UX and Technical SEO.) Google continues to refine its algorithm by making thousands of unannounced changes every year, in hopes of providing the best results possible and fulfilling its mission to organize the world’s information. Every once in a while, the search algorithm takes a giant step forward and announced a manual update, such as Panda or the Penguin Update.
Panda and Penguin were SEO game changers, and they’ve shifted the SEO landscape and altered the way we think about quality content and natural link building. But as time goes by, these manual updates will become part and parcel of the Google Search algorithm.
The fact is, we should no longer think about “getting around” Panda or Penguin, but rather internalize what these changes mean to your SEO and online marketing in general. Always remember that there will always be another SEO game changer waiting to happen, but soon enough it will be a part of the standard search results.
Google Search is constantly evolving, and so must your SEO campaign. The latest Panda news serves as a reminder that today’s game changer is tomorrow’s normalcy, and there’s no getting around Google. If you want to drive ranking and traffic from the search engine, you must play by their rules.
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