Google Panda 4.0 Now Rolling Out; A New Panda Algorithm

May 21, 2014 • 8:56 am | comments (99) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Panda 4.0Last night was pretty wild, with Google confirming an update over the weekend targeting spammy queries and also Google's Matt Cutts posting on Twitter that Panda 4.0 was released.

This is a new Panda algorithm, not a refresh that we've seen almost monthly but enough for Google to name this 4.0, which means a new algorithm update to it.

Google's Matt Cutts told us at Search Engine Land that this Panda 4.0 update impacts ~7.5% of English queries to a degree that a regular user might notice.

Also when I spoke to Matt Cutts, he made it sound like this update may appear gentler for some sites but it does lay the groundwork to future changes in the direction of a softer and gentler Panda algorithm.

This began rolling out yesterday and is unrelated to the Google Spam Algorithm 2.0 released over the weekend and unrelated to anything Penguin.

So no, I was not crazy expecting something big that happened over the weekend and throughout the month and this week. Even though Google said nothing is going on, we've been seeing signs of major changes and ranking shifts all throughout the month. I suspect those were tests for both this Google Spam Algorithm version 2.0 and the Panda 4.0 release.

Here is some of the history on the Panda update, but to dig deeper, see our Panda category.

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.

Over the next few days, we are going to need to look at our analytics and isolate if we were impacted by one of these algorithms. I'll ask you to fill out a poll in the near future and share those results.

Forum discussion at Twitter, BlackHatWorld, Google+, Google Webmaster Help, DigitalPoint Forums and WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for pandas

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Khalid Irfan

05/21/2014 01:02 pm

Fingers crossed guys :)

Yo Mamma

05/21/2014 01:13 pm

If only I were a big company then I wouldn't have to worry about being small and insignificant. How to be taken seriously in a world filled with lies and deception. Can someone tell me which part of anything Google says is the honest truth? Just give me the line number.

Yo Mamma

05/21/2014 01:16 pm

The Kamaldeep Singh SEO backlink to HIS OWN article is an example of an Unnatural link and is considered SPAM by the Google god. Now if I post your link its natural. Why? Because 'you didn't expect it from me' The wisdom of what billions of $$$ buys Google administration


05/21/2014 01:17 pm

What a blithering idi@#. Do the world a favor. Never come to this site again, ever.


05/21/2014 01:19 pm

Never mind this Panda crap...WHERE THE F$%K IS PENGUIN!!!!!

Yo Mamma

05/21/2014 01:19 pm

Only people from the British Isles use the word 'blithering' Try bloody or daymed next time. Its an American website that caterers to everyone including blithering limeys


05/21/2014 01:28 pm

Oh look, it's this guy again. Contributing nothing and complaining about everything.


05/21/2014 01:37 pm

So tell me: how did those priveleged big companies get that way? Hard work, smart moves... or is it some grand conspiracy of the Illuminati?

Hiral Patel

05/21/2014 01:37 pm

Gonna be interesting to see how this effects my client sites.


05/21/2014 01:44 pm

This is the biggest Panda effect ever. This time it will going to punish those sites who are not refreshing their content on their main site.

Yo Mamma

05/21/2014 01:47 pm

You are delusional. Maybe its that freezer you spend half your life in. Where in my statement, my wish, my observation, does it express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment? Am I dissatisfied for being a small company? No Am I resentful for being a small company? No As an observation, does Google tell lies? Yes Its English we're engaged in here. Learn the language

Rana Ankit

05/21/2014 01:51 pm

Nice Post

Chetan Patel

05/21/2014 01:52 pm

This is the biggest Panda ever :)

Rana Ankit

05/21/2014 01:53 pm

I saw many sites getting fluctuation in ranking and traffic since 5 days

Stephane Brault

05/21/2014 01:54 pm


Dave Worrall

05/21/2014 02:06 pm

Bloody also originated in the UK in the 17th century. Come to mention it, all your words originate from the UK. Daymed itself is derived from dammed which comes from the very English word "Damn". Smile and accept a bit of education


05/21/2014 02:18 pm

it is not, Panda 1.0 affected 12% of all search results...


05/21/2014 02:41 pm

"Where in my statement, my wish, my observation, does it express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment?" Answer: nearly every comment you've made so far is an expression of "pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment." com·plain kəmˈplān/ verb 1. express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event. 2. to express grief, pain, or discontent

Yo Mamma

05/21/2014 02:45 pm

Blimey sugar lumps, I didn't insult your queen even tho we're almost mishpocha! There is a difference between common use and origin. You like to speak of origin probably because yours is sorely lacking. Lots of frustrated Google brown nosers here today. Must be attributable to the negativity on the Frontline story on PBS last night. Ouch, hate 2bu Google

Yo Mamma

05/21/2014 02:49 pm

Matt Cutts made a statement "blah, blah, update, blah). I doubt it to be true because Google lies. It lies on much bigger issues like to politicians that want to create new laws to protect the PUBLIC. See the FRONTLINE story and share it liberally

Yo Mamma

05/21/2014 02:52 pm

Are you suggesting that I commit hara kari or that Google start being open, transparent and honest?

