Google Panda 4.2: “New” Spam Algorithm or Just an Update?

Google Panda 4.2: “New” Spam Algorithm or Just an Update?

Earlier this week, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable gathered links from discussion boards and solicited responses from Google regarding a possible algorithm update in the wake of Panda 4.2 having been announced.

The theories, centered around observations in online discussions, are that the algorithm was most noticeable by site owners and marketers previously affected by Penguin updates in the past.

In the past 10 days or so, I’ve observed a number of significant changes in highly competitive (often littered with spam) keyword spaces.

These changes include a major reshuffling of rankings across the top three pages – and in one instance – I have seen a 35% increase in organic traffic. While the destination URLs for those searches seem to coincide with the most altered keywords and related SERPs, it’s impossible to prove out thanks to our old friend, (not provided).

The sites winning though have clearly demonstrated a commitment to ongoing content publishing and natural outreach across social, PR and offline media. The sites losing out are those that are not as active in any of those spaces.

In other words, Panda appears to be continuing on with a rolling update as expected.

The question though is whether or not this is a significant and noticeable update tied to a specific timeframe, or, coincidentally obvious updates that are part of that rolling algorithm we have all seen and heard about.

While I happened to see positive movement in a site I closely analyze, others were not as lucky. Martin Ice Web from Webmaster World made the following comment nearly two weeks ago – discussing changes to a German ecommerce website he began observing on July 18th:

Since saturday we are seeing a 40% drop in traffic. And this traffic is fully unrelated. Conversions droped about 80%.

I wonder why every time a “quality algo” ends in killing sites that had been good traffic / low bounce / good conversions.

You can read more from Martin and many others commenting on Netmeg’s thread, Google Panda 4.2 Rolling Out, published back on Jul 22nd.

What have you observed in the past month or so of reviewing your analytics and SERPs? Leave a comment below and share your experiences!

For more information on Google Panda 4.2, please see the following links:

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