Google began rolling out its latest Panda refresh in July, and made it pretty clear that it would be a very slow roll-out. Presumably it’s still in the process as they said it would take a few months to complete.
Google indicated that it was going so slowly because of some technical issues (as opposed to purposely trying to confuse SEOs). As the slow roll-out continues, some webmasters suspect that Google may have reversed the refresh as sites that were seeing a healthy recovery are starting to lose ground again.
That includes Barry Schwartz’s Search Engine Roundtable, which had fallen victim to Panda for some reason that’s still hard to wrap one’s head around. He’s reporting that his own data in addition to data from “the SEO community at large” show that some sites who saw a positive impact from the refresh are seeing the impact be reversed.
Schwartz points to forum threads and tweets from others who are seeing this happen with a variety of websites. He also shares a look at his own stats in which you can see where his organic Google traffic went up after the refresh began to roll out, but has been on the decline more recently.
A decline in Google traffic doesn’t necessarily mean Panda, but given that this has apparently been a common occurrence among sites who had begun to see recovery, it does seem to be related.
Google recently indicated that it is shifting its infrastructure towards “more continuous changing and gradual rolling out of Panda, incorporated into their core ranking algorithms.”
They still have work to do, but that’s the goal. It may still be a while before this is really the case.
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