Google's latest Panda refresh is running really slowly, which pretty much adds insult to injury for sites negatively impacted by the previous one, which rolled out all the way back in October. When that one rolled out, Google implied that things would start moving with it more smoothly.
After that, it took a surprisingly long time for Google to finally push out this latest refresh. It began rolling out about two weeks ago, but the company also said that it would take months to complete, though it is a global roll-out.
We now have some insight into just why Google is being so slow with this one. Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller participated in one of his regular webmaster hangouts and explained the technical difficulties associated with the Panda refresh.
Search Engine Land points to the relevant section of the hour-long video with this transcript:
This is [Panda rollout] actually, pretty much a similar update to before. For technical reasons we are rolling it out a bit slower. It is not that we are trying to confuse people with this. It is really just for technical reasons. So, it is not that we are crawling slowly. We are crawling and indexing normal, and we are using that content as well to recognize higher quality and lower quality sites. But we are rolling out this information in a little bit more slower way. Mostly for technical reasons. It is not like we are making this process slower by design, it is really an internal issue on our side.
Ok, well he didn't really "explain" the technical difficulties so much as explain that there ARE technical issues at the root of why the refresh is so slow.
I don't know that any of this will be of much comfort to sites waiting for a chance to regain lost search visibility, but at least it's something.
Image via Wikimedia Commons