Google Panda Update Coming Within Days; 'Next Generation' of Penguin in Works

panda-penguinYou can expect another Google Panda update to roll out this Friday or Monday, according to Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts.

Also, Cutts has revealed that Google is working on a significant change to the Penguin algorithm.

Google Panda Update Coming Within Days

Panda is Google’s algorithm aimed at surfacing high-quality sites higher in search results. It was first released in February 2011.

The next Panda update (or refresh) is due to arrive either Friday (March 15) or Monday (March 18, Cutts said according to reports coming out of the SMX West conference. Google’s last Panda refresh (and only one so far in 2013) was January 22 and affected 1.2 percent of English queries.

Keep on your analytics over the next few days. If you see an unexplainable surge in traffic, it could indicate that Panda is about to maul your website.

Google Penguin: The Next Generation

It isn’t known when the next Penguin update will arrive, but Cutts revealed Google is working on a “new generation of Penguin.” The Penguin algorithm, initially released last April, was designed to reduce web spam and also hit website that had link profiles that appeared unnatural. The most recent Penguin refresh was in October.

Also, Cutts said the update will be significant and one of the most talked about Google algorithm updates this year. Which would make that two years running.

Cutts also put out word that Google plans to target more link networks this year, including one or two big ones within the next few weeks.

Could the next generation of Penguin somehow be related to another big change Cutts had already announced Google is working on involving merchant quality? Hard to know at this point, but what’s clear is the next few months are likely to get pretty bumpy for many websites and merchants on Google.