Rumor: Google Panda Update #21 On October 17th? Nope.

Oct 22, 2012 • 9:30 am | comments (68) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Panda Update #21Last Wednesday or late Tuesday night, October 16th or October 17th, Google may have pushed out a Panda refresh. If so, this would be Panda update number 21.

Update: Google implied that there was no update around this time frame.

The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread has an uptick in Google webmaster communication on October 17th. One said, "My spidey sense tells me something rolled through at some point yesterday(16th)."

Also, a reader sent me some charts showing a Panda recovery on several of his web sites. He actually sent me several and they all seem to show the same pattern. SERPs fluxThey all had very little traffic and then several jumped up on October 16/17th.

The only monitoring service that shows a major change around those dates is SERPmetrics, but MOZcast and do not show major changes:

The previous Google Panda update was on September 27th, version #20. So time-wise, it is possible there was an update.

I will reach out for Google for confirmation on these rumors.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Anthony Shapley

10/22/2012 01:50 pm

I would say there was a Penguin update ..if I was going to guess between the two. Seen messages of people getting Unnatural Link warnings and stuff over the weekend.. and seen a few sites drop rankings last week


10/22/2012 01:51 pm

I dont see what difference it makes anymore. Ever since that last onslaught of updates nothing matters anymore traffic is dead and not only for me for many others. Barry I have been watching the Webmasterworld since u introduced it to me and I have come to some bad conclusions about the future. Seems that there is almost nobody happy and all hate google with a passion as do I now too. Things are looking bleak going forward with Googles direction. I saw one Webmaster say he is going to resort to Black Hat tactics to claw back some traffic if this trend continues and I think that this is the only answer to our problems. Why waste time chasing update after update and posting good content whe all it will get you is a big fat kick in the behind every time someone breaks something again or greed gets the better of G. Time to learn how to to Black Hat SEO . I think its more productive to play cat and mouse with Google on that front than go White Hat anymore. Probably more profitable too. It will also be most rewarding to beat their pathetic system. There is no joy in White Hat SEO anymore. The amount of hours I spend on White Hat is just not worth it. There is nothing to lose anymore as things stand now. Very sad but thats the way it goes and I think many more are starting to think like that. BTW I spoke with someone who is not a webmaster today and told him my woes. He said that he does not use Google anymore because the results he has been served up are crap lately. Something most of us here agree on but google fails to take notice and carry on with the Draconian BETA updates. He also is of the opinion that its the beginning of the end for Google . He mentioned that Android might be their only savior. Personally I own an Iphone and was looking to get a Samsung with Android. I think it would make me sick to the core to buy one now and I think I will stick with a new IPhone. They will get no business from me anymore.


10/22/2012 02:11 pm

Guys, I truely think that MOZcast and are just link bait for those companies and are not reliable at all.

Rachel Roodhardt

10/22/2012 02:38 pm

Interesting... my EMD site recovered on the night of the 19th October. Back on page 1 with a slight increase in position in some of my secondary keywords, and back to the same position on my main one.

Kevin Gerding

10/22/2012 02:51 pm

No changes witnessed from me. Just another yawner event I guess. In other Google news, their stock is down 6.79% right now. It seems Google investors are continuing to use their disavow option by selling.

Eric Scism

10/22/2012 02:53 pm

I appreciate all the updates of all these Algo changes, but seriously, we can't go around screaming whenever something is released. If you're doing SEO the right way and creating great content then you're going to be fine. Your sites are going to dance around a little bit. That's just part of it. I get so tired of everything freaking out over little changes in the algo.

Steven Lockey

10/22/2012 03:15 pm

@Jenny You don't suppose thats because the people who haven't been hurt by the update aren't posting about it? Its kinda natural for the people who have been hurt by an update to gravitate towards similar threads which tend to accumulate a lot of butt-hurt. As you can see by the fact Google's market share is STILL going UP not down, that most people like Google still, at least more than Bing!


10/22/2012 03:49 pm

I pretty much agree with Jenny. There's been so many Google updates recently (EMD update, Panda 4.0, Penguin refresh) in addition to collateral damage, that's it's borderline impossible to track recoveries. Anyone who got hit by Panda/Penguin was probably already hit by EMD update and likewise I think they're all inter-related.


