Google To Soften The Panda Algorithm

May 15, 2013 • 8:56 am | comments (67) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Panda - Matt CuttsAs I covered yesterday, in very brief summary, Google's Matt Cutts told us ten SEO changes coming to Google by the end of this summer. One of those changes is softening the impact of the Panda algorithm for sites that are in the "gray area" or "border" of being impacted by the Panda algorithm.

Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, said 5 minutes and 3 seconds into the video that Google is adding additional signals to look for other quality metrics that may lessen the impact of the Panda algorithm for those sites in the gray area. This is with a caveat!

Here is the transcript:

We are looking at Panda and seeing if we can find some additional signals, and we think we've got some to help refine things for sites that are kind of in the border zone, the gray area a little bit, And so if we can soften the affect a little bit, for those sites, that we believe have got some additional signals of quality, that will help sites that were previously affected - to some degree.

The question is, what "degree" will these sites see a benefit in ranking after the Panda algorithm is softened for them? That is the big question.

So I screen captured Matt's facial expression when he said that and see what I mean? Will this have much of an impact or just a very soft impact on those who have been impacted by Panda? I am not sure.

But it will be interesting to follow and see what happens over the next few months.

Matt clearly said the Panda algorithm will be softened for some but the question is, how much so?

Forum discussion continued at WebmasterWorld & Hacker News.

This story was scheduled to be posted today and was not written today, as I am offline today.

Previous story: One Year Later, Only 9% Claim Google Penguin Recovery


Praveen Sharma

05/15/2013 01:21 pm

Penguin gonna be BIG, Panda gonna be SOFTEN. And Adwords gonna be STRONGER. Yippee.


05/15/2013 01:40 pm

Thank u for this high quality article......

Gices Abraham

05/15/2013 02:03 pm

With so many changes about to be released (probably at the same time), it would be extremely difficult to single out the possible cause of a drop *shrugs*

Wendy Bauer Piersall

05/15/2013 02:13 pm

I can state with 99.9% certainty that my sites have fallen in this "gray area". My kids craft blog has been featured on the Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, and named a top 10 kids craft site for moms by Babble, yet was pummeled by Panda on the 2nd to last confirmed update in December 2012. I'll definitely let you know if I see any kind of recovery... or you'll hear me ranting if a "recovery" happens and skips right over me. ;)


05/15/2013 02:49 pm

Would be nice if they just Pandadized at page level instead of at whole site level. I'm sure there are lots of sites with some great content pages/posts that are nowhere in the SERPS due to the site having above a certain percentage of thinner (not necessary poor) pages.


05/15/2013 03:02 pm

I completely agree.

Kevin Gerding

05/15/2013 03:17 pm

You are right Dean. I've seen on some forums where black hat people are copying content from sites affected by Panda and ranking the copied content. The original authors of the content are not happy about this for good reason. Panda created this scraper loophole and hopefully Google will close it with their next update.

Wendy Piersall

05/15/2013 03:19 pm



05/15/2013 04:09 pm

I'm pretty sure that the point that Matt was making was that there would be a smaller grey area of sites that are or are not pulled into the penalisation, meaning that Panda would be more targeted, not that they are reducing the effect that it will have. Panda will still be as hard as ever, just the sites that are borderline within the current metrics will be reduced further, allowing more sites to avoid the hit based on other metrics being brought into the equation.

F the shills

05/15/2013 05:16 pm

Matt is a Piece of Sh*T liar. Google has ruined many lives so far and after two years they go into some propaganda game and Barry the Loser believes them. Fcuk Google and their shills. Panda and Penguin are to increase Adwords advertisers and paid clicks. P.s. Barry has a habit of deleting comments negative to matt Cutts.


05/15/2013 05:35 pm

You would understand, that this is impossible, if you would be an IT professional. There are 100mio websites = many billions of pages. This Planet simply has no resources to manage such amount of data. Algorithms work based on averages.


05/15/2013 05:49 pm

If you can't build a revenue stream without inbound search you're asking for trouble from the beginning.

F the shills

05/15/2013 05:55 pm

That still doesn't mean anything. People use search engines to find content, you can't ignore that. Looks at Matt's face, it's that of a professional crook and liar.


05/15/2013 06:03 pm

Let me guess ... you had a poor quality site full of ads and/or affiliate links that used to get traffic because your black hat tricks used to work?


05/15/2013 06:06 pm

Good, because if you follow Google's Webmaster Guidelines, you shouldn't need to worry about these updates.

Graham Ginsberg

05/15/2013 06:09 pm

Totally agree that Google has screwed the very people that helped them get ahead, the SEO gurus and now is trying very hard to be a 'meaningful' corporate giant that is immune to prosecution for destroying lives. I like Barry. I don't like what Google has become. Its ok to penalize sites for breaking their TOS, but only with adequate communication and offering the path to recovery. Google has offered neither to those caught by the evil Penguin web. You do not make friends by destroying everything that you may succeed.

Graham Ginsberg

05/15/2013 06:20 pm

I will give you many, many examples of top ranking Google sites that have PURCHASED hundreds of links. They are now May 2013 on page #1 of Google for tough keywords. Yes, link schemes. But no penalty from Google. You ignore the fact that Google is quite simply unfair and acts like a big bully, destroying what people have spent years creating. That 'creation' was what everyone did. Most bought links. Most traded links. Most spammed social networks with backlinks and keyword stuffing continues. Google should allow sites that have removed those offensive, violating, obnoxious, links, to recover fully. They have not. And therein lies the bullying and self-serving mega-company Google has become. Just last week a person, who has spent $300,000 on his site, wants to sell it or shut it down, because it no longer produces. Another, PR6 real estate site too is shut down forever because it was hit by Penguin. He doesn't even redirect it. Blaming those for doing what everyone else did is just annoying. Blame Google for leading the pack and offering its wide array of tools, its Google arsenal, to allow SEO Spammers to exploit the web.

Graham Ginsberg

05/15/2013 06:24 pm

Physical stores are closing at an alarming rate. Tell one of them that they've got it all wrong. The revenue stream that eludes them is actually walking in the street and not on the internet. Have you been living in a cave for the last 20 years?


05/15/2013 06:29 pm

If you -1 this statement, then obviously you know how to manage hundreds of billions signals and provide good SERP in a milliseconds. You should develop your own search engine and compete with Google. Good luck )


05/15/2013 06:45 pm

You may have legitimate issues with how Google has been operating lately, but discussing it the way you do is only going to make you look like you don't understand what is going on. Instead of completely negating your argument by coming off as an upset teenager, maybe you could try something other than name calling and wild conjecture. Posting like you do may get you upvotes, but it does nothing to further your understanding of the situation or to proliferate your views on the subject.


05/15/2013 06:47 pm

"Blaming those for doing what everyone else did is just annoying. Blame Google for leading the pack and offering the wide array of tools to allow SEO Spammers to exploit the web." Get off of that mindset or get yourself into a different occupation. That is the "but Johnny does it...!" argument and that is ridiculous.


05/15/2013 07:12 pm


Graham Ginsberg

05/15/2013 07:17 pm

The holier than Thou approach doesn't work for me. Those doing well now in Google are paying for Google Adsense. Doing exactly what Google wants you to do. No more free impartial listings for your business. No sir. And you think Yahoo and Bing were bad? LOL


05/15/2013 07:32 pm

Again +500 ) P.S. There is no place on the internet, where it's possible to have interesting, reasonable discussion on SE topics to learn something new. Everywhere are former veterinarians, self proclaimed writers, kind of designers, sellers, magic balls owners .... just all kind of losers, who somehow decided, that internet is the heaven, where they can earn without knowledge and doing almost nothing. They whine everywhere they can. Blame others. Do, what they can do the best - nothing. I really like Panda, Penguin, Google and MC, thinking about this. These people must be out of business. I don't know another industry with such a lot of unprofessionals in it.

Gices Abraham

05/15/2013 07:34 pm

As if all updates are 100% perfect, sometimes good sites get caught too if you're unaware.


05/15/2013 07:36 pm

It isn't 'holier than thou', the mindset displayed in the post I responded to shows an unwillingness to learn and move on. You will not succeed if you continue to wish for the way it was and lash out against the way it currently is.

F the shills

05/15/2013 08:15 pm

Views are simple; Google is rigged, Matt Cutts is a professional liar and Barry is a shill. Not much to discuss, Google is manipulating search to sell more ads and lying about it, for 2 years. No one cares what you think.

F the shills

05/15/2013 08:17 pm

You POS work for Google. No wonder

F the shills

05/15/2013 08:23 pm

>> "I really like Panda, Penguin, Google and MC, thinking about this. These people must be out of business." Little by little you bastards will get your due. The word is spreading that your SE is rigged and full of ads. Remember when people believed Googlers? Wait a bit more. Your search traffic woudl be under 50% if you didn't buy traffic from Mozilla ans iOS


05/15/2013 08:46 pm

In these comment sections that is probably very true. It's easier to lash out in ignorance than to buckle down and learn/change/adapt. I hope you do not sell any sort of SEO services.


05/15/2013 08:50 pm

I don't think Anti works for Google. Discrediting his/her opinions based on your baseless assumptions of employment is a pretty immature stance to take. I will repeat it again, I really hope you do not sell SEO services.

Graham Ginsberg

05/15/2013 08:52 pm

"You will not succeed if you continue to wish for the way it was and lash out against the way it currently is." This is not what I am saying at all. I like it the way it is. I really, really like it. I just don't like Google NOT providing a site an opportunity to redeem itself and recover to its former position of glory. Is that too difficult to understand? Death is no way to teach. A flesh wound would have been adequate. Google has taken its punishment of violators too far, to the point that Google will NEVER recover to its former glory as a leader in the world stage. Its over for Google.

Graham Ginsberg

05/15/2013 09:03 pm

I am a catalyst, an invisible force and I tell you now that Google is no longer a company that the world can depend on. No matter what they do. They better split their company and rename themselves into a million parts.

Jereme Thomas

05/15/2013 09:20 pm

Wow some heated comments here. Understandable and frustrating at the same time. Remember Google is no longer a private technology company who's sole purpose is to innovate and develop cutting edge services. Google is now a publicly traded advertising company with stock holders to report to. If you don't like what Google is doing then you are free to use non Google services.

Truth will kill Gogle

05/15/2013 09:23 pm

Brilliant! Google is rigged, they are no longer honest and trustworthy. They manipulate search to sell ads and defraud users. Spread the word, 50%+ of users still don't know that Google places ads on top, imagine if they knew about SERP manipulation


05/15/2013 09:44 pm

That's because you find high quality entertaining projects and tell people 'go here to get it'. Apparently, you need to add a layer in between that says 'here's a great project we found that should get more attention than it is. To see it go through our maze of faux social commenting, plugging our site. Oh! and here, you need to sign up for our newsletter. Wait, you wanted to see the project we are talking about? It's this little link down here (or worse, here is our scraped copy of it).' I am sick of the people who truly curate quality content that most people would never find being upstaged by companies taking advantage of those wonderful people who post free projects on their blogs and websites. It should be about those people who created the content. It should be an easy way to get exposure for them through curation. People trust you to find great obscure projects and you make it easy for them to get to those projects. THAT'S QUALITY But the search results favor those who abuse that content for their own profit and try to hijack the visitor and profit from others work without compensating them. Oh, my did I just rant :)


05/15/2013 09:50 pm

>>"If you don't like what Google is doing then you are free to use non Google services." And we're stating out opinion you @sswipe, is that allowed? If you or Google don't like it, don't read it. I am not going to use any Google services AND I'm going to comment on them. Problems?


05/15/2013 09:54 pm

Poor Matt Cutts. His bosses are a sort of ass*oles who don't care ruin the life of many small businesses and webmaster in order to promote their ads and get more money.... and he is the man who shows the face in videos. Look his white hair (not that way two years ago). It's frustrating working for an evil company when you are a nice guy.

Graham Ginsberg

05/15/2013 10:16 pm

Jereme wrote "If you don't like what Google is doing then you are free to use non Google services." Jeez Jereme. We're not talking about the dark ages here when Google struggled to crawl out from under a rock! You remember the days, the Yahoo, AOL and Bing days? Your statement would have held water then, when Google was whoring SEO tools to scrape the internet, to help spammers. But, thanks to its popularity with SEO gurus they gave it a boost and now Google DOMINATES the internet. Without a Google presence, you have NO presence. But you know that. You're just making a joke, so for that I give you some credit, for your humor.

Graham Ginsberg

05/15/2013 10:19 pm

Nobody is ignorant here. There are some liars, manipulators, Google shills, but ignoramuses, no


05/15/2013 10:28 pm

"Its over for Google." And what's the point to write it here ? Just go to celebrate, make a good party ... You're the winner !!!

It's 1830 PM

05/16/2013 01:28 am

So a fatter, grayer and a smoother talker named Matt Cutts promises us that Panda will be softened. No details or anything but he says it at the same time with the Penguin 2.0 announcement. Why didn't Greedy Google do this before? Panda is bankrupting business trickle by trickle, and Penguin 2.0 promises even more small business destruction. Should we belive the fatter and grayer Matt Cutts and Barry? Nope.

