Official: Google Panda 3.9 Refresh

Jul 25, 2012 • 8:33 am | comments (46) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Panda 3.9Last night, at 7pm EDT, Google announced they pushed out a refresh for the Google Panda algorithm.

We had some rumors of a Panda refresh a couple weeks ago but Google said there was no such update. Truth is, looking at the forums, even as of this morning, there are very few complaints despite what I would normally see during a Panda refresh.

This time, Google said this Panda refresh impacted about 1% of the search results, which is actually pretty significant. Not as significant as 11.8% when Google first launched Panda in February 2011 or as significant as Google launching Panda in Koera and Japan with 5% but still, for a refresh, it seems significant.

So this surprises me that I don't see more complaints in the forums.

That being said, the previous Panda refresh was Panda 3.8 and about 30 days before this update. SEOs are patiently awaiting a Penguin refresh, the last and first refresh we had was on May 25th, so we are due an update there.

One last concern for me is that we are out of numbers. 3.9 and now what? :)

Here are the past Google Panda updates:

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help and WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Google's New Advanced Index Status Report


Nick Stamoulis

07/25/2012 01:18 pm

Less complaints might be a good thing. Maybe some sites were able to recover and fewer didn't get caught in the cross-fire. It'll be interesting to see what happens throughout the day as more site owners start digging.


07/25/2012 02:20 pm

"One last concern for me is that we are out of numbers. 3.9 and now what? :)" Panda 3.91 beta 6 ;-)


07/25/2012 02:28 pm

What happened to penguin refreshes, it's been ages.


07/25/2012 03:29 pm

This might explain the nearly double traffic I've received on a few of my sites and rank improvements. Sweet.


07/25/2012 05:13 pm

It's important to keep in mind that these updates, whether Panda or Penguin related have the potential to impact other sites. If a negatively impacted site has links to a site you're working, then you'll lose traffic. There is the potential for a domino effect. I hope this most recent update brings all of you good news.


07/25/2012 05:34 pm

I suppose these refreshes are just re-enforcing the original so as we (SEOs) do what we have to in order to comply, the refreshes should affect us less and less... yeah?

Ketan Raval

07/25/2012 05:34 pm

now Penguin 2.0 I think :)


07/25/2012 07:21 pm

Its weird I climbed all over the rankings today on some nice terms but overall the traffic is down. Also noticed its not stable and its fluctuating all the time up and down. Again we hold our breath for the google-maniacs to decide what they want from our lives this time. Its getting to be like playing roullete these days you jsut never know where that ball will fall. Driving us all insane I am sure.


07/25/2012 10:59 pm

Thank you for the information! There is a slight typo in the sentence, "Panda in Koera and Japan" but great article nonetheless.


07/26/2012 02:07 am

Super Panda. Wait, no - that's an all you can eat buffet. I need to stop working/reading SEO stuff and eat something.

Truth Teller

07/26/2012 03:46 am

I predict that thanks to this "quality update," Google will make even more money. Panda increased their clicks on ads by 35% and then Penguin by another 42%, meaning they doubled their clicks on adwords ads by "fighting spam." Follow the money, do not trust Matt Cutts, Barry or any other shill. Google is rigged. At every level.


07/26/2012 06:47 am

I suppose the order from Eric, Larry and/or another executive is not 'Fight webspam to make the world better' but I its ultimately 'Webspam team: Do what you can to increase ad clicks' and we need to understand that they approach these tasks from this business side.


07/26/2012 07:26 am

Well, let's see if it does anything for the little people. A year ago I would have never thought Truth Teller down there could be on the money. But, here we are. Our site has been trashed by Pando for all intents and purposes. I shut up for a while, but since BING now brings the preponderance of visitors.... My loyalty and love extends to the point where being betrayed and overlooked starts.!category-topic/webmasters/crawling-indexing--ranking/fwrplSaw97A Thanks for your posts Barry, you have been on top of all this for eons. Looks like we have to get back in, Mihaela and me. A shame when really excellent things get screwed up. BING, we could have expected to flop. Google? WOW. Always, Phil Butler

Rudra Rawat

07/26/2012 07:28 am

I lost my SERP in Google. Decrease in traffic.can you tell me how to get ride from it.

Harsh Agrawal

07/26/2012 10:57 am

Berry Is in't it suppose to be 4.0 update? As Google rolled out an update on 19th for Japanese and korean language which affected


07/26/2012 11:26 am

can you tell me how to get ride from it. >> Enjoy while it lasts. Oh Wait! it seems to be permanent unless you are a big brand and people start wondering why?


07/26/2012 11:31 am

Truth is, looking at the forums, even as of this morning, there are very few complaints despite what I would normally see during a Panda refresh. - because everyone else is already hit by panda :) soon there won't be any compains as everybody is going to be under :D

Gary Bisha

07/26/2012 11:52 am

A lot of online marketers use tools like minifreelance to get positive reviews. They use it to get reviews on amazon products. How google will be able to prevent it is difficult to know.


07/26/2012 12:16 pm

out of 100 keywords your site ranks for, only 1 is affected. how big impact can it be?


07/26/2012 12:38 pm

These all are Bullshit :)


07/26/2012 12:52 pm

I'm still seeing a competitor who is blatantly spamming by embedding keywords at the bottom of their homepage. The keywords are almost the same color as the background and they link to pages that have nothing to do with the term.

Jeff Downer Indianapolis IN

07/26/2012 02:10 pm

I would take exception to describing folks as "patiently" waiting for a Penguin refresh. lol


07/26/2012 03:43 pm

When is Penguin 2.0 expected? As more people hit by penguin back on April 24. Panda is slow but penguin is hard.


07/26/2012 05:11 pm

And what is the problem if Google will make more money ? Buy Google shares and get profit too.


07/26/2012 07:28 pm

this more frequent updates to Panda are making very hard for SEO people to survive, u take a year to bring a keyword at first position and with one update u are back from where u started.... tough for us...


07/26/2012 10:32 pm

It's actually no lie that Google is losing some traffic due to these changes. I'll share one example: a visitor of mine found my site by using a long-tail search term in Google. A short time later that same visitor arrived at my site via Yahoo. Why? well judging by the search term used in Yahoo, the searcher forgot the name of my site so they put the words in the domain in the wrong order e.g., rather than I verified in Google whether they were returning my domain for the search term used and they were not. I can only assume that since Google wasn't returning the proper results, the visitor went to Yahoo and got the results they were looking for. Since my site is less than a year old and I don't have an established presence in Google which I believe plays a huge role in Google results. Therefore, I can only imagine how many others are having a hard time finding me in Google due to their index constantly changing. All these changes are screwing up the Google's index. I have been experimenting with Bing lately for more complex search terms like "MYSQL or" which are returning expected results: "MYSQL or operator" so they are getting better (like Google). Try Blekko and you will see that they are currently having trouble with search terms like "MYSQL or" which are returning results for competitors of MYSQL e.g., should I use Derby or MYSQL? Therefore, Bing is doing a pretty good job when compared to all competitors. Another thing I like about Bing, is the fact that they return results for many new sites. Google's results are all about authority and they are stale. Bing should work on some things though, like toning down the relevancy factor on certain terms which are relying a little too much on keyword relevance. Such terms are returning improper results. I have seen Google occasionally returning irrelevant results as well, so it happens, but not as often as it does on Bing. Good luck Bing! Hope they stay focused because they do stand a chance. Bing's chance of delivering a TKO on Google has never looked better :) If Bing will if they keep improving their search results and keep the advertising going. It was a bad move on Google's part to increase ad clicks by 42% because if they eventually need to improve organic search results, they may disappoint stock holders. Messed up position to be in.


07/27/2012 02:16 am

Nothing will help you to rank well, if you will spend so much time analyzing SERPs instead of working on your site.