10/22/2012 03:52 pm

Black hat SEO is more complicated, than you even can imagine. Nowadays it requires huge resources, great programming skills and is short time living in most cases. That's why, if you would visit associated forums, you could see, that guys are moving out of black hat solutions. You don't know such forums ? Not a problem. 90% of WMW contributors are representing grey hat world (even they probably don't know about that). ALL of them are lost in post Panda world. Google became an unreliable partner, but no doubt it made great progress in fighting colored hats. So don't waste your time. You're about 10 years late ) Re Panda update : nothing considerable. A bit of changes here and there - daily routine.


10/22/2012 03:58 pm

Always updating, trying to cut every penny they can from webmasters so users click on ads. Clicks have gone up over 1000% since Panda. Google is now a scammy ad engine, until the people wake up.


10/22/2012 03:59 pm

Ad clicks have grown over 100% by SERP manipulation, I meant


10/22/2012 04:01 pm

Barry has to keep posting like it matters, or his Google overlord$ get upset at him and at Danny Sullivan. They both post like search is not rigged. . They are not stupid, they know it bu apparently they get something out of it from Google.


10/22/2012 04:09 pm

I have seen a huge increase on that date.. traffic doubled and the next day again gone to normal.What was that? Panda Update launched and then they rollback?????


10/22/2012 04:19 pm

You've made progress in ruining your credibility by rigging search to increase earnings and ad clicks. This will come back to bite you , big time. You are going down, whether you know it or not. The public lags a bit but they will find out soon enough. Go to work cheater

Aaron Axelsson

10/22/2012 04:25 pm

Haha! This comment made my day. Clever! ;)


10/22/2012 05:07 pm

it not about content, it about google penalizing for anything right now. if you not have words in begin or end of article, if you using same words twice at one sentence, for onpage seo -b,i, u, for aff links, - for anything!


10/22/2012 05:19 pm

This is interesting : and promising ...

Eric Scism

10/22/2012 05:53 pm

Ehh. They are just trying to get the best most authoritative content displayed for the query. SEO has been gamed for too long and they're trying to right the ship.


10/22/2012 06:12 pm

It happened to only one of my site. I thought there was huge search on that keyword that day..


10/22/2012 06:37 pm

Totally agree with Jenny you r saying right man let's make feel google that they are not the persons who have search engine guys recall bing and yahoo....


10/22/2012 07:43 pm

google constantly killing small/medium sites with their updates. Soon no websites except wikipedia & youtube will ranks.


10/22/2012 07:45 pm

yes, "them trying". But results of that 'trying' is so far from perfect, and lot of innocent victims here. I not see now how content help you ranks. you can put one high quality article to blog daily, but it not helps.


10/22/2012 07:47 pm

good news. google need to understand what not everything under their control.

Greg Tooke

10/22/2012 08:24 pm

My site ranked in top three for over a year. It dropped off the face of the earth around 9/27, but I was also doing a 301, which I then reversed. No manual penalty. Site still G-O-N-E. Would Google have spidered both sites at diff time and thought duplicate?


10/22/2012 08:43 pm

Are you insinuating that Anti-SEO works for Google? Most of the time Anti-SEO seems to be poking the bear for laughs, but this time he offered up some real insight/advice regarding 'black hat tactics'. Rage misdirected?

Guy E

10/22/2012 10:02 pm

I believe there was an update of some description - 2 of my newish websites got smashed badly on 17/10/2012, dropping 20-30 positions for relatively competitive terms.


10/22/2012 10:34 pm

Mr Anti-SEO is for sure a Google Employee. That was established weeks ago :) In another thread but I wont waste my keystrokes on who he\she may be :) Wasted rage on G.....


10/22/2012 10:43 pm

Unfortunately they have a monopoly. Till something else comes along. Search is still evolving. Of course there are lots of us out here that have been hurt and we are venting but also gaining insight into the direction and changes so we comment and look at these professional forums. The problem is there is almost no room for small business to succeed the way the SERPS are now. The people who are succeeding now are only BIG BRANDS and you wont find them coming in here to rejoice their benefit from the twisted salvo of unpredictable algo changes . Anyways enough venting for a while taking a break ....


