9.2% Of You Lost Your Jobs Due To Google's Panda Update

Oct 14, 2011 • 8:09 am | comments (38) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine Industry News

Google Panda Job LossThe unemployment rate as released on October 7th is at 9.1%, pretty high for U.S. standards. How does that relate to the SEO industry? Well, it doesn't but it is unusually close to the 9.2% of you who claimed you lost your job because of the Google Panda Update.

We ran a poll a couple weeks ago asking Did You Lose Your Job Because Of Google Panda? and we had 250 responses since then.

Most of you said, no you are doing fine. But 9.2% of you said you lost your job directly related to the Panda update. That is 23 people who said they lost their jobs.

Not only that, 6.8% said they had to lay off people because of the Panda update. So while 23 people responded they lost their jobs, at least another 17 people lost their jobs or more. Layoffs typically mean multiple people.

A shocking 25% of you are "afraid" you may lose your job or may have to layoff people because of the Panda update. That means, business is not good, traffic is down or your SEO client is blaming you for their downgrade in rankings.

Here is the distribution of answers to my poll:

Google Panda Unemployment Rate

Some of the comments we received within the poll include:

  • Facing serious challenges with clients!!!
  • Major Lost Revenue
  • have had to go and find extra work to make up for lost income
  • Lost clients
  • Got a job doing SEO because they got hit

For more on this topic, see our Google Panda topic.

Forum discussion continued at Google Webmaster Help.

Image from Lasse Kristensen/Shutterstock.

Note: This story was written earlier this week and scheduled to be published today.

Previous story: New SEO Term: Google BLOOP


André Scholten

10/14/2011 12:29 pm

As far as I know there are still 10 results in Google's top 10. If five of them got hit by panda, 5 new ones have come to replace them. Perhaps those unemployed people can move to these new ones?


10/14/2011 01:29 pm

"As far as I know there are still 10 results in Google's top 10. If five of them got hit by panda, 5 new ones have come to replace them. Perhaps those unemployed people can move to these new ones?"Moronic statement, go and work a robot in Walmart's warehouse or get a job at Google since they added all those extra ads.

André Scholten

10/14/2011 01:37 pm

Those extra ads are not what Panda is about right...


10/14/2011 03:16 pm

Of course you know what Panda is about, being the smartest man on earth.


10/14/2011 03:17 pm

I wonder what % lost their SEO jobs because of Facebook over the past year?

Kera McHugh

10/14/2011 04:49 pm

curious... if panda was supposed to make for better google results, by providing more relevant indexing etc, then if those folks were doing their job right in the first place, they shouldn't have lost work... because their client sites would have already been optimized for relevance and done in a "white hat" way so as to be valuable to google in the first place... right?

Sujan Patel

10/14/2011 05:29 pm

250 is a pretty small sample size but this is interesting.  I agree with Kera that those that did lose their jobs purely because of Panda obviously weren't doing their jobs right in the first place.   Anyways, people will bounce back from this and work will come. Good Luck!


10/14/2011 05:36 pm

No, not right. Thousands of websites were negatively affected by Panda despite their honest efforts as webmasters. Basically you're trying to use that as a way to push a white hat agenda, and now you've been caught ;) Your welcome.


10/14/2011 05:37 pm

Don't give him my hard earned title. :)~


10/14/2011 05:58 pm

The article seems about SEO agencies but not real companies who ranked, it should be true. Panda could bring a less demand of SEO services as old practices are out of date, and people have less clue about it.


10/14/2011 06:49 pm

I am pretty sure its close to none than anything else. Facebook doesn't substitute SEO ~ it probably create more SEO work if anything at all


10/14/2011 06:52 pm

Completely agreed with Godoveryou. If you were in charge of organic traffic a mid-large eCommerce store, you were most likely affected with Panda update as your ecommerce site probably had thousands of pages with what Google wrongly considers as 'thin' or 'shallow' content. Websites with 100 pages or less were less affected.