It's 1830 PM

05/16/2013 01:30 am

"Poor Matt Cutts.His bosses are a sort of ass*oles" He's not poor, he's mega-rich and he's the biggest ass*ole, he doesn't have to lie and spin for a living but he loves it.

James James

05/16/2013 02:42 am

>> "Let me guess ... you had a poor quality site full of ads and/or affiliate links that used to get traffic because your black hat tricks used to work?" Hey James, since we're guessing out of the blue: Maybe he had pictures of your mom and users left right away, sending bad signals to Google.


05/16/2013 04:15 am

Welll Barry, the same question occurs in my mind that how much? I mean the sites suffering from ranking loss, the keywords used to come in top 20, now they are in beyond 200-300. So how much Google will be softened??? Even Google has declared that they are not gonna announce Panda update now. SO at this stage if a webmaster loss their ranking because of Panda update, they won't come to know that what happened with their. It is just like right now. We are considering ranking and traffic down Matt Cutts is saying that there is no Panda or Penguin update happened. So what happened with our website??? My question is for Matt Cutts on behalf of webmasters those are suffering from ranking and traffic loss these days.

Justin Clark

05/16/2013 05:04 am

How disgusting "Google will be softened". they are just playing a big game with online business on the name of panda penguin.. Mutt says only 0.1% query will be impacted but the reality almost everyone knows who lost their business. truth is once your website's keywords to be on the top position Google destroyed your business and force you for the paid campaign.


05/16/2013 08:25 am

HI, what i want to say to matt cutts and google team, is that maybe your intentions are good to have a better search engine. But you must also look at a broader prospective, that there are many business owners surviving on many websites which may not be so authorative or so strong as the brands are. What I am saying is that you make a search engine for the good ones and not just for the big guys. Everyone should be given an opportunity to prove there worth in Google. Algorithms may come and go, but the fact point is that no legitimate business should suffer. I also find that google makes many times mistakes in detecing good and bad. Everyone makes mistakes not a big deal. However Google must give importance to small and medium business owners than branded companies. Becz its not only users who are stick to search engines but its also business people who come here to do business on the web, and google should think positively how to give a better platform to business!

Roman M

05/16/2013 09:03 am

Any business that focuses on one channel only is a risky business. If Google doesn't work for some anymore, they should really think about creating some other sales channels.


05/16/2013 09:19 am

I wish I could vote this up more than once.


05/16/2013 10:45 am

For some reason, I am optimistic. Perhaps Google really does learn from it's mistakes. Here's hoping that this is the case.


05/16/2013 10:48 am

I agree, but Google is the one channel that's most appealing and its got lot of weight in terms of a search engine. For small & medium business owners Google is the best choice, but due to the recent algorithms life has changed for SMB!

Jereme Thomas

05/16/2013 01:09 pm

I don't agree with what Google is doing and I agree with what others are saying. What I meant was until people start using other services and Google starts to lose market share they are going to keep doing what they are doing in order to maximize profit. It is unfortunate Google has moved so far away from their "do no evil" motto and no longer is doing what is in the best interest of the little guys who helped Google get to where they are today.


05/16/2013 01:53 pm

Most small business owners don't have any understanding of any alternate sales channels other than local marketing and a website. The biggest impact the last updates were in our field- real estate- was a huge favoring of the big brands of zillow and realtor(.)com. But it is the small independent realtor and brokerage that offer the good quality hyper local content that a buyer moving to the area really wants to know. It goes beyond just house and into lifestyle. As an agent- you must be on google- because that is where your audience is. Creating other sales channels of spending money on PPC etc, is well and good, but the quality of the lead goes down. It is through blogging that we get our best customers. Google should understand the value that the small business owners brings to the table and make the algo adjustments.


05/16/2013 03:07 pm

"So I screen captured Matt's facial expression when he said that..." ok terrific.


