Panda 2.2 is Just Around the Corner

Attention all SEO experts, marketers web masters and business owners! Panda 2.2 is coming up and soon. Is your site ready for the next algorithm update?

At the SMX Advanced Marketing Conference held two weeks ago, Matt Cutts confirmed that the Panda 2.2 update has been approved, but not yet rolled out.

The next update will reportedly target sites that re-publish content and are out-ranking the original source of the content. This was a common complaint among many web site owners about the first Panda update. Since Google couldn’t accurately identify the original source, the real author was sometimes penalized as a content farm along with the spammers. “A change has been approved that should help with that issue,” said Cutts during his Q&A with Danny Sullivan, producer of the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series and Search Engine Land leader.

The first Panda update was designed to “reduce rankings for low-quality sites–sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful,” said Google in a blog post back in February. About 12% percent of search queries were affected. In April, Panda was rolled out globally and incorporated Google “blocking” data. About 2% of US searches were affected from that update. To learn more about the original Panda update, check out this Search Engine Optimization Journal post from early March.

Many site owners who were negatively affected by the first Panda update claim they have yet to fully recover. Google released a set of guidelines for sites to help them make their site more Panda-appropriate, but they insist that no manual exceptions have been made to help penalized sites.

During the Q&A, Cutts noted that the Panda is update isn’t run on a regular basis. Google manually runs the algorithm (presumably when the algorithm is improved), which means that site owners who updated their site might not see immediate recovery. This has been a great source of frustration for many site owners who A) aren’t necessarily sure why their site was affected with the first update, B) aren’t sure if they are making the appropriate changes to be more Panda friendly and C) want to know when their site will recover.

It will be interesting to see what happens to sites when the Panda 2.2 rolls out. Will sites that unfairly escaped the first attack on content farms finally get penalized? Will sites that were unfairly affected be redeemed as the original author’s of widely plagiarized content? Time will tell.

What do you think Panda 2.2 will do?

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