Google: No More Panda Updates This Year

Google formally announced via Twitter that there will be no more Panda updates for the remainder of the year. Granted, there’s not that much left of the year.

This might have been nice to know a little bit earlier, but it’s still good to know. The last known Panda update happened nearly a month ago.

Here’s Google’s “weather report” tweet (I’d embed it, but now Twitter’s giving me fail whales):

Search weather report: no major Panda updates until the new year. Context:

There has been some discussion in WebmasterWorld about the possibility of Google taking a break on Panda for the holidays. Barry Schwartz over at SearchEngineRoundtable picked up on this disucssion as well, noting that Google probably doesn’t want a repeat of the whole Florida udpate fiasco, where online retailers kind of got the shaft due to an unexpected algorithm change years ago.

Of course, in more recent years, Google has been pretty open about not wanting to do that to sites, and has recently expressed its goal to be more transparent about algorithm updates in general.

Even if Google had thrown another Panda update at us, I’m not sure it would be comparable to the Florida situation, as that was much more unexpected. Google has semi-regularly been updating the Panda update all year, and savvy webmasters know that this will continue.



Google Panda Update: Another Tweak Suspected


It looks like webmasters recently felt the affects of another Google Panda Update tweak. Since what’s come to be known as version 2.5, Google has been making tweaks to it as promised, and these tweaks continue to help some sites and hurt others.

Search Engine Roundtable points to some webmaster discussion, indicating that a tweak may have rolled out on October 20. There are indeed plenty of complaints in a WebmasterWorld thread here. Most are calling it a minor update, but even the minor updates can be major for some sites.

User Bewenched wrote, for example, “It may have been a ‘minor’ update, but it slammed our ecommerce site yet again… down 30%”

We’ve reached out to Google for confirmation that this was indeed Panda. As you may know, they make hundreds of algorithm changes a year. We’ll update when we receive a response.

If you feel like you’ve been unjustifiably hit by the Google Panda Update, Google recommends that you let them know in this forum thread. For other resources, that may help you, we recently created this Delicious stack of Panda resources (which by the way is still a work in progress. Feel free to share other resources you think would be helpful, and we’ll consider adding them).

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Google Panda Update: More Recovery Than Usual Following Recent Tweaks?


Last week, SearchMetrics posted lists of what it found to be the top winners and losers from Google’s recent Panda update iteration (commonly referred to as Panda 2.5). Now, the firm has released new SEO Visibility data indicating that large portions of the update appear to have rolled back.

“This data shows a large-scale recovery,” says SearchMetrics founder Marcus Tober. “Out of 30 domains featured in last week’s list, 10 could recover 80-90% of their visibility, with another 10 even surpassing their pre-panda 2.5 reach!”

This is in line with a report from DaniWeb that it had quickly recovered after being hit by the Panda update for the second time. A tweet from Google’s Matt Cutts said:

And a Google spokesperson told WebProNews, “We pushed a fresh version of data that incorporated more of the signals that we’ve incorporated after the initial launch of Panda.”

“Previous updates seemed to be high-confidence decisions – Google generally would not alter the Panda classifications for a couple of weeks,” says Tober. ”Panda 2.5 seems to be an exception to that rule – this weeks’ SEO Visibility data shows that large portions of the 2.5 update seem to be rolled back!”

He provides the following list comparing/contrasting the data for key sites:

The largest winners in the rollback, as Tober notes, appear to be (+122%), killerstartups (+114%), motortrend (+108%), and (+105%). Recovery was only denied to (0%), (-3%), (-3%) and (-13%), he adds.

This is very interesting considering that TheNextWeb seems like a reasonably quality site to me – that and the fact that their editor-in-chief told us they hadn’t noticed any effect following the launch of 2.5.

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Google Panda Update: Google on Why Google Sites Did Well


In case you haven’t been keeping up, Google confirmed late last week that it launched a new Panda update earlier last week. You can follow our previous coverage here.

Recent data from SearchMetrics indicates that a couple of Google sites – YouTube and – were among the top winners of search visibility from the update. The timing of this is interesting, considering recent Senate discussions regarding whether or not Google favors its own content. We asked Google for comment on this, and a spokesperson for the company gave us the following statement:

“Our intent is to rank web search results in order to deliver the most relevant answers to users. Each change we make goes through a process of rigorous scientific testing, and if we don’t believe that a change will help users, we won’t launch the change. In particular, last week’s Panda change was a result of bringing more data into our algorithms.”

The Panda update hasn’t even been much of a focus in the Senate discussion. It’s been more about Google’s placement of content from properties like Google Places, Maps, etc.

Aaron Wall at SEOBook uploaded a cartoon, having a little fun with Google on the subject:

This is not the first time Google sites have gained search visibility from Panda. In April, YouTube,,, and were all named among the top winners (also from SearchMetrics data), though to be fair, a handful of Google’s competitors also saw gains.

Paul Edmondson, CEO of HubPages, which was actually able to count itself among the winners this time around after being previously victimized, has talked extensively in the past about how YouTube has seemed to get a pass in areas where others (like HubPages) have been penalized.

In May, he wrote a guest post for TechCrunch, where he said, “One presumes Google isn’t treating its own affiliated sites differently than any other site, but YouTube’s open publishing environment makes low-quality content as prevalent as on any other moderated open publishing platform. Google shows over 13 million indexed videos on YouTube for lose weight (known spammy area) and over 10 million for forex (another spammy area). Apparently, Google’s Panda update has been punitive only to platforms other than Google’s.”

Google seemed to inadvertently back up Edmondson’s comments when YouTube shared the stat: 30% of all videos account for 99% of views. That doesn’t mean that 30% are spammy, but it does say something about what people actually watch on YouTube.

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Panda Not Too Big a Blow to Demand Media, 300K eHow Articles Removed


Demand Media is moving right along past all of that Google Panda update stuff. The company acknowledged that it did have an impact on its revenue for the quarter as it released its Q2 earnings report, but drove home the point that eHow (the DM property most impacted by this) is only one channel of Demand Media’s increasingly diverse business, which also includes a registrar service, other content sites, and social media tools.

Revenue was up 32% for the quarter, with content and media revenue up 38%.

The company also announced a three-year extension of its advertising partnership with Google, as well as new inclusion in the Google Display Network. “Google has been an important partner since our founding,” CEO Richard Rosenblatt said during the call.

Rosenblatt said that they founded Demand Media over 5 years ago and that no other company is producing content based on consumers needs in such an effective and scalable way. He went on to say that ehow had over 70 million uniques in June (comscore), and that eHow food jumped into comScore’s top properties for food for the first time, largely thanks to the Rachael Ray deal.

“We feel confident that our auditing and removal of content and improvement of overall quality will continue to attract traffic from all different sources,” he said.

When the company released its Q1 report in May, it announced a clean-up initiative to improve the overall quality of eHow. Rosenblatt says they’ve removed over 300,000 articles and are continuing to edit the rest.

The company also announced today that it has acquired IndieClick and RSS Graffiti. The former, the company says, “helps advertisers reach the valuable 18-34 year old demographic through innovative ad formats – including rich media, video, mobile and social media – that are integrated onto carefully selected destinations.”

In July alone, over 600,000 brands, online publishers and individuals shared over 60 million pieces of content with their friends and fans using the RSS Graffiti app, according to Demand.

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