10/22/2012 10:45 pm

Well said Jenny and there are lots of people in the boat with you. However black hat is extremely challenging these days and requires lots of startup capital with no guarantee of results. BH still works I know some webmasters who have carved out a great niche in the BH world. Everything they do is short term, quick cash and then get out or rinse and repeat. Very challenging but as you said you can go all white hat and still get smashed by Google's soulless algorithm. I wish you luck which ever way you decide to go.


10/22/2012 10:46 pm

Ok Kevin you just made my day :)


10/22/2012 10:52 pm

Yeah Eric they are doing all this for those altruistic reasons. They aren't doing it to make money! Seriously why do noobs feel they need to comment? your site hasn't even got an alexa rank and you are an SEO expert?

Guy E

10/23/2012 12:07 am

Between 10/8/2012 and 10/15/2012, one of our major sites is down in traffic by 1000 visits (report by SEOMOZ)... i'm thinking the panda update was initially rolled out prior to the 17th... but the roll-out was finalised on the 17th... anyone else here with a similar experience?


10/23/2012 03:12 am

whats more boring...watching Google Algo updates or the last presidential debate. Google seems to get more points on this one. Simply boring and not very interesting. We need a need animal algo in house in 2013. Spice it back up.


10/23/2012 03:14 am

Bird Bird will be looking for a new job. Let him hang out with Panda and Penguin.

Miss Piggy

10/23/2012 03:16 am

Rumor: Google Bird Bird Update #1 On January 21, 2013?

Rahul Mishra

10/23/2012 06:01 am

What's new in this.??? We all know that it is going to happen.

Rahul Mishra

10/23/2012 06:12 am

It seems like Google is paying you for comment here. People are loosing their money because of Google and you are saying "I get so tired of everything freaking out over little changes in the algo." You think they all are little changes. Bullshit..!!!!!!!!! How can you say that......???

Rekha Bisht

10/23/2012 07:37 am

I didn't read the word "RUMOR" so just got scared, I was little confused that how I could not read this post and I did not find any ranking change for my keywords, definitely it's rumor. Barry please check and let us know about this update.


10/23/2012 10:39 am

Having seen a few examples of how Panda and EMD have taken out otherwise beloved sites from their long held top ranks, its going to take a bit of re-releasing to fine tune some of the innocent bystanders back into contention.

Ismael Verón

10/23/2012 12:14 pm

100% agree with you.In few words, Google has become a JOKE. All these update for what? to get what i´m showing at this screen prin? See it for yourself people, the top 10 results are not only from the same domain, but also has the same content, same title! What the F is this Google? take a look >


10/23/2012 01:32 pm

Anti-SEO should have a DISCLAIMER => Works for GOOGLE


10/23/2012 01:40 pm

Can you tell me where this was established? Not that I don't believe you, but you say 'for sure', and I would like to see that.

Munish Dev Rathee

10/23/2012 01:45 pm

No kidding! The traffic for all my sites has got serious boost, minimum 27% to 43% as shown by google analytics.

Nick Ker

10/23/2012 04:51 pm

"Unfortunately they have a monopoly..." You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. OK all kidding around with Princess Bride quotes aside, it really isn't a monopoly. Dominance of the search market, yes. Monopoly, no. Anyone is free to use Bing, Yahoo, Blekko, Duck Duck Go or any other search engine at any time. For the most part, people choose Google - until something better comes along. There was a time not that long ago when most people used Yahoo or going back further, Alta Vista or Lycos. Times change, eventually. Despite all SpamMasters' claims to the contrary, ordinary users are not fleeing Google search in droves just yet. And plenty of small businesses are doing just fine in Google. Is it difficult for a new small business to catch up to well-established big brands? Of course it is. Why wouldn't it be? I think you and a lot of other people who have been complaining about Google "hurting" you seem to forget that Google is "just" a search engine. A means of finding what is out there - not some free small business incubator designed to make it easy to start a business. It can be that, but you have to work at it and not abuse it. Remember, Google's job isn't to be fair, it is to provide search results that are the most appropriate answers for whatever the users typed in the box. Say 10 million people choose to buy their office supplies at Staples every day. "Bob" opens up an online store selling the same stuff at around the same prices. Should Bob's office supply store site be lifted to the top just because it has the same stuff as Staples and about 10,000 other sites? Of course not. Bob has to make his business better than Staples and the others in some way - provide faster/better service, lower prices, free delivery... something to win over customers. That goes for real world or online. So Bob better get his business in top shape, and his website, and get that word out to people who need office supplies - or invest in a lot of advertising. Provide a good service or product, put together a good website, promote it legitimately and don't try to take shortcuts to the top, and there is really no reason you can't do well too. Could search results be better? Absolutely. But what if "better" does not necessarily include you? Blaming Google is the easy way out: "It's not my product/service, website, or half-assed marketing that is holding me back - it's big old evil Google." Google has given small businesses a great opportunity to be found by people all over the world and they have charged you absolutely nothing for it. Use it wisely.