10/14/2011 06:54 pm

Its much quicker to destroy something than to build it. Rankings going down can lead to almost immediate lay offs and firing of SEO or even other staff but rankings going up means less of new job creation as you assume and more of  money in biz owners pocket


10/14/2011 06:59 pm

Barry, Great topic & nicely approached. I  remember wondering about the impact of Panda on SEOs in their pays & layoffs; I guess I have a better idea now.

Hank Azarian

10/14/2011 09:02 pm

I think the great challenge caused by these series of updates is that entire types of online businesses (aggregation, affiliate marketing, adsense driven content production houses) were basically removed out of  placement on the index. For most of these sites, this will be permanent.  For many, there is now a Google product in place for the types of results they were offering to users.  In conjunction with squeezing real estate on the first page from more one box and google product integration and blatant big brand promotion. This makes seo work a difficult job at the moment

Vivek Parmar

10/14/2011 09:34 pm

That's pathetic and quite huge percentage of unemployment only because of Google Panda..:( Sorry for all those people..

Neil Ferree

10/14/2011 09:47 pm

Over 1/2 of my income comes from SEO contracts. To set and manage expectation, I try to .edu clients that SEO is a process not an event, which about 1/2 of the time falls on deaf ears. To fill the SEO void, I've adapted and added Google Places optimization to the mix and this has proven to be a good move.


10/14/2011 10:14 pm

But Panda would not necessarily be the SEOs fault - given that it primarily penalizes poor content or user experience. One of life's little ironies.


10/14/2011 11:13 pm

Panda is to increase Google's earnings so you are right. The seo has no fault


10/15/2011 04:34 am

Hey Neil, are you using a specific guideline when it comes to G Place optimization?  Can you share some quick tips on getting clients?


10/15/2011 05:59 am

Scary thought for a lot of people in SEO but it's only natural that as efficiencies appear, staff numbers are gonna fall. The challenge for staff is to demonstrate the value they offer and find new ways of delivering value. Not easy, but it's ultimately survival of the fittest.

tennis livescore

10/15/2011 07:06 am

Yeah this is the bad side of Panda.Some of my friends lost their jobs and some are in great depression as their keywords n ranking lost very badly.


10/15/2011 01:01 pm

"if panda was supposed to make for better google results" if you had a brain you would think before comenting


10/15/2011 01:27 pm

Well,panda update hit me very bad this time. Traffic dropped to 80% ,i'm going fall if this update continously 

Neil Ferree

10/15/2011 02:25 pm

Hey Viewster, Quick Tip to get a new client is to think like a client. IOW, if you want to sell GP Opti services, what would a prospect want to know about you and your offering? I submit he would want to see how you got your own GP listing ranked in the 5 pack for your target KW. My theory is that if a SEO guy can't get his own web assets ranked, how can he expect to get paid to do for a small business owner. I live in Los Angeles area where the competition is pretty intense. Since my   GP listing ranks in the 5 pack for "video marketing" and "social media marketing" so the prospect can connect the dots. Same rule applies for Google Organic SEO. Video Ranker and WordPress SEO Results and Google Plus Social Media Marketing are a few of our page 1 SERPs. Hope that helps.

Panda Is a Scam

10/15/2011 06:52 pm

Many webmasters lost jobs and money but there's a winner! Google. "The number of clicks on ads rose about 28 percent in the third quarter, while the average cost per click increased approximately 5 percent. '


10/17/2011 12:31 pm

Nice post and it would be great for everyone, Thanks a lot for spreading this information here.

