Is Google Panda Going Soft?


So, Google has claimed that the current Panda update is a "softening" of the general algorithm and is more "finely targeted".

Is this a concession that aspects of Panda were not really working as they should and there was a lot of collateral damage? Or, is it a genuine effort to just do a little better? 

I have worked with many site owners that have lost ground fairly innocently due to website redesigns that have generated lots of duplicate content. Now, whilst this is not ideal (and technical SEO is our bread and butter) surely the algorithm should do a better of job of correctly allocating value to the correct page and dropping the duplicates rather than effectively penalising a site due to technical issues. 

The reality of this update though seems to be lots of sites running the same stories so I really don't see an improvement in search quality this time around but would welcome the thoughts of others. 



I wonder if it is the prior

I think whenever google releases updates, they first turn the lever too far, probably based on some calculated risk assessment and then measure and then re-adjust. I think that some aspects of Panda definitely do not work. I've absolutely seen sites hit for innocent reasons and definitely a pretty large number of sites. I think the big thing that really burned me was that they would punish sites that had obviously dup content because of sessions or other weird technical things as well as the fact that panda occasionally making scrapers out rank you...I think more than any other, Panda hurt a lot more webmasters who were doing things right.

Here is a gif representing my feeling at this iteration of panda, of whose number I have lost count.

Hey, I agree with the up and

Hey, I agree with the up and down nature of it I tend to see some clean sites really benefit from a panda update and then often normalise after the next one. My only real beef with it is that it can hit some genuine businesses in undesirable ways and that surely is not the intention. 

Collateral damage I guess!

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