Google Panda updates are like PageRank updates!

Google Panda updates are now like what PageRank updates used to be a few years ago. Every time there was a toolbar PR update, the SEO world would be in a frenzy, with lots of online space devoted to analysing which sites lost PR, which ones gained and how much. Things have changed so much, particularly in the course of the last couple of years, that PR updates almost go unnoticed.

However, in its place we now have the almost-monthly/ bi-monthly Google Panda update, which leaves SEO marketers in a similar state of flux. As of this writing, we have had about 5 updates (we are currently on Panda 2.5, as it is commonly referred to). Apart from the first two updates, and particularly the second one on April 11, 2011, the rest have been relatively mild.

The thing that makes it difficult for search marketers is that while the entire Panda update was supposed to have been about quality of search results, the results that you actually see on Google search results pages are quite inconsistent. You’ll still find websites with hardly any unique or good quality content and terrible user interface rank very high for some reaosonably competitive terms, which makes you really wonder: are the brilliant minds at Google anywhere close to addressing the quality issue? [Of course, the quality of Google's search results seem to be so much better than the other options available that some of the poor results we see get ignored as minor inconveniences.]

Nevertheless, it is getting close to a month since the most recent Panda update on September 28; time to speculate when the next one will be round the corner. The holiday shopping season in the US and Europe will be heating up and Google has had a history of rocking the boat for many online retailers at about this time. Will it happen again this year? We’re sure to read more about it in the next few weeks.

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