P Frigon

10/17/2011 06:21 pm

Hi Google Kids !   No real surprise there.   Delivering the world's growing virtual economy into the hands of a 2-3 y-old bot's Artificial Intelligence Mindset IS what will get you to that point of haphazard collapse appearing here and there.   Just like in other fields, Banks, Wall Street, name it. Dictatorships have always done that, and always will. That's their strength and everyday power trip. That’s why we’re in a part-time democracy, screaming only once in awhile until we find our pacifier and suck ourselves crazy to sleep again.   I smile when I hear Cutt's assertions "we're trying to... bla bla bla..." and, inadvertently or not, scrapping hundreds, thousands or millions of businesses (and people) along the way, legitimate or not. Microsoft also has that impact on businesses having willingly or inadvertently taken the WINDOWS-or-Nothing path. Here, trying is not enough. Success is the only parameter for efficient and sustainable evolution.   Imagine, having a republican Congress stopping anything and everything, if you will, and then crying for more jobs to get created, will also seem quite normal to the masses, until sh… hits the fan, like in over 900 countries with the latest Wall Street Fiesta.   Yep, the more modernity sets in, the more shattering reallity becomes.   In the past century, World Wars were the way of establishing dominance. Millions were killed in sacrifice for the few.   Nowadays, the same massacre can still show up, these days, all in the name of the some "convenience" "better online experience", and so on... (NOT EVEN FOT THE ALMIGHTY LIBERTY CRY, ANYMORE)  After all, after Money, the true face of God is now "convenience". So in order to get (or not) some of that honey... scrapping some people's lives is pretty much common. Why should anyone even care and bother talking about it?   "Do No Evil" was and still is the central theme of a Rolling Stone Tune "Sympathy For The Devil" where we adore anyone, anything showing up with a dominant capability.   Or, have we all collectively forgotten?   I’d also have a lot of very good things to say on the actual Google practice of trying to make sense of the world, like a 3-y-old has too… but that’s another subject altogether. Too bad that the Good, the Bad & the Ugly have to bathe together and exchange their vibrations, contaminating any sense of progressive progress (!) that could come out of such highly complex and scaringly (untested, unproven) NEW processes. Like Pharma Drugs, let's get people to try our stuff and then see if it kills them in any significant number that would show up somewhere...)   Well, I guess, we still have to evolve for at least another billion years. So let’s NOT get ahead of ourselves and try to do good (or really better) in a more pragmatic way so to really help people, to fast & too soon.   Helping Empires is so much better and levelling the playing field by the bottom is so much easier for the folks on top. Otherwise, what will our kids have to do, then?  The Long Yellow Brick Road is so far ahead, still.   Bye Google Kids !(... and yes, we haven't been in Kansas for a while now.)  


10/18/2011 12:56 am

I lost 80% of my traffic and income, my site is 100% unique content and we have been working on it since 2006.  This is the thanks we get?


10/18/2011 03:47 pm

Yup back in Feb I had to let go 22 people (out of 27) due to panda update. Was not fun at ALL!!


10/18/2011 03:48 pm

Same here, 100% unique content, never bought links site from 1.2 million pageviews per month was down to 400pv pmonth.


10/20/2011 12:36 am

Same here, all the talk about improving quality with panda and more focus on content is pure irony when looking at the losers and winners. Good unique content on a smaller site, down your go, duplicate content on an authority sites, up you go. It's not about quality, it's about corporate friends scratching each others back right before the holiday season and christmas shopping spree starts.


10/20/2011 11:58 am

why don't google comeup with something like on duplicate content ad will not show . simple is that . If there is a forum community and would like to share stuffs from the net to the other person ? . Google panda is worse thing that can happened to the google and because of this i am 100% sure they are loosing money too.


10/20/2011 05:01 pm

same case with me almost a couple of weeks I did not get the job opportunity is very menyebalkan.saya please complete the Google Update panda will be back to normal good luck to all who have lost their jobs.


11/03/2011 01:18 am

I Lost my life because of panda too, I was able to create about half of my monthly income from online jobs but now It`s all no more. I lost thousand of traffic since panda update 2.5


02/08/2012 04:28 am

I totally agree with you that most people lost there jobs because of this panda update not only that many as still going to be affected vente montres


06/08/2012 08:06 am

Yes, that is how employment works. People can easily go work at Squidoo, Wikipedia, and the like.


08/18/2013 07:28 pm

Google Panda has nothing to do with linking.Linking is Google penguin. Most likely if you were hit by Panda it is because of key word density/stuffing.

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