Are there multiple Panda updates?

No. There is a Google algorithm update with the code name “Panda”, called Panda Update, which was rolled out worldwide at different times for various search markets. There have been multiple “data refreshes” for the Panda Update.

Google’s Updates Are Car Parts, Data Refreshes Are Gas

– Matt Cutts, Distinguished Engineer at Google

The Panda algorithm gets an update

In the middle of 2014, Google made public a revised version of the Panda algorithm, called Panda Update 4.0. With this, the fundamental technology for recognising inferior content on a website was greatly improved. The purpose of the ranking algorithm remained the same.

From this perspective, there is the Panda Update 1.0, which has then received a total of twenty-two (22) data refreshes on the US-American market. Following these refreshes, the actual algorithm at the heart of the Panda update was updated, which lead to the Panda Update 4.0. This is, however, not seen as another data refresh but a new algorithm generation for the Panda filter. From then on, Google has only been using the improved Panda algorithm.

Recognising Panda updates and data refreshes

Here we have an example of the SISTRIX Visibility for a German-speaking domain on the German search market affected by Panda, complete with automatic event-pins:

Panda Update Iterations shown in the Visibility of a German Domain

The algorithm update “Panda” was first rolled out on the German market on August 15, 2011 and carried the version number 2.4 (event-pin A: Panda update #6). The reason behind this is explained in the article “Why does the Panda Update have the version number 2.4 in Germany?

Any time the data base for the Panda Update is updated, it is called a “data refresh”. Each data refresh increases the version number of the Panda update, even though, it remains the only Panda Update. See event-pin B: Panda Update #15 and event-pin C: Panda Update #22.

If you want to know more about the difference between an “Update” and a “data refresh”, please see our article “What is the difference between an update and a data refresh?“.

Panda Updates for the Domain

In the screenshot above, the event-pin B: Panda Update #22 points to a data refresh of the “old” Panda algorithm 1.0. The event-pin D: Panda Update 4.1 is also a data refresh, although this one is based on the “new” algorithm, which was introduced with the Panda Update 4.0. The bottom line is, there is only “the” Panda algorithm filter.