If you’ve been following the search industry for the last month or two, I probably don’t have to tell you have big an impact Google’s Panda update has had on a lot of sites. Google had only rolled the update out in the U.S. and it has already sent tremendous ripples throughout the web in terms of traffic and search engine rankings.
A lot of webmasters felt that their sites were undeserving of being victimized by the update, while many were more obviously the intended targets. Either way, it was just in the U.S. and publishers have been bracing (by scrambling to improve quality of content/design) for the next wave of the Panda update – the expansion into other countries.
There is some talk in the Webmaster World forum by webmasters who think it has indeed begun rolling out in other countries. So far, this is unconfirmed.
“Today, for the first time, after checking daily, I can now see US Panda results on Google properties worldwide including but not limited to: .co.uk, .ca, .co.in, .com.au, .fr, .de, .se, etc,” said user incrediBILL, who started a thread on the topic. He later added, “I see the same results on multiple non-US data centers…However, it could be rolling out in waves meaning I’m seeing a segment of the index changed others aren’t seeing yet, but the US Panda results for my niches and some other stuff I track are now worldwide best I can tell.”
“It has definitely hit the UK, my sites have been hit pretty hard -80% in the last couple of hours,” another user, c41lum, said.
“It has been live in France for a while now ..but only over the last 48/72 hours have I seen it hammering directories and public info scraper/repackagers hard..they were moving agitatedly before..now some are dropping hard ( 100 to 200 places ) all across the sites,” wrote user Leosghost. “It has hit very hard over the last 15 to 21 days on the shopping comparative sites that just acted as “bridge” pages / aff feeders to other sites ( who frequently did not have the goods ).So no loss there..IMO.”
Throughout the thread there is a mixture of people indicating that their sites have also been affected, and some who haven’t noticed any change.
Again, whether or not this is Panda rolling out in these other countries is unconfirmed. Google has yet to respond to a request for comment. It’s worth noting that Google did make a very public (and proud) announcement when the update was initially launched in the U.S. It’s hard to say if we could expect them to do the same for the rest of the world, though the original announcement did say, “To start with, we’re launching this change in the U.S. only; we plan to roll it out elsewhere over time. We’ll keep you posted as we roll this and other changes out, and as always please keep giving us feedback about the quality of our results because it really helps us to improve Google Search.”
They’ll keep us posted. It would seem that this was either an empty promise, or Panda has not rolled out to more countries yet.
Update: Google has made it official. More here.