As most were involved actively with SEO are aware, an update to the Google Panda Algorithm was implemented on September 28th and again on October 5th. This appears to be part of ongoing revisions to the Panda algorithm that continue to cause wild fluctuations in many websites rankings. Confirmed on September 30th, Google’s new Panda 2.5 arrived. It is still unclear if Panda 2.5 had been reversed or updated.
DaniWeb, who has taken extreme measures to recover from the previous Panda updates, states that the site was hit hard again by this latest iteration of Panda. DaniWeb stated that traffic to the site dropped by as much as 50% on October 5th, which was the release of a previous update to the algorithm.
Search Metrics has stated that 10 of 30 sites being hit saw an 80-90% recovery in visibility, but also stated that many others saw little to no improvement at all.
In a post from Search Engine Watch, Simon Heseltine wrote a post asking "Was the Google Panda 2.5 Panic Warranted?" I have to respond with an emphatic, “yes.” Google continues to erode confidence in property by continually pulling the rug out from under its multitude of users. Many sites have still not recovered from the original Panda update at the beginning of the year, despite following all the best SEO and content practices and completing site overhauls.
As is usual with major updates to the Google Algorithm, there is much speculation over the full scope or impact of the update. This time is no different. With conflicting reports from Search Metrics and sites like DaniWeb it is difficult to know who is correct. The more likely reality is that they are both right. Even though there appears to be an abundance of information discussing tactics for recovering from Panda and despite the valiant efforts of site owners to recover, many continue to be hit hard, while others seem to weather the updates quite well.
More transparency from Google could help to quell the debates and to restore a measure of confidence in the search-engine giant. Releasing timely information regarding algorithm updates would save an enormous amount of frustration for their users. It is exceedingly difficult to apply a bandage if you cannot see where you are hemorrhaging from. Google is even getting pressure from Danny Sullivan to be more transparent with the Panda updates. This may or may not have prompted Matt Cutts to release a "weather report" regarding Panda: