Did you know that the Google Panda algorithm from 2012 is no longer? Over the years it not only was incorporated into the core ranking algorithm but also at some point evolved into a new algorithm named after a new animal – Coati.

Hyung-Jin Kim, the VP of Google Search, told us this tidbit during our SMX Next keynote this morning. While this is not something actionable or something that necessarily matters today, I don’t believe anyone in the SEO industry ever heard that Panda evolved into Coati.

What is Google Coati? Kim told us that while Panda has been “consumed” into the larger core ranking algorithm, “Panda has been subsequently replaced by Coati.” Coati was a successor to Panda, he said Coati is an update to the Panda algorithm. 

As time evolved, so has Panda, Kim said, and it evolved to Coati. Coati is another black and white animal. 

Coati would not be considered a core update but Panda and Coati are part of the core ranking algorithm, Kim added. 

What is Panda. Google Panda was a major algorithm update that impacted search rankings for 11.8% of queries in the U.S. Google said Panda was designed to reduce the rankings for low-quality sites (“sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful”) and reward better rankings to high-quality sites (“sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”).

Hyung-Jin Kim told us Panda was important and it was launched because Google was worried the web was going in a direction they didn’t want it to go, much like today with the helpful content update. Google makes such algorithmic changes not just to improve search quality but also to encourage content creators to create better content.

You can learn more about Google’s Panda algorithm here.

Why we care. Practically, it does not matter to SEOs, publishers, content creators, or even searchers that there was an algorithm named Coati that was the successor of Panda. However, for Google algorithm historians like myself, I find it to be an interesting piece of history that I was unaware of before I spoke with Kim at SMX Next. This is new information about something that is ages old in the Google algorithm world. But it is an interesting tidbit to know Google’s Panda algorithm no longer exists because it evolved into a different algorithm, which we now know is called Coati.

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