3 Years Ago Today, SEO Changed Forever With Google's Panda Algorithm

Feb 24, 2014 • 9:06 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

google pandaToday is a day no SEO and many webmasters will never forget, it is the day Google launched their Panda algorithm. On February 24, 2011, three years ago today, Google changed the SEO space forever by building an algorithm that would downgrade low-value content.

Panda had a larger impact on Google's search results than most, if not all, search quality related algorithms in Google's history. SEOs may argue that Penguin was felt more, and it likely was by SEOs, especially after Panda, but Panda probably had a wider imprint.

Since then, we had about 25 Panda refreshes and updates, here are some:

Google stopped confirming Panda updates last year and then started doing rolling updates but that doesn't mean they haven't done work on fine tuning the algo. They softened it recently and there have been refreshes monthly, some larger than others but it is hard to know if it was Panda or something else.

Anyway, Panda is a significant update that is still felt today throughout our space.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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Michael Martinez

02/24/2014 02:26 pm

Nonsense. There is nothing different about search engine optimization today from four years ago. It's just not as easy for people to get by with suboptimal practices, which includes what Panda was targeting.

Barry Schwartz

02/24/2014 02:27 pm

Depends on what type of SEO company you were 3 years ago. Many have changed a lot of what they’ve done compared to three years ago.


02/24/2014 04:57 pm

Well, Link building 4-5 years ago was more 'shotgun', now its pretty much non-existent. The focus is certainly on content more than gaming the system now for any legit SEO.


02/24/2014 05:03 pm

Why would you react to Mr. Nonsense's nonsense? Even my dog's crap knows more about SEO than that guy.


02/24/2014 05:17 pm

Nonsense. 4 years ago, so-called SEOs could trick Google into ranking sites with poor, thin content, using shady backlinks. That crap no longer works, thankfully.

Sandeep Mishra

02/24/2014 06:06 pm

I am much effected this post. But i tell one thing if and updation are not effect the work of best SEO expert. i really like your post sir thanks...

Michael Martinez

02/24/2014 07:46 pm

If what you did 4 years isn't working today it was not OPTIMAL and if it was not optimal IT WAS NOT SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION. All the miserable tactics people call "SEO" don't mean they were optimizing for search. It just means they never understood what SEO was all about. So, no, it does not depend on "what type of SEO company you were 3 years ago" because if you got nailed you were NOT doing SEO. Period. Q.E.D. Leave it at that (but you guys won't).

osman musa

02/24/2014 10:57 pm

Less is more now. Even natural link building will get u negative effect like what happened to me when I just recently got penalized for having a natural dofollow pr8 back link from Microsoft.com


02/24/2014 11:09 pm

3 years of leaving collateral victims behind, and making miserable other people's life.


02/25/2014 07:15 am

Happy B'day Google Panda


02/25/2014 12:36 pm

How do you know you got a penalty from that link? just curious

Patti Paz

02/25/2014 12:51 pm

Does anyone truly think that the search results on Google is better TODAY than they were three years ago?? I, for one, do not!! Let's just hope that Google goes the way of those other once king of the hill companies like Kodak, IBU, GM, and so on.


02/25/2014 01:09 pm

But.... the Adwords are MUCH MUCH MUCH better and because of that, the general public are happy being fooled clicking on those.


02/25/2014 01:15 pm

But Mutt Cats said that the SERPS look a hell of a lot worse without links being taken into consideration. So links still beat content. If you have crap links for instance, your content can be the best in the world and you won´t get a look in. On the other hand, your content can be complete crap but if you have good links backing it up, you are golden.

PM Fiorini

02/25/2014 04:01 pm

It appears only *YOU* are capable of really understanding SEO.


02/25/2014 05:03 pm

google quality now = more money and no any quality. at future it will even more stupid.

osman musa

02/25/2014 08:47 pm

It started like right after I got it and noticed referral traffic arriving from the site in analytics and I suspect it is a penalty because my traffic was all of a sudden reduced by 60% and some search terms I am still on top of page 1. If they are gonna penalize me why don't they just do it all the way and totally get rid of me? This half punishment thing makes no sense.

osman musa

02/25/2014 09:05 pm

No they are not better. Proof is if u Google HTC One pros and Cons. One of those authors onfirst page results doesn't know what a pro and con means.

osman musa

02/25/2014 09:07 pm

Oh I forgot to mention I was making a nice $600 a month and after penalty its down to 200 a month. I will study and analyze why lots of my articles are top page while others are nowhere to be found.

Michael Martinez

02/25/2014 09:31 pm

"It appears only *YOU* are capable of really understanding SEO." Only YOU can make that true.


02/26/2014 02:16 am

Three years ago, I ran the sales organization for a tech company that generated 75% of its business from Google AdWords. Immediately after Panda, our sales collapsed and no amount of SEO could resuscitate it. The company never recovered. I left a few months ago after a growing dynamic company of 25 employees was whittled down to a skeleton crew of five.


02/27/2014 02:01 pm

Pure BS. There is a lot more too it and I think you know it. Its a combination of 200+ factors, links are an important factor but by no means the sole deciding factor. Thats been shown many many times.

PM Fiorini

02/28/2014 05:14 pm

LOL! Just giving you a hard time.

Gracious Store

03/01/2014 12:59 am

Three years since the face of SE was changed by panda, besides the vague phrase "quality conetent" is the new face of SEO well articulated and understaood by SEO companies and webmasters?

Michael LaHatte

03/01/2014 03:06 am

Google's search results are very poor these days. Bing seems to have better quality search results... But Google is definitely forcing Adwords on everyone...

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