Google have confirmed with Search Engine Land that an update to their Panda algorithm was rolled out at the weekend (18th – 19th July 2015).
The refresh is due to roll out over a prolonged period of time, potentially taking several months to reach completion. It remains a website-wide algorithm, affecting the site as a whole. However, due to the slow nature of the refresh, some pages may not see changes in ranking straight away.
This latest refresh has been a long time coming, with Panda 4.1, the previous official update to the algorithm, brought in around 10 months ago in September 2014.
10 months is a long time to wait for those sites that were suffering from a drop in rankings due to the algorithm. Now that Panda 4.2 has begun rolling out, albeit very slowly, webmasters who made the appropriate alterations may start to see the rewards over the coming months.
Google are said to have reported a 2-3% impact on search queries in English so far, with the algorithm focused on determining content quality factors as per preceding Panda updates.
Compared to the majority of Panda updates in the past, which tended to show a significant increase or decrease in rankings quickly after the refresh, webmasters will see a much more gradual change in site performance. Make sure you continue to keep an eye on your site’s rankings and traffic over time and watch out for any impact from Panda 4.2.