Google Panda Refresh Or Softer Panda Update?

Apr 14, 2014 • 8:51 am | comments (63) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

google pandaLet me start off by saying that I normally would wait another 24 hours before posting this because the chatter is so new, but I will be offline tomorrow and the day after and I am going with what I see now.

It seems, based on the very very early chatter that a Panda refresh started late last night or this morning. Some are asking if it is that version two of the softer Panda update that Google's Matt Cutts promised.

The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread has posts from late yesterday and early this morning with questions about changes at Google that seem to relate to sites impacted by the Panda algorithm.

One webmaster said:

Ok, I see a bad sign of another silent update. Lowest traffic in the last 5 years. It looks like a Panda reiteration.

Another webmaster said this is the opposite of the "softer" update that they were expected:

My figures and search results seems very similar to the pre-soft-Panda...

A senior member agreed:

@Mentant, I can confim your observation. Lowest traffic ever. All our main keys are gone, replace by brands that do not have anything in common with the search string. For sure this is a Panda. I think they took an old one and let it go through the index.

Google keeps going their way to destroy all ecom except amazon/ebay. There is no sign of "Leveing" or even Panda being softer.

So the questions we have now:

(1) Is Google pushing out an update?

(2) If so, was it just a typical monthly Panda refresh?

(3) Or was it the softer Panda update that seems harder for many?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: Google told me on the record there was no update:

Just checked with the team and there is nothing we're aware of on this. Thanks for reaching out.

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Ahsan Parwez

04/14/2014 01:03 pm

Seems like a typical Panda update and usual targets are ecommerce websites.


04/14/2014 01:31 pm

Yes, VERY, VERY (record) low traffic. I've checked 3 content (not e-commerce) sites and I see the same pattern. The problem is that searching for the same terms I can see a lot of tag pages, aggregators & spam sites. If you have a good trustrank, now you can spam freely... The main problem is that my site is dancing from 1-5-8-infinite result page! Also, different browsers, totally different results! (incognito mode) This is crazy. I really do not think/hope this is softer Panda... It's like crazy/screw up Panda!


04/14/2014 01:48 pm

SERPs 'dance' during the update. Check later.


04/14/2014 01:56 pm

Anything Matt says is going to do you a favor, assume the exact opposite and you will be a lot closer to reality.


04/14/2014 02:12 pm

If it was an update, Amazon's #1, #2 and #5 listings did improve slightly in our area of expertise. Now Amazon is #1, #2 and #4. The third listing for Amazon on the first page of the search results improved by one position. No small businesses anywhere and no room for them anyway! Traffic is much lower for us too, but I've yet to calculate where the damage is originating from.


04/14/2014 02:47 pm

Presumably low-quality content?


04/14/2014 02:47 pm

From my experience, I had never encounter a slingshot effect with google :(


04/14/2014 02:55 pm

agreed, low quality content being replaced!


04/14/2014 03:14 pm

With lower quality content!

Rachel Roodhardt

04/14/2014 03:16 pm

Nothing here in the UK that I can see… well, so far….

Durant Imboden

04/14/2014 03:52 pm

I vote: (4) False alarm.


04/14/2014 04:02 pm

I've noticed significant changes in our traffic as well. To me, it looks like traffic was largely affected by nice weather in the US. We took huge traffic drops, but looking at total impressions compared to the weekend before, impressions were down by about 30% on our main KWs. We have a few other terms that are usually positive affected during the Spring, which actually went up about 12%. Seems like weather to me, and not mozcast weather.


04/14/2014 04:05 pm

keep the FUD up, Google will thank you later. Barry, keep up the speculation it's soooo helpful.

Barry Schwartz

04/14/2014 04:06 pm

You are a jerk, I don’t know why you bother coming here.


04/14/2014 04:39 pm

Hi Barry, I can confirm the same. I have content site mainly having movie-related updates. From Mar 1, 2014 Our traffic dropped 80% and just 3-4 days ago it is also 95% drop (lowest ever) - There is something really poisoned with Google algo. I guess first it was India - algos are mostly developed here and its US now and it'll now be rolled out to other countries as well. I hope Google fixes this soon. Our traffic has only declined and dropped since then. We've no idea why us. Barry, any suggestions on how to report this?


04/14/2014 04:40 pm

Jerk. Barry is the best.


04/14/2014 05:12 pm

Obviously the problem is with Google... PS India gets hit first because it's the home of spam, not because it's the home of Google.

Jeremiah Allen

04/14/2014 05:13 pm

No significant changes for my clients from Friday to today (Monday). Lots of page #1 listings with only normal fluctuation.

F1 Steve

04/14/2014 05:30 pm

Correction, high authority low quality content!

Jan Dunlop

04/14/2014 05:37 pm

Seems that way, have seen traffic down across all sources the last 3 days.

Random Guy

04/14/2014 06:55 pm

I see reports saying the rankings either stayed the same or went down. Who went up then?

Craig Hamilton-Parker

04/14/2014 06:58 pm

I know you had to put this post up under time pressures but it is comforting to see the Animated Panda Gif. It makes these horrible algorithm changes so much more bearable.


04/14/2014 07:39 pm

sure wish they'd push a Penguin refresh. Seems overdue.


04/14/2014 07:41 pm

I have a few content sites and not seeing anything meaningful in either direction. Was hoping that a softer panda update would if helped on of my sites that took a hit in the last June panda update


04/14/2014 07:43 pm

That's probably coming in a few months.

Sam Dogen

04/14/2014 07:49 pm

See about a 15% bump in hourly traffic intraday to levels never seen before.


04/14/2014 08:50 pm

A few slight improvements in rankings, but that could be due to daily fluctuations. Nothing major up or down here.


04/14/2014 08:55 pm

Meant to say, also three days for me. Weekend and nice weather gets people off their computers.


04/14/2014 09:39 pm

While it's still way too early to draw any conclusions because of daily fluctuations, we're on pace to see an increase in traffic today from Google organic (after adjusting for seasonality or at least attempting to do so). This is for an ecommerce site that had been hit by panda in the past (multiple times). What's strange about this is we saw a bump on the 24th of March when people first thought that the softer panda update had been rolled out. From the March 24th to about April 3rd, non seasonal traffic was about 15% higher than normal (most increases were on long tail terms), then things suddenly went back down. I'm curious if anyone has seen anything similar? When our traffic increased around the 24th and then went back down roughly 10 days later I thought that it might have been due to a seasonal surge that we didn't account for or some other anomaly, however now that we're potentially seeing a similar traffic increase on a day when Google may have rolled out another update it makes me wonder a bit. Could it be possible they had pushed an update out on the 24th then maybe rolled it back and pushed it out again today? If today's traffic from Google continues on the current pace it will be similar to the bump that we saw on March 24th.


04/15/2014 12:01 am

I guess it was some false alarm too. Most likely because of need for a new post. :-P Just kidding, of course. Well, nothing unusual here, too except we moved for some keywords one step up. But i guess it is nothing, because we swap our ranking daily with our competitors. I guess Google give them position in a front of us today, then we will take that position tomorrow. :-) It is the same practice which works like that several weeks now.


04/15/2014 04:23 am

I don't know which update is this. However, one of my site got badly infected by this update and I lost almost all traffic from Google. :(

Soni Sharma

04/15/2014 04:26 am

Yes there was a softer panda refresh. But I noticed it last week on 8th april. I have also mentioned this in my last blog post and also mentioned SERoundtable eagle eye on Google Updates. But Yes it is confirmed now.. :)

Manju Chandra

04/15/2014 04:55 am

yes i also noticed some changes in search Engine results and traffic also. But its not confirmed that what's changes are going on!

Gaurav Srivastava

04/15/2014 05:26 am

Still not confirmed yet! Update: Google told me(Barry) on the record there was no update:

Vito andolini

04/15/2014 05:33 am



04/15/2014 06:24 am

I hope they roll out another penguin refresh and target comment spammers like you

Ahsan Parwez

04/15/2014 06:36 am

Spam ^^


04/15/2014 08:17 am

Yes, I saw changes in SERP and traffic....But the update is not yet confirmed

David J

04/15/2014 11:15 am

I saw a significant increase in pageviews on my WP sites this week....I can't see such a jump not being algo related.

Patti Paz

04/15/2014 11:53 am

There are oh so many websites like ours, that any update simply CANNOT hart any more - ONLY Help. So, let's hope something is happening.

Jerry Okorie

04/15/2014 12:00 pm

Why spamming us?

Jitendra Vaswani

04/15/2014 12:24 pm

Panda update, i do saw drop in traffic

Jitendra Vaswani

04/15/2014 12:31 pm

A new spammer on this blog, @rustybrick:disqus block her please


04/15/2014 01:35 pm

these panda update effects on keywords


04/15/2014 01:51 pm

Trolls will be trolls.


04/15/2014 03:57 pm

Drop in traffic since the 8th/9th. It's now the 15th... could it still be rolling out or is this what we are left with? I hope not! I thought this was a soft update designed to help small businesses. I own a small ecommerce business and this update is doing all harm and no good so far.

Daniel Martin

04/16/2014 04:34 am

But I did't see any affect on my keywords. They are stable on same position.

Rohit Jain

04/16/2014 10:12 am

I have seen drop in traffic since saturday, many keywords are not showing up and the traffic is still poor.

Smartphone World

04/16/2014 10:18 am

My site was ranked 1st on keyword - xperia z3 in google search engine. And now suddenly my sites all keyword have disappeared. Traffic had fallen very quickly. My site - . Can anyone please help me to recover from this google update ?


04/16/2014 01:01 pm

There could be a drop in traffic to ecomm sites due to the Heartbleed bug? Obviously that would have nothing to do with rankings. My site has a drop in traffic but rankings are pretty much the same.

Syed Usama

04/17/2014 07:05 am

I did't see any chages on my keywords. They are Still stable on same position. Why??? Can any one tell??


04/20/2014 07:16 am


Snehil Sharma

04/21/2014 05:12 am

I saw changes on My Keywords, however, this resulted in My favor. As per me, Google is experimenting thing or released may declare about the update in future.


04/21/2014 05:34 am

Seen the same serp drop on the 17th and was fully in affect on the 18th.

Ankur Sood

05/02/2014 12:40 pm

panda update effects on keywords


05/04/2014 03:22 am

I agree, theres never any solid info in any of the posts on this blog, just dribble about what we already know.


05/05/2014 05:28 am

i did some work to increase the traffic and really i got result but after 3 day i again did same work but i looked my keywords Position were getting down.i don't know what is the actual reason behind them...please help me to explain that how it is possible .


05/07/2014 04:55 am

I am seeing over 40% down in my traffic. So, far it never went down and I don't see a reason why. I am not going fix any damn thing, as I don't know what I am doing wrong. I continue to do what I am doing. If google needs me...the site is always accessible.


05/07/2014 10:27 am

I see slight (bad) changes in my traffic, but what's worse is the users don't seem interested in buying from my site anymore... another mess if you ask me, hope in a Penguin 2.x comeback soon.

Darren Boland

05/07/2014 10:31 pm

4 of my sites took a 75% hit from the 29th April 2014.... on two different servers.... not sure what going on, but its really annoying..

Fintan Corrigan

05/11/2014 07:10 pm

Yes. I lost 75% of my traffic by April 19th. I create my own articles and correctly use curated articles giving full recognition to the originators. My links are all created manually and with a lot of work. And still lost a lot of traffic. I felt is was around the same time as the Wordpress update. No clue what I've done wrong. Honest hard work for practically nothing. Disaster really.


05/16/2014 05:01 pm

my site also got a massive drop in SRP, my main site lost huge traffic since may 7th.. still no recovery :(

Nunyer Business

05/22/2014 07:14 pm

Man, I have a great site with all original, highly researched content that was driven lower by Panda to the tune of 50%, most of which I was never able to make up. However, on Tuesday, traffic jumped by 20 -30%. I think that they have corrected the punishing Panda algorhythm that hurt so many good sites. I hope this stays this way. I'm on page one for several different pages now! Wuhoo. And by the way, I'm FAR from being a big Amazon or commercial site. Just a single person providing excellent unique content. Very happy. Hope this keeps up. Kerri Knox, RN

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