Earlier today at the Search Marketing Expo, Google’s Matt Cutts announced that they have developed an update to the Panda algorithm, version 2.2. He further stated that the update has been officially approved, and they are waiting to send it out, which should happen any day now.
Further tweaking and some “clean-up” work will be included with the update, in addition to improving “scraper” detection. This is when a website re-publishes content to trick the algorithm. (Fresh, new content helps with page rank and SEO).
The exact release date has not been revealed, however Cutts did say that the update is imminent and webmasters should expect it any day now.
Cutts also described how the attack of the Panda operates. The algorithm is run against all of the webpages and domains that Google indexes. This is done to pick up which sites should be caught. This occurs on an “infrequent” basis (about once every two weeks).
Websites that get penalized get sent to the very last page of search results, completely damaging their online visibility. Once this happens, it’s tough to recover. JC Penney’s was penalized for about 3 months when they were hit back in February.
Of course, much like anything else, practicing ethical standards and not cheating the system are the best ways to ensure you’re not affected by the vicious bite of the Panda.