The Panda 2.5 update brought about massive ranking changes in the SERPs on October 2011. Some sites performed well while others suffered significant drops in traffic and lost their position in the results pages. Fortunately, the minor tweaks that developers do for the filter today no longer leads to turbulence in the rankings.
Google confirmed that they launched Panda 2.5 in October, but the team didn’t specify what type of sites, pages, and content were targeted by the update. As usual, the announcement came with a reiteration of their ultimate goal to provide high-quality websites to users in SERPs.
Panda 2.5 led to significant losses for some websites and considerable wins for others. The victims of the update included high-profile sites such as Consumer Affairs, Star Pulse, Medical News Today, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, Technorati, and Business Wire.
On the other hand, the sites that emerged victorious after the update were IGN, Last.fm, and Perez Hilton. Mainstream news sites such as Fox News, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal were also victorious. Moreover, there was controversy over Google’s own YouTube and Android.com, as well as the company’s partner, AOL.com, gaining extensive SEO visibility after the changes.
The various tweaks and updates that Google developers conducted with Panda have led to it being integrated into the core algorithm instead of an independent one that’s run separately. There’s still expectations of refining the filter, but the process won’t have the same turbulent impact during its early days.
Here are five vital areas to prioritize in optimizing your website for Panda and, essentially, the core algorithm: