Fallout From Panda Update Already Starting to Show

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Last weekend’s Google Panda update is rolling out so slowly and sporadically that industry experts are having a hard time getting a sense of its impact on search.

Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends analyst at Google, announced last month at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle that the latest Panda update, which is technically more of a refresh, will roll out in the coming months. This marks Panda’s 29th update, but it’s the first one since the September 2014 update impacted many sites’ rankings.

Hallmark was one company that was hit particularly hard last time, losing 20 percent of its keywords, according to AJ Ghergich, founder of content marketing agency Ghergich & Co. When there’s a new update, Ghergich judges Panda’s rollouts based on the fluctuation of the sites that were most affected during the last update. He notes that in mid-July, before Illyes’ announcement, Hallmark went from ranking for 29,000 keywords to just 17,000.

“That’s a brutal hit,” Ghergich says. “It seems really weird to me that these sites are getting hit a little bit earlier so maybe [Google was] testing it on those sites. Google is probably not going to tell us, but there’s no doubt in my mind it’s related to this update.”
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I definitely think that we’re just going to have to monitor this over the course of a few weeks to really get the fallout and see the winners and losers,” he adds.

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