rlange - 6:05 pm on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
Hmm... You know how Google said they've been working on the Panda update for about a year? Well, I just came across this:
Amit Singhal: Well, we named it internally after an engineer, and his name is Panda. So internally we called a big Panda. He was one of the key guys. He basically came up with the breakthrough a few months back that made it possible.
Source: TED 2011: The ‘Panda’ That Hates Farms: A Q&A With Google’s Top Search Engineers [wired.com] (This has probably been posted already, but I likely missed it.)
The article is dated March 3, 2011. Note that this update's namesake only had the breakthrough "a few months back". Is it possible that a significant factor in this update didn't get quite the rigorous testing and tweaking that we had assumed from Google's "a year in the works" comment?