Not a neckbeard

05/21/2014 02:58 pm

Do not feed the neckbeard guys


05/21/2014 03:06 pm

I'm not suggesting you do anything. That's your business. I was merely answering your earlier question.


05/21/2014 04:01 pm



05/21/2014 04:15 pm

My rankings this morning... Spanning 15 retail websites, 250K pages, PR 5-8... 50% improved, 30% unchanged, 20% down. The typical amount of movement was 1-3 places with few outliers. I'd would estimate that 75% of my drops were on category pages. I had next to no drops on longer tail product pages.


05/21/2014 04:18 pm

Always love a bit of Panda.


05/21/2014 04:54 pm

Yes, really.


05/21/2014 04:54 pm

We have seen changes on one of our sites since the 13th of May


05/21/2014 04:55 pm

Oh, it is coming... It will make Panda look soft in comparison... Google is just not going to take it anymore.

Ashish Ahuja

05/21/2014 04:58 pm

no major downward change for most of our sites, 1 website up, but that site did not have good content, so looks like google is surely softening panda, but that may mean they are going to harden Penguin. So brace for Impact!

Sunil Kumar

05/21/2014 05:34 pm

This time Panda will going to boom!! all good content and punishment for bad one

Stephane Brault

05/21/2014 05:34 pm



05/21/2014 05:35 pm



05/21/2014 05:47 pm

Really ?


05/21/2014 05:50 pm

I like your optimism. I wish I shared it. These updates have put more businesses out of business than been positive for search. Watch all the positive gains people come here to shout about only to start crying days later. Initial strong gains during an update is usually a bad sign and these tend to revert at the end and often become worse. Everyone needs to just sit tight and wait for the fallout to end before saying how much they have gained or lost.


05/21/2014 06:21 pm

Do any body know how long till thy complete the roll out ?

Steve Bain

05/21/2014 07:53 pm

True enough, it's too soon to tell. Then again, I've never had a roll-out of any algorithm that started well and then went bad.... I've had plenty that started badly, got worse, and then turned downright ugly!!! I'm doing well so far, but I'll sit tight for a while before I declare it a success.

Steve Bain

05/21/2014 07:57 pm

I could be wrong, but I think Matt Cutts said it would be over the next few days (starting from the 20th). Should be done by the end of the week. To know how you've been affected, I'd measure your traffic next week and compare it to last week (ignore the current week as it is in flux).


05/21/2014 08:16 pm

My traffic dropped significantly and I'm praying that I won't be hit by this Panda 4


05/21/2014 08:47 pm

Thanks :) no traffic here do im counting the minutes

Fatima Afridi

05/21/2014 09:52 pm

After this update, my site organic searches are boosted 200%. I'm lovin it :)


05/21/2014 10:37 pm

That bit about breaking spirits of spammers is true. You seem pretty broken up about something. So much so that you sail into another irrelevant rant every time google or Cutts is mentioned. Do you really think the anonymous ramblings of someone who has clearly been butthurt by his own mistakes again and again will be taken seriously by anyone? Every time you comment, someone comes along and explains the facts to you. Then you degenerate into a name calling tantrum. 1997 called - they want their forum trolling back.


05/21/2014 10:40 pm

You lack the honor required for hari kari. Perhaps karaoke is more your thing.


05/21/2014 11:04 pm

Keep it up guys. The Google loves that sh!t.

From Gray hat to White Stetson

05/22/2014 12:40 am

People that were using spammy links to rank facebook pages & other high authority profile pages were eliminated. Thank you Panda.


05/22/2014 03:08 am

We recovered for the first time!


05/22/2014 04:57 am

After a long back mattcutts updated Panda 4.0 is rolled out.

Soni Sharma

05/22/2014 05:10 am

Spammy sites are coming on top ranking. The sites which are doing copy paste of content snippets from various sites. It is softer panda means content spam is back again. I don't want to mention sites here. Reported to Google.

Ahsan Parwez

05/22/2014 06:09 am

Time to pray that you don't belong to "Spammy industry" :D Some industries aren't effected by the slightest with this Panda 4.

Subodh Rkr

05/22/2014 06:23 am

lets see what brings this time ......


