Google’s Panda Now Part of Its Core Ranking Algorithm

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Google’s Panda Now Part of Its Core Ranking Algorithm

What was highly speculated to be a Penguin update over the weekend was just a core ranking algorithm update. However, it may be different from past core updates, considering recent news that the core algorithm has been integrated with Panda.

This news was first reported on by Jennifer Slegg who received direct quotes from Google itself confirming that Panda is now part of the core ranking algorithm:

Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.

So does that mean elements of the Panda algorithm were present in this weekend’s update? That’s where things start to get confusing. There has been no direct confirmation of that being the case, but it’s easy to understand why some are drawing that conclusion.

Here’s what’s known:

  • A core algorithm update took place over the weekend
  • Panda is now part of Google’s core algorithm

Whether or not that means Panda was integrated into this weekend’s update is yet to be confirmed, but here’s what we know for sure.

Panda Does Not Exist in a Silo

Panda is no longer its own separate algorithm, when until now it had been. Previously, there was Google’s core algorithm, which search results are subjected to every day. At its own discretion Google would roll out a separate Panda update on top of the core algorithm, but now that will no longer be the case.

Based on what the search community has learned this week, Panda has merged with Google’s core algorithm, which search results will be subjected to on an ongoing basis.

Quality of Content Matters More Than Ever

Panda was initially developed to weed out poor quality content from Google’s search results. Now that it’s part of the core algorithm, quality is going to become paramount.

Does that mean you should assess and overhaul the existing content on your site? Not necessarily, unless your rankings have taken a hit of course. Otherwise, Google says to focus on creating the best possible new content.

According to the search giant, pages of outstanding quality can still rank if they provide a complete solution to what the searcher is looking for. Google harkens back to its old adage of focusing on quality, not quantity.

That means, instead of creating content for the purpose of generating traffic, concern yourself with how many people you’re helping with your content.

For a complete overview of Panda, see Jennifer Slegg’s guide which has been vetted and reviewed by Google itself.

UPDATE 1/13/2015: Google’s Gary Illyes has confirmed Panda was not present in this weekend’s core algorithm update: 

Read this chapter of our SEO Guide to learn more about Google Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. 


Featured Image Credit: GongTo /

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • This is what I really call good news! The Panda update has done much in eliminating tons of spam and thin-content sites from the web that knowing it is now integral part of the core Google algo can’t be seen as a boon for legitimate and hard-working online marketers. As you rightly say, “Quality of Content Matters More Than Ever”

  • that was greate
    google panda update is realy awesome

  • Christmas Company

    What a great new…. Really I am so glad to know as Google panda eliminate all teh websites who has cheap content…..

  • That’s great news about new algorithm in SEO. I think this will more helpful in SEO.

  • Great news about core ranking algorithm. Before this news i was think that this is a penguin update, but i am wrong it’s panda update. In this algorithm quality content contains big matter.

  • Well it’s about time. Let’s see how long it takes for all the crappy content that has nothing to do with your search disappears!

  • google panda update is realy awesome

  • This is good news, I was wondering why I got a sudden increase of traffic. Nothing beats quality unique content 🙂

  • I hope my website position in SERP increased by applying the google algorithm panda. Thank you for sharing about google panda update ,i think this article is very helpfull