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Google Panda is a change to Google's search results ranking algorithm, which was first released in February 2011. The change is aimed to lower the rank of "low-quality sites" or "thin sites", which have duplicate content, and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.
Fun fact: The name "Panda" comes from Google engineer Navneet Panda, who developed the technology that made it possible for Google to create and implement the algorithm.
CNET reported a surge in the rankings of news websites and social networking sites, and a drop in rankings for sites containing large amounts of advertising.
This change reportedly affected the rankings of almost 12 percent of all search results.