05/22/2014 06:24 am

Barry Schwartz Finally after lots of rumors and hoaxes we have something official that has come to light.. Now tht Panda is out ..lets wait for an official Penguin


05/22/2014 06:24 am

@rustybrick:disqus Finally after lots of rumors and hoaxes we have something official that has come to light.. Now tht Panda is out ..lets wait for an official Penguin

Khalid Irfan

05/22/2014 07:11 am

Ahsan, goodluck (y)

Gaurav Srivastava

05/22/2014 07:49 am

^^^^^^^ SPAM!!!!!!!!

Sunil Kumar

05/22/2014 09:10 am

I agree with you that Google ranking algorithm updates hit many website but my personal observation is that the sites with too many keyword stuffing or spam backlinks or other such blackhat (not very carefully done) are the sites that get the slap. Any site which is focused on a particular top, has generic and high quality backlinks and progressing comments backlinks usually get some boost. Simple copy paste websites should be slapped according to my opinion since they help no one. Although this lead to some other problems, Ebay for example have suffered a slap majorly due to duplicate item description (I could be wrong). I read a post on which explains about the Ebay slap. The blog post also contains some comments from different forums that some users have seen major increase in their traffic while some have suffered major drops. All-in-all, it all depends on the uniqueness of your content, backlink source, your domain authority and some other seo factors. What do you think?

Sunil Kumar

05/22/2014 09:12 am

I'll second that, one of my domain got real boost :D but I'll keep my finger crossed for few more days (can't trust Google, LOL).

Sunil Kumar

05/22/2014 09:15 am

It's because of people like you SPAMMING everywhere, Google has to release new anti-spam updates every few months.

Aditya Verma

05/22/2014 09:48 am

Don't get bogged down with these releases from google. If 1) you are not artificially manipulating content and 2) users on your site are able to find what they are looking for, you are good. Google does not have content of it's own, so their dependence on content provider is more than what we credit ourselves with. Google like us, is working to make content relevant for their audience. If we satisfy our users, Google will figure-out a way to find us (it is in their own interest). So focus on your users, SEO will automatically follow.

osman musa

05/22/2014 10:31 am

I've seen Google show answers from those 'Questions and Answers" sites directly inside search results. I bet u Google's ultimate desire is to keep people inside results for maximum ad revenue.


05/22/2014 11:14 am

Thanks for that enlightened one.. NOT

sunil kumar

05/22/2014 11:19 am

@matt cutts: keep it up...i am ready to another panda update from your side


05/22/2014 11:45 am

So that was related to Panda, not to Penguin: do you think we still have time to check/disavow unwanted/bad inbound links before the Penguin update? (I made a big effort in remove/disavow links from ago 2013 to feb 2014, but not in last two months...) Thanks!


05/22/2014 12:13 pm

Geek ^

Aditya Verma

05/22/2014 12:32 pm

One should not be surprised by this observation. Google is just like any other company. They would try to keep the audience engagement high. I can't comment on their ultimate desire (have no information or foresight) but they are within their right to maximise ad revenue. I would do the same if I was @ Google.


05/22/2014 12:37 pm

Just curious why you have to disavow every few months? Is it something related to a previous SEO company or a result of what you did? In my experience, everything I've had to disavow has come up directly in Webmaster Tools and haven't really seen anything after that. I'd be curious to know your situation though. Thanks!


05/22/2014 12:47 pm

Hi Ive been boosted by +50% visitors the last two days, Today I take a 20% loss from that so traffic still up 30% for the time being.


05/22/2014 12:50 pm

i can see ive lost 50% of my us traffic again but other countries still are strong. So my 20% drop is the US update rolling out first.

Barry Schwartz

05/22/2014 01:22 pm

Everyone, please take my Panda poll at

Animesh Singh

05/22/2014 02:58 pm

I feel better after this update, my suggestion always try to follow Google guidelines, you will never afraid from these updates, panda,penguin or humming bird


05/22/2014 02:59 pm

Hi, on august 2013 I noticed a manual actions due to unnatural inbound links, and then I started to clean the backlink profile, with reconsideration requests every 2/3 months, after removing links from my other websites - (I'm guilty..) - and disaster made by a seo agency (I asked them help to exit from penalty, but instead perform an analisys they made a link building campaign without my authoritazion, to show me short time results and get paid). No fortune until feb 2014, when I found a big issue: hackers used a "forgotten" script to use my website for spam/linkbuilding purposes, maybe for many months. Fixed, asked remove of many inbound links (more than 5,000 urls), disavowed who did not replied, and manual action revoked. Since february I did not think about inbound links, I focused on content and other onsite fixes, I'd like to know if is still time to check and remove/disavow before Penguin update..


05/22/2014 03:42 pm

I'm hoping it's still rolling out and that my site's traffic does not stay where it is. It didn't change until today. Today has been very very quiet... Kind of scary quiet.

