Many Webmasters Devastated: Google Panda Rolled Out Worldwide

Apr 12, 2011 • 9:16 am | comments (33) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Panda GloballyAll those rumors of the Google Farmer/Panda update either being updated or rolling out more places were not valid. The real rollout happened yesterday afternoon and Google officially announced it yesterday.

Google said they have now pushed this update out "globally to all English-language Google users." So it should be live on, Google UK, Google Australia and so on. But it wouldn't be live on Google Israel and other non-English language properties.

What is interesting is that there have been zero signs of anyone really coming out of this update. So if you were impacted by the Farmer/Panda update back one and a half months ago, very few have claimed to have regained all of their traffic from Google since. I am surprised to have not seen mass claims of improvements from sites and webmasters impacted by this update. I am even more shocked since there was a global rollout yesterday.

Google said the algorithm works even "deeper into the “long tail” of low-quality websites to return higher-quality results where the algorithm might not have been able to make an assessment before." So if anything, it appears to impact even more sites and Google confirmed that, saying an additional "2% of U.S. queries" were impacted by this update. Impacted how? I do not think sites have claimed to be released from the algorithm update, even after updating their sites - but I do see more sites claiming they were hurt by this update.

Google calls this update an "improvement" and have received "a lot of positive responses" about the update. But if you read the webmaster threads and receive all the complaints I do from upset SEOs and webmasters, you may not agree. We still see a ton of stolen content ranking above original content and some say this pattern has increased. I am not sure.

Google also said they are have now begun to "incorporate data about the sites that users block into our algorithms." As Vanessa Fox explained Google is using this as a "secondary, rather than primary factor. If the site fits the overall pattern that this algorithm targets, searcher blocking behavior may be used as confirmation." So I wouldn't put much significance in this blocking site feature in terms of use within the algorithm.

We have discussions on this ongoing in various forums, one webmaster said:

Sorry, Google. Your new and improved algorithm is only new, not improved. It's still very, very broken.

Google cannot describe 'high quality' and low quality is only defined by being dumped in the Google rankings. This is a sad state of affairs.

Anyway - like I said, I still do not see any mass reports of sites being released from this update and I am surprised by that.

Our ongoing coverage and stories on the Content Farmer/Panda update:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld,Google Webmaster Help, DigitalPoint Forums and Cre8asite Forums.

Previous story: Hitwise: Google Share Declines While Bing Gains Market Share



04/12/2011 01:31 pm

Thanks for a good article. It is interesting what you say about 'stolen content' still appearing high up in search rankings, often above original content. In many cases the update seems to favour established 'authority' sites, so original content by other sites could actually be 'stolen' by these so called high quality sites and they would rank well for it.


04/12/2011 01:40 pm

It might just be the new leadership over at Google, but they are way off the mark with Panda in so many PR in regards. This is definitely going to bite into their market share. Rusty Brick please correct me if I'm wrong, but I have never seen such a wide spread Anti-Google sentiment among web masters ever. Nothing even close. With their secrecy and simple unresponsiveness, that will just grow. I mean many people are pulling for Bing these days. After all the Darth Vadar references to Microsoft; who ever thought we would see the day?


04/12/2011 01:44 pm

My sites all rose dramatically in the rankings, but that happened Sunday night - not sure if it had anything to do with panda


04/12/2011 01:48 pm

If many webmasters are "devastated", shouldn't an equal amount be thrilled that they have landed the coveted top positions? Where are these webmasters and why are they not speaking out about this?


04/12/2011 01:49 pm

Don't be evil? The farmer update that was supposed to crack down on farms - ehow, article directories and poor content sites is basically targeting sites all over and my own experience and various threads @ webmasterworld and other forums seem to prove that. A very popular, highly regarded site with completely original content written by experts in a small niche gone down... ask why? Nobody will answer you. It's algo... Google is ruining itself and proving to become another MS.. May be you haven't heard of sites coming back because only a few came back and these guys won't tell us about it or simply may be there is no comeback. Caffeine was a stupid update Panda is as well stupid. Google is really trying to copy bing all over - believe me or not.


04/12/2011 02:11 pm

It is probably because they are largely working for the big corporates and are not participating in these discussions.


04/12/2011 03:08 pm

I am thrilled - suck it blackhatters! I came out of it smelling like roses

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04/12/2011 03:12 pm

I don't find till now any one that is happy with this new Algorithm. Ranking of all the keywords fall on a great level. So in my point of view its not good enough!

Ian Williams

04/12/2011 03:39 pm

No great changes here, but our UK market is dominated by vertical search, as opposed to content farms.

Dustin Woodard

04/12/2011 03:44 pm

Thanks for your continual coverage. I, too, have been following the various discussions and haven't seen any proof that there is a way to "fix" a site affected by the algorithm--an algorithm that had far too many innocent casualties in my mind. It's difficult to quantify, but the SERPs seem worse off to me since the update, especially when looking for niche information where, in the past, subject expert sites were deemed more valuable then content farm or scrapper sites.


04/12/2011 04:04 pm

I personally have not found the Global Panda update, in terms of search engine queries but it is still early to reach a conclusion.


04/12/2011 04:38 pm

Scraped content/low quality content is ranking better.


04/12/2011 04:52 pm

My large website saw a 20% increase in traffic from the first Panda update, now we are seeing close to a 20% decrease from Panda 2. This is a large US website. It seems we are effected by new additions to the algorithm which was sopposed to only effect 25 of queries. Or the websites we jumped over from Panda 1 have managed to fix their issues and have recovered. I haven't seen anybody talking about recovering. So what is it that Google added in this update to US sites? Why isn't there any information from Google? My website is good quality. If Google doesn't like the way I have my ads setup, well tell me and I'll fix it. Why all the secrecy?

