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Since the Panda 3.0 series ran out of numbers at 3.9, the new update was dubbed 3.9.1. After some mixed signals, Google confirmed the 22nd Panda update, which appears to have been data-only. This came on the heels of a larger, but unnamed update around November 19th. Multiple Google trackers picked up unusual activity, which co-occurred with a report of widespread DNS errors in Google Webmaster Tools. Google did not confirm an update, and the cause and nature of this flux was unclear. More than two years after the original DMCA/”Pirate” update, Google launched another update to combat software and digital media piracy.

Rankings fluctuated for 5-6 days, although no single day was high enough to stand out. Google made a significant change to the Top 10, limiting it to 7 results for many queries. Our research showed that this change rolled out over a couple of days, finally impacting about 18% of the keywords we tracked. Google announced a change in the way it was handling exact-match domains . This led to large-scale devaluation, reducing the presence of EMDs in the MozCast data set by over 10%. Google announced a targeted algorithm update to take on niches with notoriously spammy results, specifically mentioning payday loans and porn.

Webmasters witnessed ranking changes, but the specifics of the update were unclear. Some thought Allegra affected the “sandbox” while others believed that LSI had been tweaked. Additionally, some speculated that Google was beginning to penalize suspicious links. Technically, Big Daddy was an infrastructure update (like the more recent “Caffeine”), and it rolled out over a few months, wrapping up in March of 2006.

Many related to speed, freshness, and spell-checking, but one major announcement was tighter integration of Panda into the main search index. Barely a week after Panda 3.5, Google rolled out yet another Panda data update. The implications of this update were unclear, and it seemed that the impact was relatively small.

From addressing environmental challenges to expanding equity in tech, these leaders are taking on big challenges.

This update seemed to disproportionately affect sites in the health and wellness vertical, although large-scale impact was seen in all verticals. While not an algorithm update, per se, COVID-19 dramatically shifted consumer search behavior. The WHO pandemic declaration on March 11th seemed to be a pivotal turning point.

In fact, the IPO created 7 billionaires and 900 millionaires from the early stockholders. The stock offering also made news because of the unusual way it was handled. Shares were sold in a public auction intended to put the average investor on an equal footing with financial industry professionals.

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