Google launched a new search engine algorithm earlier this year that they internally called the Panda update. The idea behind Panda was to introduce a quality variable into the ranking equation. Sites with good quality contents would see an increase, sites with low level quality or article farms would see a decrease. That worked so-so with many legit webmasters hit by the Panda. I know several webmasters whose sites have been hit where I could not find a reason for it, no matter how hard I looked at their websites.
More recent updates made some sites recover while others still would not return to their previous rankings. The core problem with Panda was that Google did not release a definition of quality. And if you ask one hundred Internet users about their definition of a quality website, you will likely get one hundred different answers.
Google first rolled out Panda to websites in the United States, and there only to English sites and queries. A later update launched Panda for all English speaking websites regardless of their location in the world. Today's announcement at the Google Webmaster Central Blog marks the next step of the "high-quality sites algorithm" as Google likes to call it. Panda is now used on non-English versions of Google Search as well, with the exception of the Chinese, Japanese and Korean language versions.
According to the information posted, Panda will affect between 6 to 9 per cent of all queries "to a degree that a user might notice". That's lower than the initial 12% of affected sites of English queries, but still a considerable amount.
With Panda out in the open almost everywhere: What is your personal impression of Google's search engine quality as of late? Has Panda improved the results significantly by pushing down lower quality sites? Or did you experience a decrease a value, something that might even have made you use another search engine?
Let me know in the comments.
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