07/27/2012 03:01 am

The main problem with your site, as I see it, is - you didn't build the brand. I don't see any reason why people, referred by Google, would return to you. Even your site name doesn't match domain !!! The whole concept of your site is wrong after the Panda. You're covering popular topics, still thinking that relevance of the search is the main point. It was before Panda, but not now. Furthermore, you're making this example of Name Name Playboy search. Can you please explain, why did you decide that people want to get text, searching this ? I definitely would like to get pics. That's why the sites in your example are ranked higher than yours. They're providing pics. Visitors are spending time there, watching pics. And even, if I would like to get a text, why would I go to your site ? This was a top topic. Most brands covered it. I would rather go the brand site, than to the brandless. Another thing I can't understand is - where were invested all these thousands of dollars , you told about. I mean did you invest into the site ?) Where ? How ? No way these site consumed so much money. Well, unless you didn't care about expenses or somebody just fooled you. Your site is very simple for such investments. The post became to long ... sorry ) Just curious )

Gices Abraham

07/27/2012 06:15 am

It could very well be 3.10 (Version 3 Revision 10).


07/27/2012 10:06 am

Very complete schedule Google panda that very use to me thanks

Sumit Rawat

07/27/2012 10:56 am

I have not seen any changes so far

Bed reviewer

07/29/2012 02:06 pm

Noticed a drop in traffic over the last few days and not sure what to do about this - is anyone able to help me please?


07/30/2012 08:15 am

I think the date is posted wrong... 3.8 should be on 24th and 3.9 on 25th July....

Website Maken

07/31/2012 10:45 am

My sites have dropped too. And I looked a long for what reason was it. And today I've noticed that I have a huge increase of broken links in my GWMT Crawl errors. Does someone notice the same or maybe find out how to get back SERP positions?


07/31/2012 10:46 am

Really wish they would just stop with the updates already.


07/31/2012 10:50 am


07/31/2012 02:09 pm

I noticed a HUGE drop in traffic about 5 days ago for all the sites that I actually "work" on...I have some "spam" sites as well, those are actually making money now!

Mr K

08/01/2012 11:05 pm

Well, I guess the new algorithm will make the Internet environment cleaner =)


08/02/2012 06:15 pm

My website is badly hit lost more than 66 % of traffic and still falling :( any suggestions. webmaster tools shows drop 40 -60 % drop in approx 500 search keywords!!! people changed their search preferences or what? any suggestions

Cynthia Coffield

08/03/2012 03:22 pm

I do see some impact of Panda on one of the sites I work on - I didn't see it until I ran a report today on our targeted search queries. Our competitor has a similar fluctuation in ranking. Even though the report I ran says our rank dropped, organic visits are up this week so the report might just be reflecting a fluctuation in query results. I'll probably wait a week or two to see if the rankings pop back up before I change anything on page.


08/04/2012 07:48 am

Where did you get your embed tweet from? I use blackbird pie but this one is a lot nicer.


08/13/2012 12:07 pm

hi my site is out because panda

Ajith Prasad Edassery

08/20/2012 02:07 am

I have some traffic reduction on one of my sites as of July 11th. Looks like something has taken place on that date before official roll out of 3.9?

Jason Kelley

08/28/2012 03:10 pm

Does anyone have any experience with a site that drops two thirds of its traffic everytime (pretty much) Google updates but also recovers in between without any changes being made. This is the 5th time this year a site has lost ranking. It has started to get annoying and my advertisers are starting to get annoyed too. I am not arrogant enough to think my site is perfect or that it will always stay at the top but I haven't come across anyone else with a similar issue.


10/07/2012 12:47 am

I had been racking my brain trying to figure out why a certain recipe page I had suddenly dropped in the search results after a year or so of being near the top and getting tons of traffic. That page got more traffic to my site than most of my other pages and it was great! Then July 25th it dropped off drastically. I just now learned that Google had rolled out this refresh. Makes me so sad because that recipe had lots of content on it and a good amount of comments too. Now I got it to rank on the bottom of the first page for one of the main keyphrases, but the other big one that it had been toward the top for, is still several pages deep now. Agh! I just lost a bunch of traffic to one of my other sites too due to this most recent update in September....... Both sites have been around for years and traffic was continually increasing until BAM..... Makes me so frustrated!


10/07/2012 12:50 am

And I didn't even know about this new update until today even though it adversly affected my site. How many others may not have known about it??

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