Honestly, I am surprised Google did it (we know they had to, but I am surprised it happened), Google's Panda algorithm is now part of the core ranking algorithm. Jennifer Slegg has an official statement from Google that reads:
Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.
Read that again and again.
Panda 4.2 launched around July 18, 2015 and it was meant to roll out slowly for a really long time. Several months Google told us. It was so slow people didn't believe it. But I did.
Well, now, Panda is part of the core ranking algorithm. We were expecting years ago for Panda to run in real time. I don't think it is now, but it is part of their core ranking update. (I am not saying Panda is real time, I just asked if core ranking is real time).
I asked Glenn Gabe who watches Panda very carefully and he thinks so. Here are some of his tweets:
@rustybrick Another site that saw Panda recovery last year jumped another 45% over the past two days. Seems tied to quality.— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) January 12, 2016
Oh, don't believe Jen that her source is legit? Gary Illyes from Google referenced her article on Twitter and said "Wanna know more about Panda? Of course you do. We answered @jenstar 's questions, and the result is brilliant!" So it is 100% legit.
So again, Panda is now baked directly into Google's core algorithm. We will never see another Panda update like we did in the past because it will run with Google's main core algorithm.
If you noticed sites that are Panda related move over the weekend, it is probably associated with this core update that includes Panda and other elements of the core algorithm.
Update: Gary Illyes from Google said this has nothing to do with being real time: