There’s a new Panda update from Google, and while “he” doesn’t have a name, he’s already making his presence known. He’s Panda 4.2 and he just rolled into town a week ago. That’s just 10 months after his predecessor Panda 4.1 came and took the web by storm. Panda 4.2 will be slowly rolled out in the coming months, affecting roughly 2%-3% of English language queries.
The main characteristic of this Panda is that he’s slow – it could take several months for the full force of his “actions” to be felt. But that doesn’t detract from the impact he’s already having on some websites.
The SimilarWeb team is currently analyzing this latest version of Panda, and we’ve already got a few little insight nuggets we’d like to share with you. (We’ll continue to update as we learn more about it’s behavior).
For the time being, we’ve analyzed 2 websites that were affected by the last Panda update. One of these sites has seen a marked improvement; the other continues to see a drop in website traffic.
First up, we looked at seroundtable.com. This website is run by SEO guru Barry Schwartz and is a great source of information on all SEO updates and discussions. Somewhat ironically, this site was hit By Panda 4.1 – but since the new update rolled out seroundtable seems to be recovering quite nicely.
When we crunched the “before Panda” and “after Panda” numbers we saw a huge traffic surge. Overall there was a 23% increase in organic desktop traffic after Panda 4.2 rolled out. Case in point – from the 11th to the 16th of July there were roughly 201,200 desktop visits, and from the 18th -23rd of July that number jumped to around 247,450 visits.
Meanwhile, Panda 4.2 hasn’t brought tidings and good cheer to every website. Zabasearch.com was hit by Panda 4.1 and doesn’t seem to be faring well after Panda 4.2 either, as their website traffic continues to plummet. From the 18th to 23rd desktop visits from organic traffic to zabasearch.com was around 259,000 – which is a clear drop from the week earlier, during the 11th to the 16th of July, when desktop visits were at 311,230.
That’s a 17% decrease in organic desktop traffic – a big drop for such a short period of time.
So the question is, does this Panda update focus primarily on websites that were already hit by Panda 4.1, or is this just a coincidence? We can’t know for sure just yet, and we have yet to explore how other sites have been affected. But we’ll keep you updated as we learn more from this latest Panda. One thing’s for sure though – as we can see from MozCast – July 17 was a very cloudy day, indeed!
Stay tuned for more Panda updates (here’s hoping that this newest, rather slow Panda will only bring good things to high-quality websites).