In January 2011, Google promised to do something against so-called Content Farms in a timely manner, and when an unnamed update was released in Feb 2011, it became known as the farmer update due to it’s effects.
Content Farms refer to websites that employ a large number of editors, who continuously produce new content for popular search requests and subjects. The quality of this content ranges from very good to superficial, or better said, bad.
It was soon noticed that this newly introduced Algorithm Update removed the very same low quality websites (Content Farms) from the search results or pushed them far towards the lower end of the search results.
Danny Sullivan, chief editor of the blog Search Engine Land at that time, therefore called the Algorithm Update the “Farmer Update”, which stuck as its name, at first.
As far as Google was concerned, the newly introduced Algorithm Update was not explicitly directed against “Content Farms” and they rejected the notion of giving an official name to Algorithm Updates.
One week after the introduction of the “Farmer Update”, Google published the internal name for the update in an interview – Panda. It has been referred to as the “Panda Update” ever since.
Sources on the subject worth reading.:
- Interview: Matt Cutts on the Panda update