Matt Cutts: Google Panda Updated Monthly But Slowly Rolled Out

Jun 13, 2013 • 8:52 am | comments (64) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Panda RollingBack in March, Google said they will stop confirming Panda updates because they are now more baked into the index and algorithm.

Well, at SMX Advanced, Matt Cutts of Google announced it is still roughly updated monthly (although it has been 6 weeks because they are trying to soften Panda - note, next Panda update sites should be released) but these updates are rolled out gradually over a 10 day period. (How is that for a run on sentence?)

So, Panda might be pushed out on the 1st of the month but take ten full days to fully roll out everywhere. Then it will happen again roughly a month later. So 1/3rd of the month, Panda is rolling out. I called this at Search Engine Land, the Panda Dance.

For more details on the Panda updates, click here.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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06/13/2013 01:06 pm

Fantastic graphic for the story.


06/13/2013 01:32 pm


Praveen Sharma

06/13/2013 02:26 pm

Image is more interesting than the text portion in this post. No one has been credited for the image, might be Barry hold the credit himself. :)

Jerry Nordstrom

06/13/2013 04:07 pm

The frequency and complexity of the panda changes or Google changes in general have far outpaced the ability to act on them with any resemblance of efficiency. Ultimately this is what Google wants - Please stop trying to work your sites to fit the algo and just create content and the algo will do the rest. Or in Eric Schmidt's words "Trust us, we do no evil."

SEO Expert - Rahul Trivedi

06/13/2013 04:48 pm

How easily they are saying that we are rolling panda slowly....Dont they know how much effect has been come on site of these kind of updates?

Leeza Rodriguez

06/13/2013 06:53 pm

Like others in WMT forums, I have been pointed to the 23 point Content Quality Score, , written by Amit Singhal in 2011, as the answer to our Panda problems. Since learning of these variables , we have dissected and spent at least 7 solid months trying to to figure out which variables are negatively affecting our website. We have obviously failed to indentify which of these variables apply to us, because we are still been pandalized. It has been an exhausting and an incredible inefficient use of our time . If we knew which of those 23 points are miserably failing at our business website, we *would* focus and fix the existing content. We would then have MUCH more time to focus on developing new , engaging content. As it stands now, every day we are drowning in the mysterious puzzle of what is wrong with the existing 600+ pages of content. If the goal of Panda is really to encourage great content, why can't Google tell businesses what is wrong with their content according to the 23 point algo?? We all WANT to fix it. This is like scolding a child and saying---"you are being bad", but not telling them what behavior they need to change. How about some general indicators to give us direction? Why can't the Google engineers put these 23 easy to understand quality content points in WMT dashboard and give us some indication of what G thinks of our content? It could be a Yes/No kind of thing for each algo parameter, a heat map, or something esle. Let me be clear: I am not asking for 'the super secret score', but rather just WHAT THE HEC is wrong!?. The QCD (quality content dashboard--yeah I just made that up) would be an indicator for SMB (small/medium business) site owners to know in plain english what we should focus on content wise . We can not afford to hire teams people like the big conglomerates who can translate all the data points from WMT and analytics into simple directives. We need a Star Trek Computer to tell us in plain english what is wrong. The quality content dashboard (@AmitSinghal) would be the first step for small/medium business owners to have their very own Google Star Trek Computer! Anybody with me on this? thanks, stressed out SMB owner, Googley parent


06/13/2013 07:12 pm

panda especially made for this purpose, to confuse webmasters who unable to contact google/matt cutts directly. we even don't know what is overoptimization, what is low quality emd domain, why tags must be set to noindex (otherwise panda will eat your site), etc. Also you can see google never display in gwt if this site have some kind of penalty (even panda, penguin or manual). It big secret, because google 'secret sauce' based on amount of $$$ income, and need to update it to keep income on planned level. It most important reason to keep webmasters misinformed. But of course official version about spammers & company. We listen it billion of times, but dying not spammer sites at last year...


06/13/2013 07:25 pm

i not trust them, sorry. All what I see how innocent sites with normal content is dying.


06/13/2013 08:58 pm

Your approach is a bit strange, to say at least. Can you imagine the movie director write to the Oscar committee something like : "We, people working in the industry, want to get Oscar. Please tell us in details what movies do you want to see. We will do our best and produce such movies for you." The writers ask for the details from the Booker committee and so on ...


06/13/2013 11:28 pm

Google is like a bad boyfriend. We broke-up over Panda, and though occasionally I pass him in the hall, I won't trust him with my heart ever again. You can roll out as slowly as you want, Google broke my heart.

Leeza Rodriguez

06/14/2013 12:57 am

hello, ?. Your analogy is off the mark. I am asking for indicators for what is wrong with my content, so I can work to fix it. The published quality content guideline lists 23 points and they are all quite subjective. These content algo's are acting more like a parent who punishes a kid because they are 'bad' , instead of telling the kid what behavior they need to modify. I've addressed the 23 points on this list over an over again. The list has a wide range of variables and is quite subjective: - is the site a recognized authority? - do your visitors trust the site? - is the content original reporting and research? -does the content address both sides of the story? - is the content well formatted -does the content provide substantial value - etc etc We have worked hard to address these questions, but obviously have missed the mark . Why can't I know which of these 23 points is hurting our site, or some aggregate indicators ?? I am not asking for the solution, just a clarification for what is wrong---in plain english.


06/14/2013 01:18 am

Leeza, While Anti-SEO mostly comes across as a troll, he's got a good point here. I sympathize with your position, but I don't think you can view the 23 points as "criterion" because I don't think Google uses them that way. I think what they did was have quality raters rate sites based on those 23 points, then they looked at what types of metrics those sites have in common, and they developed the algorithm around those metrics. Those metrics may or may not be perfectly correlated with the 23 points, although I think logic dictates that they probably are. It sounds like Google is adding a few signals to their Panda algorithm to help identify more sites whose content is good, but whose metrics don't line up perfectly with their existing algorithm. Hopefully the additional signals will help your site. I personally hope that one of the signals is Pinterest shares. I run a home improvement website that was what I would call "mildly pandalized". We still rank for a lot of content, but we were hit in the initial downgrade and lost about 1/2 of our traffic. We've managed to survive in the new paradigm and haven't seen any significant shifts literally since February 28, 2011 when the initial algorithm rolled out. We have added tons of subscribers and have a far more active social presence. It's still not huge (We have about 2500 Facebook likes and more than 10,000 Pinterest followers). We have seen Pinterest REALLY work as a traffic driving engine. We get about 15% of all traffic from there now, and that has been a boost that has helped make up the Google shortfalls. It comes in "waves" of course, as stuff gets shared, but it's been a pretty reliable way to pick up additional exposure. Good luck!


06/14/2013 01:21 am

This is exactly what Google is doing, and I dare say, they are getting better at it month after month. And frankly, that's awesome. I run a pandalized site, but still have good traffic and do alright financially. Hopeful that some of the new signals will apply to my relatively smallish site... I remember immediately after Panda rolled out, scrapers were ranking everywhere (huge negative side effect). Google has largely (but not perfectly) cleaned that up. I am looking forward to more good updates from big G.


06/14/2013 01:57 am

Leeza, as Fred mostly comes across as an unprofessional, he proved that again. Every noob knows, that raters rate SERP, not sites. To be more precise raters rate how certain site replies the query of certain SERP. This is totally different from "quality raters rate sites". Anyway, my analogy is in the mark. What's wrong with your content (website) ? It's simple. It doesn't trap visitors. No one will tell you how to stick visitors Google sends you with your website. This is your job.


06/14/2013 02:46 am

Anti-SEO: haha... not a noob. Google absolutely asks raters to rate individual sites, not just search results. They do both. You're a troll. You provide mostly unhelpful comments to webmasters, rather than being encouraging and helping people work through problems. I suspect you are unsuccessful in your work, based on your negativity. It's a sign when people are as negative as you. They have no idea how to make it. Or if they do, they are hugely insecure in some other area of life and they are making up for it by trolling. I don't know what your situation is... but it must be pretty bad.


06/14/2013 03:03 am

By the way, just to clarify to make sure you understand what I'm saying -- Google had raters judge the quality of a whole host of sites. They answered many questions - like "Would you trust this site with your credit card?" "Would you take medical advice from this site?" Using data from those results, Google developed the Panda algorithm, looking at detailed results of raters feedback on individual sites. Amit and Matt have both explained this. Of course Google doesn't rank every individual site, but they absolutely do evaluate cross sections of sites, determine common determining metrics within high quality sites, and use those metrics to build algorithms. Rating individual sites for the purpose of identifying useful metrics is a key component of Google's algo. development process for large changes.

Leeza Rodriguez

06/14/2013 03:03 am

Fred --thanks for the input and sharing your story . I also posted in Webmaster forum and got some interesting feedback . Several contributors revealed that our site content has been plagiarized all over the web. It is quite terrifying and this is exactly what I am talking about. If Panda is mistakenly identifying our content as 'not original', how am I supposed to know that?. And how does this ever get straightened out by Panda? And Anti-SEO, I am digesting your comments. It's a bit doublespeakish, but I'm trying to get your drift. And I pose the same question to you: How would I know if Panda is penalizing our site because it thinks we don't have original content, when we most certainly do?


06/14/2013 03:17 am

Leeza, many folks turn to the duplicate content issue, but I think this concern is largely overblown, especially if you have links back to your original content coming from the duplicate content. There are things you can do to make sure Google sees your content first (if you're publishing on Wordpress, for example, there's a plugin that will notify the major engines immediately upon a post, and Google crawls pretty fast after getting pinged). But the bigger problem is probably authority, popularity, etc. One of the challenges I see most often is that people have mixed quality content , but even the good content may not be very shareable, doesn't support a wide readership. (Niche content can be this way), etc. I would focus on this: when a user gets to your site, how long do they stay and do they come back? Before they leave, do they share your content with friends? Sites that are very sticky, encourage revisits, or encourage shares seem to fair very well in Panda.


06/14/2013 04:50 am

The policy of Google to really unpredictable. This is really devastating news for every one the panda will be kept rolling out 1/3rd of month.

Alan Smith

06/14/2013 05:09 am

Now it will be very hard for me to remember the version of Panda due to regular update


06/14/2013 06:41 am

Hey Barry, this is not a surprise. This post is from May 21:


06/14/2013 06:44 am

It's not a surprise, this is a post from May 21:


06/14/2013 08:38 am

Yes of course Matt. You must still have some resources left to steal our private data and hand it over to the US Government. Google is a snitch.

Justin Clark

06/14/2013 09:33 am

The time has come to another disaster when Google rolled out their scourge on webmasters


06/14/2013 11:58 am

Somebody doesn't seem to understand that telecommunication/tech companies that operate in the United States needs to comply, after litigation if necessary, with federal laws and statutes. Your gripe should be with those in government who had a hand in crafting and/or implementing the various surveillance programs -senate; house of representatives; fisa courts; nsa; cia; fbi; the 70% of the intelligence community that is outsourced to various contractors; administration; dc court of appeals; lower courts of appeals; supreme court; local, county, and state municipalities. Not to mention the reality of acquiring data directly from ISPs, or splitting the fiber optic signal with a prism, or tapping into the line 'upstream'...yet you incorrectly use the word 'snitch' to describe the role Google, and other companies, have in all of this.


06/14/2013 12:01 pm

Well dear Ethalon. I live in Europe. I don't care about the US legislation. All I know Google has enabled a foreign agency to have full acess to my data. So if Google can only comply with the US legislature, it should not operate in other markets, where there is a different legislature.


06/14/2013 12:10 pm

You should check out the laws and agreements that swing back and forth across the Atlantic then. Do you think that the EU and the US aren't cooperating jointly within the intelligence field? Think again, it's just easier (and more legitimate) to attack the US on this one because they are the originator. You don't think all those companies are within the US, do you? A large chunk are, but a sizeable segment would be operating within European countries and with the full consent of those nations (read: politicians and business...which are sort of the same thing these days) All I am saying is that to just say "Google is a snitch" is to avoid the actual situation and to excuse those who actually write and execute such laws by omission. Congrats! The US and EU and other organizing bodies salute your full throated endorsement of their evasion propaganda.


06/14/2013 12:15 pm

Fred, I see you did your homework. Good for you ) Now, when you know a bit more, read again your first post where you wrote " what they did was have quality raters rate sites " and see the difference.