Nick Ker

10/23/2012 05:01 pm

Google makes money by doing just what Eric said - trying to show the best, most authoritative content. That is why people use it. And that is why Google makes money on it. It isn't totally altruistic, but just because a company makes money on something doesn't mean it can't also benefit the consumer.


10/23/2012 09:58 pm

Yep. Pretty much what I see when I search for something. A thread in WebmasterWorld that Barry pointed out a couple of days ago says that Google's results are becoming as bad as what AltaVista's were like years ago. Some also believe that they are doing this to have less overhead by having to manage fewer results (shallow index) and masking them as "quality".


10/23/2012 10:00 pm

I think it's because a lot of webmasters were adjusting to the algo updates and figuring out ways to recover. Now they are trying to mash all the updates together so that we can't figure out what's going on with our sites.


10/23/2012 10:25 pm

Have a look here and deduce what you will from the comments :)


10/23/2012 10:43 pm

Google used to make money and at least "seem" or "pretend" to be somewhat altruistic. Now they have taken the gloves off and don't care. I am not talking about Panda's and Penguin's here I am more talking about above the fold and page 1 experience. However that is a bit off topic and after re-reading my comments I was being a bit harsh so I apologise to Eric.


10/24/2012 11:48 am

What google Exactly wants??? Is google wanna rolled out whole SEO industry??? there is already almost impossible to use black hat techniques.. There are very simple rules out there and they work really well. i think its just a game of increasing business from PPC etc. stuff . .. . twice a month Google rolled out 0.5% to 2.0% search terms and give it a name of some kinda update


10/24/2012 12:34 pm

Once again, he looks to be poking the bear. Did I miss something that would show that he isn't just a troll out for a laugh, because all I am seeing is him being mean to you and you coming back for more each time it happens. Please, walk me through what makes it 'for sure' that he is a Google employee. He is harsh with his opinions, but so are following your logic you are a Bing! employee, for sure. Knowing your employer based on anonymously posted discussion comments is ridiculous, right?

Aaron Charlie

10/24/2012 12:38 pm

I'm sorry Jenny, but I have yet to ever see a 100% genuinely white hat optimised site that has been hit by an update. The whole point is that Google wants to you to spend hours on your website (white hate, genuine, real), they don't want there to be an easy option (black hat, fake, spam). Marketing (in any form) is hard, and there are no quick fixes.

Nick Ker

10/24/2012 12:49 pm

I think many of these complainers are really struggling with taking responsibility for their own actions or lack of knowledge. I have also not seen a 100% "clean" site that has been significantly affected by any of these algorithm updates. A few that "did not know better", but they did indeed have some violations of long-standing Webmaster Guidelines. I think many are stuck in the 1990's mindset that the internet is the wild west where everything should be free and easy, and everyone should be able to get rich with about 15 minutes of work. The internet is a means of communication - not some magical fantasy land where the rules of the real world never apply. Success online or off usually requires hard (and smart) work.


