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Google Panda Updates: Summer 2012

panda summer updatesGoogle’s Penguin update dominated SEO news over the summer months this year, but our old friend the Panda was lurking in the woods. Over the course of the past few months, there’s been a number of Panda updates and refreshes that SEOs should definitely know about.

Here’s a roundup of all the summer’s top Panda-Related News.

June Double Dip – Google put the heat on early in the summer by refreshing Panda twice during the month of June. Panda 3.7 and Panda 3.8 had a limited impact on the ever-shrinking number of sites that haven’t got the message. As usual, Google said these refreshes impacted less than 1% of all queries.

Panda 3.9 Rumors – It just wouldn’t be a discussion of Google updates without a few words about the SEO rumor mill. Throughout the summer we saw plenty of false starts as SEOs blamed every page rank drop they suffered on a Panda or Penguin update. While some drops were Panda related, most were simply content-related.

Still sorting out the differences between Panda and Penguin? Check out our easy-to-read Penguin vs. Panda Comparison Chart.

Panda 3.9 (the real deal) –When it finally did arrive in late July, Panda 3.9 wasn’t much of a story. It, once again, impacted less than one percent of all searches.

Panda 3.9.1 – Google ran another Panda refresh in late August that was a similar non-event. A smaller number of SEO forum posters blamed it for page rank drops, but there’s no way of knowing if that’s accurate or not.

Getting Past Panda

If you’re in that sub-one-percent group of sites that are still feeling Panda’s punch, it’s time to get with the program. Stop stuffing content with keywords to the point that it just doesn’t make sense anymore. You’ll also want to take a look at your link building practices while you’re at it. (Why not kill two birds with one stone and take on the Penguin, too?)

The Next Big Wave

Matt Cutts spent his summer terrifying SEOs by announcing that the next Penguin update would be “jolting” and “jarring.”

That’s enough to make anyone forget about Panda. Because, let’s face it, if you haven’t adapted your strategies to deal with Panda, you’ve got some pretty severe problems.

Do you still worry about Panda? Or is the threat of the next Penguin update occupying your SEO nightmares? Let us know in the comments section below.