Google's Matt Cutts spoke in a Q&A session with Danny Sullivan at SMX Advanced this week, and discussed the Panda update, among other things.
A lot of sites have been critical of Google for returning results that are scraped versions of their orignal content. Cutts is quoted as saying in a liveblog of the session, "A guy on my team [is] working on that issue. A change has been approved that should help with that issue. We’re continuing to iterate on Panda. The algorithm change originated in search quality, not the web spam team."
He says there's another change coming soon, and that he still doesn't know when Panda will be launched fully internationally (in other languages). He also says they haven't made any manual exceptions with Panda.
You may recall that the Mac blog Cult of Mac was hit by the original Panda update, and then after exchanging some dialogue with Google the site ended up getting some new traffic. Matt says, however, "We haven’t made any manual exceptions. Cult of Mac might have been confused because they started getting all this new traffic from blogging about it, but we haven’t made any manual exceptions."
Yesterday we looked at some poll results from Search Engine Roundtable that found 4% of sites were saying they had fully recovered from the Panda update. Some other sites have been finding partial recovery.
On the prospect of sites having recovered from the update, Matt is quoted as saying, "The general rule is to push stuff out and then find additional signals to help differentiate on the spectrum. We haven’t done any pushes that would directly pull things back. We have recomputed data that might have impacted some sites. There’s one change that might affect sites and pull things back."
You may also recall Google's list of questions that webmasters could use to assess the quality of their content. Cutts talked briefly about those questions, saying, "It could help as we recompute data."
He also said that what is being called "Panda 2.2" has been approved but has not yet been rolled out. "If we think you’re relatively high quality, Panda will have a smaller impact. If you’re expert enough and no one else has the good content, even if you’ve been hit by Panda that page can still rank."
That says a lot about original content.