05/16/2013 03:57 pm

A lot of upset business owners and webmasters here for sure, and I completely understand the anger considering that all of our high ranked blogs took 45% hit May 9th and who knows what is coming down the pipe - BUT.... We have 100% reliant on search engine traffic since 2003 for our livelihood so we always have test sites on the go - white hat, and gray hat. It's up to us to deal with the changes that come down the pipe and adapt. We have seen month where we were earning over $20,000 and then months where we were lucky to make $3000 - nature of the business. So I take full responsibility and have no choice but to ride the Google snake. One thing for sure - they have to rank SOMEBODY in the top three positions and intend to fight on to get there. Only thing I would say that is quite annoying, and that's the weird and strange search results Google is giving since May 9th - I mean half the results are not even related to the search terms queried. I hope Google is aware of how bad some of their results. B


05/16/2013 04:27 pm

Yea, keep calling people liars and shills because they state their opinion. In fact, keep assuming that someone who disagrees with your opinion is a plant and see how far that gets you. Call Anti a shill all day long, that doesn't change your, or other posters on this story like 'F the shills', level of ignorance (by choice or by chance, I don't know). Don't like the label? Then stop acting like it. PS: That means yelling nonsensically and demanding incredibly ridiculous actions from Google on this discussion board.

Graham Ginsberg

05/16/2013 05:03 pm

"keep calling people liars and shills... and see how far that gets you" - Sounds to me like you're threatening me. I don't hide behind anonymity like you, so I am a 'somebody' and making threats to a real person online is a problem. I suggest you stop responding to me because we will then knock it up a notch to stalking.


05/16/2013 05:29 pm

How is that a threat? It is essentially the same as saying: "You attract more flies with honey than vinegar" I hope I am replying to a troll comment or a lost in translation situation because


05/16/2013 05:31 pm

Never mind the fact that that saying is a bit off: Having spent some time working in a produce department I can say that flies are all about the vinegar, they love it and it is the only thing they will pick over a peach with a hole in it.


05/16/2013 05:45 pm

True Kate


05/16/2013 07:16 pm

That is, in no way, a threat. It is the equivalent of saying, "you will attract more bees with honey than with vinegar". Oh no, I am stalking...

Darshan Modi

05/17/2013 11:40 am

Why not email this question to Matt Cutts. He should answer this, you have a great point to debate.


05/17/2013 12:02 pm

@twitter-1291045886:disqus, Good Question, I can mail to mutt but i don't think mutt will reply on my mail as i also one of them who sent thousand of mail to mutt on this matter and he just ignore all of them.!

Graham Ginsberg

05/17/2013 12:45 pm

Yes, this is true. Just add another to the list is Trulia. All these big name stores Google now promotes are ADVERTISING companies. Google will place an advertising company in FRONT of a real AGENT, which is their decision. The public should decide, as a buyer, renter or seller of real estate, do I want to browse an advertising website or deal with a local agent, most familiar with that specific market? Another point most don't get is that Trulia and Zillow do not own the listing properties shown (they are not real estate brokers). They obtain it from real estate boards. To compete in this dog-eat-dog world, the real estate agent (and their broker) that worked hard to get the listing, places it in the system, then PAYS Zillow and Trulia for adverting on their website to get exposure. Thats like being hit twice in the pocket. You pay to get the listing. Then a powerful site takes it, dominates it, gets all the customers and you pay THEM to funnel the leads back to you?? IMO, if you are not a real estate agent in a particular state, you should have no right pushing those listings you know nothing about and do not own. That will stop this beast in its tracks


05/20/2013 12:46 am

panda is nightmare for every webmaster, because you don't know what to change exactly. No official information posted (posted only 'water'), only - 'very best quality' content. This is exact reason why more than 95% of sites not recovered. Matt Cutts, 'very best content' like top ranked amazon 'product not available' pages? Or like in spammy youtube videos, which dominate your serp now? Lot of additional examples, like craiglist, ebay, etc. You need to rewrite all articles, wait 8-10 weeks to see what nothing changed. Bot look into some formula (to recognize is it over-optimization or not) and it really unnatural! Write for human, not for bots??? How if not more than 1 main keyword per 100-150 words, excluding stop words. Is it natural??? exactly NOT! Such articles can be written by seo experts only (and use lsi, synonyms based on google serp idea what is synonym or not), not by common peoples. Really, very natural... ;( Also may be some more information about what the content is _low_ quality for emd domains? Or exactly what is low quality emd domain? For me it looks like not about content quality, it about 'commercial intent only. $$$ But smart move google, get a break before huge webmasters protects!!! Steal their image traffic at this time. Penguine 2.0 coming soon? Looks like adwords out of money again. All this changes not for good, it total stupidity to destroy lot of normal sites to get rid of some spammers (official version, because we everybody see what not many things changed for spammers)! Even affiliate sites have much much better informations and articles than that brands you have now in serp everywhere.


05/21/2013 07:30 pm

i don't think Matt will Ever Answer That And even if he does he will " that is a relly fun question .. and more lies

Expro Media

03/15/2014 06:28 am

what is soften update and his affect

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