Michael Martinez

04/12/2011 05:03 pm

As has been noted, Klingon justice is a singular point of view. I am one of the people telling Google that I like their new search results.


04/12/2011 05:54 pm

I too have been very surprised by the non existing reports about recoveries. I had two sites get torched in the first Panda roll-out, both recovered within 2-3 weeks after mass deletion of auto generated, basically empty, URLs. All these URLs actually accounted for the majority of both sites that got torched. The URLs were not generated by intention, it was sloppy handling of the CMS that caused the issue. After the issues were taken care of, the sites came back exactly like before. I thought that was the end of the story... Now "new Panda" rolls out and both sites are torched exactly like the first time. It has been impossible to find any similar stories so now I'm left wondering what actually happened.


04/12/2011 06:14 pm



04/12/2011 06:19 pm

For a few weeks in mid March, it appeared that our QA site was seeing a nice recovery - after a 45% drop from the 1st Panda attack. These gains were pretty much erased during the past week, leading up to Panda pt. II. And our UK site? Getting destroyed...looks to be much worse than the 2/24 attack was on the US. Can Panda's give a reach-around?


04/12/2011 07:51 pm

We've seen a massive increase in UK traffic, quality content updated daily + relevant links works, thank you Google!

Liv Jones

04/12/2011 08:37 pm

I'm rather for animal rights, but in the case of this Panda... I'd like it dead.


04/13/2011 12:04 am

I have 2 sites with unique content, and sites was really bad hurt yesterday on google update, but the strange thing is websites that copy my site content are ranking top spots now. I think google somehow penalizing the wrong sites, i can see many other webmasters also seeing this problem. Why cant google see if content original anymore?

Boris Krumov

04/13/2011 01:54 am

Majestic Royal The Size of a Mega Fail PITA is what it is.

Doc Sheldon

04/13/2011 02:12 am

Unfortunately, nearly any algorithmic change is going to catch a few innocent bystanders. I'm also surprised that we have seen much improvement to the standings of those that shouldn't have been swept up. Makes you wonder if there's really a clear understanding of what the targets were, doesn't it? That aside, though, if Panda ends up accomplishing its stated purpose, I'm all for it. I know, that's easy for me to say, since I don't play in the game they're dealing right now. But if it IS what they say, it should help clean things up a bit. Great post, Barry!


04/13/2011 04:05 am

It is not a matter of quality but a pure interest of cruel G. I trust Google will make a reverse engineering otherwise many people will find their way out to bing and FB. As I know how to get readers by SEOing the site, I will find other directions. My great mistake was the coverage on facebook. Why I haven't communicate readers to facebook and linkedin group. What a stupid thing I did to be 90% depend on this G. Thanks God I have that 25k readers a day now, so I can get back somehow sooner or later. I ask my subs to help me recover. No other way.

Googlebot In Leet

04/13/2011 07:49 am

I'm still trying to see whether this Panda update is a load of tripe or if its really as bad as what everyone claims. I've been waiting eagerly for this update to hit South Africa to see how my rankings would be affected... and BAM! Nothing. At worst, my rankings have dropped by one or two positions only.

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04/13/2011 11:18 am

Panda will surely going to hit some of very good websites. I am agreed that it will filter most of bad quality websites. But informative website will also going to be hammered

Traffic Fundi

04/13/2011 11:41 am

@Googlebot in Leet Funny thing you haven't seen anything. We do SEO for around 40 or 50 sites in South africa and we notcied the big knock when it was released in the US. In fact becuase we used alot of PR related sites for backlinks we took a slight knock on those sites, HOWEVER 2 days ago, my rankings ALL went up on all my sites... So firstly, it has been released and updated. Secondly, if you didn't see any change, then well done, you weren't affected.

Adam Chronister

04/13/2011 06:22 pm

I could not agree more.


04/13/2011 11:03 pm

It is quite amusing to me that some folks, a select few, are treating people getting devastated by this update as something worth cheering for. Not everyone affected is a black hatter. Not everyone affected has a thin site. Not everyone affected is dishonest.... As far as Google goes, these changes are always to be expected. One should never ever ever be too dependent on Google or any other traffic source. That's not how you run a business. We were affected but not that much. We just went from #1 in the rankings for major terms to #7 or #8. Huge traffic difference but we didn't disappear. So Google loves our sites but they just like Mashable and big publishers better. What can you do. We will never have the resources those guys have...


04/14/2011 09:45 am

Whether or not you've got original content on your site, are sites not taking hits because low quality sites linking to them have?


04/23/2011 06:48 pm

so trueeeee

SEO Services Company

12/03/2011 01:33 pm

Those who deal with SEO ethically really had nothing to worry about. Just do what they ask of you and you'll be fine. I don,t get the big deal. People are acting like its the end of the world.

Sueli s.

07/22/2012 11:45 pm

i m seing the same problem. It took me 2 months to find out what was wrong. I even spent money with companies trying to find out what was wrong with my website, changed the template. I didnt knew it was google who was killing me while my website is legitimate and has the best content ever. Instead Google are putting up all the blogs who copies my content in first and second page! what the hell is Google doing?

Sueli s.

07/22/2012 11:48 pm

Im with BING now and wont use Google for a single research anymore. Even deleted the Google bar from my computer.

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