Google introduces Panda 23 just before the final holiday sales push.

Panda 23 hits the web just before the holidays

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Over the past two weeks, webmasters and digital marketing experts alike discussed a potential algorithm released by Google on December 13. While varying parties had opinions on what the update could have been – some thought Panda – Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted that the fluctuations experienced were routine and unworthy of note. However, Cutt’s Tweet and Google’s explanation didn’t satisfy many people, especially with traffic and PageRank affected so greatly, but it seems Google may divert everyone’s attention with Panda 23.

The unknown algorithm and its effects

On December 21, 2012, Google tweeted and confirmed rumors of a new Google update. The search engine giant, which released numerous search-changing features in 2012, pushed out its latest refresh, impacting approximately 1.3 percent of English queries.Twitter Google

Welcome to the world, Panda 23

The latest refresh marks the 23rd time Google has updated its Panda algorithm, which the search giant introduced in late February of 2011. As for how the newest update affected American businesses, results varied based on the quality of content published to web pages and the SEO content tactics used to optimize web presences. However, with the recent update impacting 1.3 percent of queries – up from 0.8 percent with Panda 22 – brands may see traffic levels change due to upticks or declines in PageRank.

Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz reported that right before Christmas last year, Google promised it would not update the Panda algorithm or conduct data refreshes until after the holidays. It seems that Google decided not to wait this year, and the company implemented a refresh that could affect holiday traffic rates leading into the new year.

Content reminder: Quality over quantity

Every time Google announces an algorithm update, digital professionals scramble to measure its effects on traffic and PageRank. While keeping an eye on these metrics remains an important task, marketers must remember that high-quality, custom content, white hat SEO tactics and well-designed sites often withstand any Google update.

Content marketing initiatives that take SEO into consideration may help mitigate any consequences of Panda updates in the future and, while many people focus solely on SEO, it’s important to remember the value of branded content published to the web every day.

Ted Karczewski
Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.


  • Troy curfman

    Too bad we really don’t know what they are! Getting slapped twice is no fun for everyone when businesses rely on Google. The last update effected some business models but seeing serp results generating 3rd party websites because of content and consistently updating puts smaller businesses at risk. As of yesterday seeing smaller businesses ranked on page 4 was not what we were expecting for local search results. I would hate to be a company trying to just set up a website and not knowing if because of page structure content that never changes is hard to understand that a static website gets ranked lower because of infrequent changes.

  • Guest

    Hi Troy – thanks for reading!

    I hear what you’re saying, and it makes a lot of sense. For small business owners trying to establish their web presences in particular, finding the resources to generate good content can be a challenge. However, the search engine also keeps these smaller sites in mind by focusing closely on the QUALITY of published content, rather than QUANTITY.

    For example, if a small business publishes regular blog posts – each article showcasing unique and custom insight – Google will praise that website, as it offers something no other brand can. So, marketers need to show why they’re unique – what makes them the authority? It’s all about building an experience – one that makes readers want to come back time and time again for additional content. The volume of media posted remains secondary, especially if quality dips due to hasty content production.

    Happy Holidays!
    Ted Karczewski

    • Troy curfman

      Great answer and point.