Allena Abas

05/23/2014 06:40 am

Soni Sharma, Did Any One copied your Blog Post and he is ranking better than U :(

ahutani mayur

05/23/2014 07:31 am

Panda 4.0 was released after drop my all website ranking.

Indrajeet Prajapati

05/23/2014 08:10 am

I m Not Afraid this update.bcoz we do white SEO and work according to the google guidelines...

YooLotto A

05/23/2014 08:18 am

Yes, But my website are not effected by this update. bcoz we do work according to the google guidelines.


05/23/2014 08:29 am

please share me google guidelines and what work to improve my website ranking in google.

Maxweb Inc

05/23/2014 08:48 am

You can check the Google webmasters guidelines by visiting here:

Maxweb Inc

05/23/2014 08:49 am

It means you are using a shady tactic according to Google then, sometimes its a false hit. We can't really hide ourselves if we depend on Google that much.

Maxweb Inc

05/23/2014 08:51 am

Hmmm? that is weird? I believe niches that contains lots of spam sites are in the gray area niches. Just do what you need to do. Just build high quality links. Serve your audience well. You will win in the long term.

Spammy _indian

05/23/2014 10:06 am

Learn some english spammy indian seo !

Chris Monroe

05/23/2014 03:06 pm

Have seen a dip on one of our sites since the update, curious how the rest of the update will affect us. Excited to see the pole results once the data is gathered.

Sameer Kumar

05/23/2014 04:32 pm

Yes my site is also get affected because of google panda update.

Soni Sharma

05/23/2014 06:07 pm

Yes, that's true..

Soni Sharma

05/23/2014 06:11 pm

Not Yet...Yes but I am sure many people are doing so... and they are successful, until Google catches them, later they through the domain in bin.


05/24/2014 12:12 am

Its funny, that i did not see any real ecommerce stores talking about google updates. just some blogs, blogs !! who cares about blogs, let them all be dead and sites about nothing. It would be more interesting to see, if any big stores has any stories about update.


05/24/2014 05:51 am

thank you for giving me details now can you please tell me what and how much things I need to do for increaseing keywords ranking in google.

Krista F

05/26/2014 05:25 pm

Um, er... hmm. My founding site, (15+ years old with lots of good, old fashioned PR Newswire release-inspired backlinks, so good luck cleaning those!) was hit so hard over the past 18 mos that I'm in the process of pulling it down in favor of my secondary, younger site/brand - been adding product and blending the brands for the past several months. Lo and behold, this weekend both views and sales jumped by about 800% on old site. It's now (back to) topping my younger site in search - what a difference Google makes. Honestly, after 15 yrs... I just take it a day at a time now, between Amazon, Google and now WalMart attempting to take on Amz, who knows what tomorrow brings for the small etailer (esp. those like me, in specialty home goods). I plan, but I don't overstock anything anymore and am in uber-downsize mode, but at least returning to profitability. It's not all about volume, folks.


05/27/2014 12:03 pm

I lost all visitors from google. so -5k daily uniques. i don't know why! How to fix this?

05/27/2014 08:33 pm

How much time it takes for the Panda update to settle? DA improved but rankings dropped. Should I wait for more time and then check the rankings?


05/28/2014 09:05 am

So can you give me little bit details on what needs to be done for getting back my rankings little bit higher ?


05/28/2014 03:47 pm

About webshops: We have seen a lot of positions going down 1 to 10 spots in the last two days. We have over 20 webshops and by most of our shops this is happening. More people the same experience?


05/30/2014 12:50 am

you're an idiot.


06/03/2014 01:42 am

i do remember the day of may 21 i lost 40% visitor .. that hurt me..


06/04/2014 02:15 pm

I had 500.000 images indexed (with adult filter off), but after may 21, it started dropping like mad. Now I'm at 300.000, lost 60% of my traffic and I'm thinking about suicide!


06/04/2014 02:50 pm

These panda updates are too much. I'm thinking of going to switch to android app. development. This is just too frustrating when you loose everything, and you don't even know why, not even a clue!

Rahul Saxena

06/05/2014 07:11 am

My traffic dropped for 1 keyword (Digital Textile Printing), and it out of first page. what should i do for that to be on first page..please specify some tips

Coral Calcium

06/06/2014 02:56 pm

thanks to Panda I dropped from no 3 in Google to somewhere just below the earths crust. I am still up there in Yahoo and Bing, and why the importance with Farcebook and Titter. Customers want to be able to sell or buy products not communicate with them?? Is Wordpress a better way to design a site to be better rated?

Android Apk File Download

06/10/2014 11:04 am

I have android appsapk : website which previously has more than 15000+ page views per day but on last 6th June 2014 it suddenly dropped to just 800+ pages.. OMG... i am not getting what exactly the issue it. Do some one suggest me the issue


07/07/2014 12:54 pm

No one can save their website that have duplicate and spammy content.

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