06/14/2013 12:21 pm

"within European countries and with the full consent of those nations" - not exactly Ethalon. Just after the scandal erupted, there have been teams set up in many European countries to enforce new laws. Google doesn't even pay the right taxes in Europe, as it turned out in this whole mess. After considering your arguments I agree that "Google is a snitch" is an overstatement. There will be new legislature in my country (Poland) which will change the way Google is allowed to operate. Of course I am fully aware, that you are right, by saying, that the true problem in this whole situation are the politicians and their agendas. Anyway all of us can secure our data, by deleting our accounts and not using the applications, which leak data, as I have done with Facebook for example. I thank the guy, who exposed this, as I can now set up my Internet environment accordingly.


06/14/2013 12:32 pm

I only wish you had come to the party a decade ago, but that's not an exactly fair statement as it assumes your age and the proliferation of a mostly US-centered news flow. I hope Poland makes some changes that benefit its citizens privacy; hell, I hope America and the majority of EU nations do the same (but they won't). I fear that there will be a lot of noise while the people are still aware and then their the outrage will simmer and the legislation will flounder. I also fear that a lot of the 'outrage' is a lot of hot air and directed incorrectly, like I stated above. The companies are the public face that people who are just becoming aware of the situation can look to and feel betrayed by...not to mention the companies like Google need to maintain their public relations and the governments of the world can just lie and call people traitors.


06/14/2013 12:33 pm

You can't know the reason of penalizing. No one can provide you precise reply on such question when algo is based on hundreds of signals (if not thousands). Algo just write down the reaction of visitors when they land on your website. Feel your visitors and do the best you can to satisfy their demands. This is the only way. (Like in any creative industry) Regarding the original content - make a search. There were plenty of solutions published, depending on your website structure. Even Fred knows some )

Graham Ginsberg

06/14/2013 12:37 pm

More brilliance from Ethalon - Google scrapes the internet for data, our data, their data, doesn't matter, its good at that for sure and you agree on that point, because I said Google was good as something, but what you won't agree on is that Google is a ho with less morals than its pimp. Google prostituted itself and the SEO world for free, now its wants payback. I have no issues with ho's, everyone needs to make a living, but when a ho like Google tries to act high and mighty, it should be reminded, its not a Yale law student, its still a ho


06/14/2013 12:40 pm

"I fear that there will be a lot of noise while the people are still aware and then their the outrage will simmer and the legislation will flounder. I also fear that a lot of the 'outrage' is a lot of hot air and directed incorrectly," - I agree 100% on that. I witness my emotions floating and losing common sense.

Graham Ginsberg

06/14/2013 12:43 pm

anti-seo wrote "It doesn't trap visitors." - Thats called bounce rate and Google doesn't care about bounce rate or keyword stuffing. It maybe in their TOS, but they only care that you were once at the top, now you're on the bottom, therefore pay for Google Ads. Google the ho, used to do it for free, now they want your MONEY

Graham Ginsberg

06/14/2013 12:44 pm

Some amazing concentration camps in Poland - A must see on your next vacation


06/14/2013 12:44 pm

Absolutely identical scandal happened just in 2000.


06/14/2013 12:48 pm

1. no, it's not bounce rate ; 2. yes, Google wants money. That's why the most businesses exist - to get profit.

Graham Ginsberg

06/14/2013 12:50 pm

Ethalon and anti-seo need to get a room with ho Google


06/14/2013 12:56 pm

We allow Google to crawl, and we have the option to disallow this from our own little piece of the web if we want. That is a separate situation from Google complying with the laws of the country(ies) that is operates in. If they didn't comply they could face some damaging action on the part of the government. I have a lot of problems with large corporations and how they interact with the political class, no doubt, but you are simply refusing to get off your Google tirade and look at the story from a larger perspective. I think Andrew and I were having a nice discussion and you were welcome to add your thoughts and perspective...but instead you jumped in with name calling. Neat.


06/14/2013 01:03 pm

If I ever get the chance to spend time in Poland, I would probably visit some of the camps (if they are available to tourists). I am interested in WWII and shamefully ignorant to the post-war situation in Poland. It is an interesting, and horrible, period of history that brought large numbers of Polish and Eastern Europeans to my town; shaping the political attitudes and cementing a rather strong Catholic presence that remains to this day.


06/14/2013 01:07 pm

Ah,'s actually where I basterdized my handle from back in 2001 when I first started using 'ethalon'. Yes, unfortunately this is nothing new. And hell, the American and European intelligence communities were arguably worse in the 50s-70s. The reach may not have been so great, and the internet wasn't allowing us all to broadcast our lives to them they just broke into your house or business. PS: They still break into your house if they use the word 'terrorism'.

Graham Ginsberg

06/14/2013 01:42 pm

The earth is a much better place after the Catholics come. Usually very green minded, don't think they're superior to animals or the rest of God's creation, just another particle of dust. Also, peace minded, care nothing of waging wars and proselytizing their religious beliefs. They believe all religions are equitable in the eyes of God. Live and let live is their mantra....

Leeza Rodriguez

06/14/2013 02:20 pm

Fred--what you say does make sense. The raters go thru the questions and then rate each site. Google aggregates those answers and then makes correlations with the actual website metrics.-- something like if these 3 questions are answered no, the average a)bounce rates b) time on page c)page load time of these site are =X, plus or minus standard deviation. So, if another site website metrics in WMT look like X, then the algo assumes that your site IS JUST LIKE THAT. Each industry is so different, that I sure the hell hope that the algo's are taking that into consideration. For example, many patients call us while they are AT the website to make an appointment. So, mission accomplished.---they do not need to go further in the site, or stay on the page, because they have made up their mind to take the first step--have a consultation for Plastic Surgery. No further info is needed. And on the topic of Authority--that's a very slippery slope for medicine. How are the engineers going to gauge authority in Medicine? For any given disease or surgery, who get's authority? In Medicine you have Academic Physicians and Practicing Physicians. Two different worlds. Will it be the academic surgeon who has written hundreds of publications which have SERPS in Google Scholar, but who have actually treated very FEW patients in real life? Or is it the surgeon who reads all the current literature, does't have time to publish his own, but he is on the font line administering great results and treating thousands of patients with glowing reviews. How does Google distinguish between the two? Will 'authority algo' be able to distinguish between this extreme dichotomy in Medicine? Lots of questions here. And I still think some reverse engineering of those 'site raters' should be available in our Webmaster Tools dashboards. And I want plain english, just like Amit Singhal's Star Trek Computer . (Explanation: about a month ago I heard Singhal say that he never expected to be living his dream of creating the Star Trek computer that he obsessed over while growing up as a kid in India. He said Knowledge Graph= Star Trek. He stressed that Star Trek speaks in simple, understandable language ) . Just asking for some Star Trek in my WMT dashboard.


06/14/2013 02:37 pm

Exactly. See my fantasy here : However the reality is as it is. Nothing is perfect, especially Google. Until couple of new search engines, with totally different approach to the search, step in, it will be this way. re : " So, mission accomplished.---they do not need to go further in the site, or stay on the page, because they have made up their mind to take the first step--have a consultation for Plastic Surgery. No further info is needed." Yup, but Google doesn't see this as quality. Why ? Because they use Javascript to collect data. It works only after visitor does something on page, like click on internal link for example. Digg into the Javascript, if you want to know more. Anyway, your concerns are understandable, but don't expect to get precise replies. Panda changed everything completely. No more step-by-step how-to. Everyone makes own steps, the best will win.


06/14/2013 03:26 pm

Oh Barry ( yup, "Oh" one more time ) Your Disqus lost the post again. The funniest thing is, that link in the post was internal, to the SER page )

Barry Schwartz

06/14/2013 03:28 pm

I saw it marked it as spam, I guess I can approve it manually.

Gregory Lancaster

06/14/2013 08:00 pm

So when is the next data refresh due? I lost a lot of rankings, and I dont understand why. Hoping the next refresh will be kind to me.


