Google Panda was launched at the beginning of 2011 and is one of Google’s most significant spam-fighting algorithms to date. It has been recently found that Google Panda is now part of Google’s core ranking algorithm, however it is unclear as to when this development took place.
Google Panda was introduced to lower the rank of “low-quality sites” or “thin sites”, and return higher quality sites nearer the top of the search results.
A Panda guide written by Jennifer Slegg was released, in which it mentioned that said Panda is now part of Google’s core ranking algorithm. The statement is as follows:
“Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.”
This is likely to mean that Google will never confirm another Panda update in the future. The last confirmed Panda update was Panda 4.2, which was expected to be implemented over a period of “several months”.
Gary Illyes from Goggle confirmed on Twitter that the core ranking algorithm was not updating in real time. SEO researchers are trying to find out exactly when Google incorporated Panda into their core algorithm and what that means. At the moment, it is estimated that the change happened late in 2015, however this is yet to be confirmed.
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