10/24/2012 01:41 pm

Started 5 Oct 2012... Loss 70% traffic.. D*mn you google =)

Kevin Gerding

10/24/2012 01:45 pm

Aaron, genuinely whitehat websites would not be impacted by an update because they were probably buried in the SERPS in the first place. Even big corporations are out there buying links, giving people incentives to like them on Facebook, etc. Show us a genuine whitehat site that is ranking well in Google for something semi-competitive, outside of industry giants, and most any SEO will be able to quickly determine that they are not whitehat at all. I'm of the type that believes whitehat SEO is synonymous with premium blackhat. Premium blackhat basically involves buying links on relevant websites in a limited quantity as an example. Straight up blackhat involves link spam, etc. The build it and they will come concept just does not work. But it did make for a great storyline in the movie Field of Dreams. :)

Aaron Charlie

10/24/2012 02:21 pm

My point wasn't that White Hat sites rank well, it's that they don't get hit by algorithms. Starting to do black hat SEO as a response to a Google penalty is ironic because there must have been some black hat (or at least grey hat) stuff going on to warrant the penalty. There are plenty of black hat tactics that still work, but in my mind anybody who has ever used a techniques that goes against the Webmaster Guidelines has no right whatsoever to moan when hit by a penalty. Actual SERPs aside, it's a long time since Google has moved the goalposts by tweaking the algorithm. Webspam is webspam and that has never changed.


10/24/2012 03:01 pm

Is everyone sitting on their sites that were hit by Panda or is anyone buying them? Ping me if you are trying to sell your Panda effected site.


10/24/2012 08:43 pm

Aaron people like you are an embarrassment to the SEO community. You make the assumption that Google's algorithm is perfect and has no errors. What's more is that you are arrogant and insulting. Webmasters who have gone all white hat and been hit by an update are all liars? So thousands and thousands of webmasters who have been hit and claim to be white hat are all lying? not one of them is telling the truth? Best you not comment anymore Aaron.

Nick Ker

10/24/2012 09:00 pm

What is embarrassing is the number of people who think that "white hat SEO" means "doing whatever other people were doing, even if Google's Webmaster Guidelines said not to do it" - and then proclaim Google's updates a corporate conspiracy to wipe out all small businesses. Got an example of a high quality, 100% white hat site that has been hit by any of these updates? I keep asking for examples, but nobody ever wants to put their site up for scrutiny and free advice. It isn't that everyone is lying. Many are in denial. Others are just misinformed. Usually, these alleged "white hat" sites hit by panda or penguin turn out to have some quality issues, some crap links that they thought would be OK since "everyone" has them, or lost the EMD boost while having few links and/or thin content.I don't think Aaron or anyone else believes Google is perfect, but there are a lot of webmasters who erroneously believe their websites are perfect.


10/25/2012 12:35 am

Ok Nick now that I know your website and I know Aarons. I can go to fiverr and buy $500 worth of gigs and blast a hundred million spam links at each of your sites. Maybe your sites are resilient enough to take it (although after having a good look at them, maybe not!) but most Small business' would not be able to take that kind of abuse! What? are all competitors ethical and moral? That is just one place that your logic falls over (although there are many more). A person can be "TOTALLY WHITEHAT" and still gather bad links! Besides that as I said Google's algorithm is not perfect! and people like you Nick and Aaron above are either Delusional! or deliberately saying this BS in a lame attempt to drum up clients. For you Nick the second maybe true with your obviously opaque attempt using the words "free advice". Your type just can't help themselves can they? If you want an example of a whitehat site that has been hit. How about A site that has been doing what it has always done since 1998 and really couldn't afford to do anything blackhat or even greyhat because Matt Cutts is a regular there. Still gets hit by panda and penguin and any other number of updates. Nick you and Aaron are an example of the arrogance that makes many people not trust SEO's anymore. Your "free advice" is only ever given in the hope of drumming up business. When the customer has paid and the site has still refuses to move on up the serps, you will go quiet on the customer and move on to the next victi... err customer! and Nick the way you use review stars on your site is misleading and while technically not against Google's terms, you are not using them in the spirit of what Google intended! or do you have a 100% strike rate every time?

