Well, here it is, and hardly anyone noticed. Google Panda 4.2 was officially announced as starting to roll out from July 18, 2015, and this one’s going to be different. Google said it was going to take weeks to process Panda this time. That’s very much different from previous Panda updates as it would simply process sites and pages in a matter of a few days, once all the data centres had caught up.
Now, the process appears to be so slow that the number of sites being impacted in any one day is minimal. It’s now difficult to know whether a site’s been hit, or recovered, unless closely monitoring the rankings, but, importantly, the traffic. Monitoring rankings is notoriously difficult, and often of little value with “personalisation.”
What might cause a Panda hit? In the most part, it’s about site content that’s too thin, weak, or bad quality, or simply inadequate. This also works if a site has too much content. What, you say, too much! Yes, if the site has lots of bad quality content, aimed at specific keywords, or is automated content, watch out, the Google Panda is about. It’s all about content, and quality, although there may be other aspects that play a part. Linking to and from other poor quality Pandalised sites won’t help.
What happens when getting hit by Panda? Your weak pages would probably end up in Google’s supplemental index, and then they’d never rank, and your traffic would suffer. Now, Panda will affect the whole of the site if there’s a quality content issue.
There’s no doubt that this long, slow roll-out is part of a plan by Google to hide the updates so that they become sanitised, making it much more difficult to know what’s going on, and what changes to make to re-optimise a site.
The simple answer is to add natural, quality content, and grow the site organically. Don’t add hundreds, or thousands of pages with thin, copied, or inadequate content, or automated pages that are not natural.
Google’s become highly proficient at joining the dots.