According to SearchEngineLand, Matt Cutts recently said that the next Panda update will be on Friday 15th or Monday 18th March, so batten down the hatches and get ready for some ranking changes. It’s a bit like the good old Google dances, apart from the Panda update affects your whole website, not just individual pages! I’ll be watching to see if my rankings return after doing a lot of work on the blog, but I’m also willing to be patient as Google usually takes quite a while to respond positively to changes to avoid being “reverse engineered”.
The Panda filter targets low-quality websites and its data is fed into the main Google algorithm roughly once a month. It’s important not to confuse Panda with the Penguin filter which targets bad backlink profiles. Penguin updates are much less frequent. Interestingly, Matt said a Penguin update was due later in 2013 which will be a “major” update and “significant“. Now is the time to check your backlinks… purge bad ones and source great ones! Here’s a useful article on using Google Webmaster Tools along with Majestic SEO’s free service to find your “bad” backlinks. You don’t need to be a paid subscriber to follow the article.
Update: Everyone assumed the Panda update would take place over the weekend of 15th to 18th March 2013. However, no out-of-the-ordinary changes were seen and Google didn’t confirm an update. It seems that Google Panda will go out with a whimper rather than a bang, as it becomes integrated into the main algorithm with more frequent data pushes making it less likely anyone will notice the events.