06/15/2013 12:16 am

Nice try, Anti-SEO. But my original comment read: " I think what they did was have quality raters rate sites based on those 23 points, then they looked at what types of metrics those sites have in common, and they developed the algorithm around those metrics." My points stand. (1) You troll by negatively addressing people's issues. (2) Google does use quality raters for exactly the purpose I originally described. Jumping on people with negatively-toned comments doesn't help them. It usually serves one purpose: to make the person issuing them feel better about some weakness they have, and it's usually close to the area where they are most critical. I don't know what that weakness is, but whatever it is, trolling won't make it better.


06/15/2013 12:24 am

Despite our disagreement above, Anti-SEO and I are together on this... this is the best advice anyone can give you, and it's the advice Matt, Amit, John, and every other Googler will give you: Focus on your users. When users love a site, come back to that site, share that site with friends, whatever metrics that ultimately leads to smells really good to the algorithm. Running after the metrics gets harder and harder every year, because Google doesn't really want sites that strictly run for the metrics. They want sites that please users -- really please users. If you're site makes a user go, "Wow! That was so (funny, helpful, whatever)", that's probably what's going to ultimately get you out of the Panda trap.


06/15/2013 11:14 am

Ok, ok ... You're smarter, than me )


06/15/2013 03:16 pm

Anti-seo waw that's cute anyway i think this update is very impotent for me thank you


06/20/2013 02:14 pm

get panda penalty - 5 mins, get out from panda penalty - 3-4 monthes. For google penguin results more horrible. Google computers & software is best & fastest in the world.

John Geldard

06/21/2013 01:40 pm

To matt fucks I search the listings in google for keywords all the time especially in my industry, I have worked out what all these updates are for. the updates have been created to remove all the small companies from the first page of google and replace them with the corporate giants, no matter what keyword i put in it,s always the same results (corporate giants). Small companies need to stay away from google because it is that hard to rank now (unless you have a phd in blog writing or you know people in the top magazines companies) how is a average person with a business who has a website and knows nothing about blog writing supposed to get his website ranking.

Juan Manuel Garrido

06/22/2013 04:45 pm

Negative SEO is here to stay.

Mark Smith

06/25/2013 04:08 am

Oh again Google has changed its panda updates method. Now Google has decided to update panda on monthly basic. I am sure as a seo specialist that Google is now more aware and will take more and more action against duplicate content and huge back links. Remember one important thing that more and more updates of panda means more penalized of poor contents, duplicate contents and huge back links websites. So be aware about Google.

Meera Singh

06/27/2013 04:36 am

What about those sites who don't follow any Google panda and penguin's guidelines but they are using Google adword PPC. Google offers this paid service to them while these sites are ignoring all the user's requirements. It's mean Google promotes them for money and all rules only apply on those sites who don't pay Google. Its Big fraud by Google and Google making all this panda and algorithm rules only for those who can not pay Google adword and forcing them to use adword.


06/28/2013 04:23 pm

i agree with you, its true what you said

Andrei Ioniță

06/29/2013 09:45 am

If you don't like it, don't use it. Oh, wait.... I think you should understand that google runs a business in order to make money. They don't owe you anything, although you might owe google most of your traffic.

Shanker Kalluri

07/09/2013 06:49 am

I want to know about Negative SEO Please help me, what can i do for negative seo

Juan Manuel Garrido

07/13/2013 03:36 pm

What you can do, is GET a life.

Juan Manuel Garrido

07/13/2013 03:36 pm

Six months.


07/22/2013 03:24 am

You are absolutely right @aionita:disqus There is no doubt that if you take adwords campaigns in adjacent to your seo on going at least 25% more organic ranking improvements which is fair enough since google is doing immense contribution not to forget the fact the android owns 70% share in search market, we don't pay ongoing for android on our devices do we? but i think google also has to slow down a bit since we are starting to see a minor drop in google search since the results are random, sites with quality content have dropped way back as compare to sites with less content ranks on top

Leeza Rodriguez

01/12/2014 01:13 am

So......It's been 7 months and I just bumped into this post again. Anti-SEO can you give me an example of what I should look for or what I could find out about my content quality (according to G) by 'digging into the Javascript.'

Spook SEO

02/01/2014 04:47 pm

I agree on you Andrei. Please bare on mind that Google is still a business. They run also adsense right and they are giving tons of bucks in every clicks but in return, they also run adwords for them to occupy their lost.

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