At the beginning of last week, on November 6th 2012, Google started rolling out their latest Panda update; Panda 21.

Panda update to Panda 21

This affected approximately 1.1% of English search queries.

While 1.1% may seem like not a lot, in SEO terms this is a relatively sizeable update, particularly because in our company we have a number of clients in competitive industries who are targeting high traffic terms. This therefore makes us more vulnerable to updates, because when Google says a particular percentage of queries, they mean the number of searches performed and not the number of search terms.

Google’s Panda series is designed primarily to reduce the rank of low quality websites and has tried to disregard a lot of old style SEO tactics that are designed to deceive the search engines, attempting to skew results so that poor quality or irrelevant websites rank higher than they should. So naturally, when a new update rolls out, a website whose SEO is being done badly will see a drop in rankings.

Therefore we are all incredibly proud of the fact that when our client rankings were updated last week, not a single client account had experienced a net drop in rankings. We saw the usual fluctuation that should be expected of any SEO campaign for some mid range terms, but the overwhelming trend was positive with some crucial upward moves at the top end. We even had one client in a very competitive niche who has achieved 14 new position 1 keywords since Panda 21 rolled out.

Rather than dreading the effects of the next Panda update, we are proud to be performing SEO that is in line with search engine guidelines, and provides sustainable traffic increases for our clients. We’ll be hoping to achieve more of the same in the coming weeks!

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