Google announces first Panda update for 2013

According to a tweet from the official @Google Twitter account from 22 January, Google has released the 24th variant of its’ infamous Panda update, impacting approx. 1.2% of English-based queries.

According to Search Engine Land, this follows a previous update just before Christmas which affected 1.3% of English queries.

The first Panda update, which rewards high quality websites that publish regular fresh content and conversely, penalises sites that are ‘thin’ on content happened in February 2011, and based on previous trends we can expect ongoing changes about once every 4 weeks.

This month’s update comes after some speculation within SEO circles that Google’s first major algorithm change of 2013 was going to be a big one, but it seems the latest change has had an impact fairly consistent with those rolled out in recent months.

It has been estimated that Google makes up to 500 changes to their algorithm on an annual basis, and while most are far less significant than this it illustrates how staying ahead of the Google curve remains a challenge best left to the professionals!