Panda 4.2 Taking its Sweet Time

Google seems to be moving as slow as its algorithm’s namesake with the rollout of the most recent Panda 4.2 “refresh”. The update is expected to impact a relatively small percent of search queries. Google said it expects Panda 4.2 to impact 2-3% of search queries. That compares to 3-5% and 7.5% for the most recent updates. The pace of the rollout and the smaller percentage mean that SEOs may not see the impact on their site for a few months, if at all.

SEO experts have been waiting 7+ months for a Panda update so this is good news for those waiting to get relief from past penalties. Keep in mind that with any update, even a refresh, sites may also be penalized as this rolls out. It is not a matter of simply lifting the Panda penalty from those who have been suffering from it.

As reminder…Panda, first released in February of 2011, is designed to keep sites with what Google deems to be poor quality content from ranking at the top of the search results. Panda helps them reward high-quality content and punish poor quality.

If you have worked hard to update and improve the content of your website, you may not want to wait for the slow rollout to reach your site. It is possible try and force Googlebot to visit those changed pages as soon as possible.

According to TheSEMPost  there are three things you can do to force Googlebot to reindex your site.

  1. Utilize Google Webmaster Tool’s fetch and submit function.
  2. For category pages that lead to lower-level pages in the section “you can submit that page and say this page and all the linked pages should be recrawled as soon as possible.”
  3. You can use a sitemap file to tell Google that you updated the entire website and Google will try to use the site map to speed up crawling those pages.