Nick Ker

10/25/2012 04:19 am

Whoa... Must have really struck a nerve. Subject change to negative SEO, personal attacks, and making false claims about my business practices noted. Keep on foaming at the mouth if it makes you feel better... To waste some time addressing your rants: Where did you get the idea that I was trying to drum up business?! If anything, I was trying to drum DOWN hysteria and misinformation. Did I even mention anything about my site? I may have said something about clients somewhere else on this site, which I suppose could imply that I do SEO in some capacity, but that's about it. I have offered several times, here and elsewhere, to help people figure out why their site got hit. Never have I even hinted at taking on any of them as a client. Believe it or not, some people do like to be helpful and I am one of them. When it will only take me or someone else about 10-15 minutes to give some assistance or at least get someone pointed in the right direction, why not? No signing anybody up for some crappy mailing list, no follow up emails, no "check out this link to my sales page" or anything like that. If they need me for more something, I am not too hard to find. That does tend to attract some new clients who notice that I am a pretty straightforward, helpful guy who knows stuff. Is that a bad thing? Is that what you meant by "your type"? My use of the words "free advice" was mostly intended to get some of these "victims" to put up or shut up. The word "free" does tend to attract attention, but it does have a meaning. Free means free. And I suspect that those who would actually post their site would be surprised at what I or someone else who took a moment to look would find. So if I can shed some light on a problem for someone or at least get them pointed in the right direction with about 10 whole minutes effort, that's cool. Those who don't want to even hint at what their site might be - well, they probably know that their site has problems, don't feel the need to be told what they already know, and usually disappear. I have had a few clients who continued to get free service for a month or two after the initial projected timeframe when it didn't go as planned, so your bullsh*t about me going quiet and moving on when things don't work out is just that - bullsh*t. You have absolutely no factual reason to say that. I have to wonder if you are just some troll. I have even been known to down-sell clients who no longer need me, or those who wanted to hire me but wouldn't have benefited enough from SEO for it to be worthwhile. If you do a little digging on those reviews and ratings that you don't want to believe, you can probably find the original sources. I have never found a bad review, so let me know if you find any, okay?

Aaron Charlie

10/25/2012 07:47 am

Please don't misinterpret me, I never said the algorithm was perfect, it clearly isn't. I also didn't call anybody a liar. To clarify, I'm talking about people who have intentionally used black hat techniques with full understanding of what that can lead to.

Raj Seo

10/25/2012 09:59 am

Just like to add go for Bing and Yahoo !!!! or bring back the days before the updates have started to roll out.


10/25/2012 10:46 am

If you called anyone liars it would be Ok. Alan is dishonest person attacking people who disagree. playing 'i know who you are' as if you should be ashamed of what you say. He is anonymous why do you think?

Online Payday Loans in Canada

11/01/2012 03:16 pm

Did you do anything different? What's the keyword that you're using?... Do you think EMD affected your site positively?...


11/09/2012 08:50 am

One of the sites that I work for have a huge ranking drop now I have 1.5k google traffic from 10k. The site usually have traffic from 4000 keywords yestarday 600. Today seems to be the same

screw google

11/13/2012 02:14 am

You know what I think? Let's all start using Yahoo again. Here's why. On a whim I'd searched topic B onYahoo and hit the target right away (not like the olden days on Yahoo). Google search results were shit for topic B. Plus, Google and this crap have already ruined my life. I think that Google has a monopoly and someone needs to start holding them to their actions.


11/23/2012 11:33 am

3 years ago I bought a web site for what for me was big money. It was high ranking PR3 and was well back linked etc etc. No real SEO had been done on the site since I purchased it because I was told it was built in an old style and until it was upgraded it was not worth doing. Well in March this year I had the site completely upgraded to conform with all industry standards for an ECommerce site. The day the new site went live the traffic dropped by 90% every thing had been done correctly 301 directs everything. I was told to wait and it would all come back. Well 5 months down the line nothing has changed in fact on Oct 17th all the keywords completely disappeared. Now an SEO company has told me that the problem all along has been "Bad Back Links" and spammy anchor text some of which are over 5-10 years old and I have now been told that it is going to cost me a vast amount of money(which I do not have) to remove these bad back links that when I bought the site were not "Bad" links. I have contacted Google who have told me that I have not had a manual penalty it seems that I have just been hit by Algorithm changes. This is great for google but I stand to lose everything I have inc my house and everything and there appears to be nothing I can do about it. I am even being held to ransom by the the link people who are asking for money to remove links or change anchor text. I have even thought of just changing the domain name and starting again but I have literally almost run out of money and in danger of going bust. So much for Googles Mantra of "do no harm" let them tell that to my family etc.

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