Google's Matt Cutts: New Softer Panda Update Coming Soon

Mar 14, 2014 • 8:40 am | comments (51) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google PandaAt SMX West Matt Cutts of Google announced they are actively working on the "next generation" Panda update that will "soften" the algorithm.

Matt specifically said this is aimed at helping small businesses that may be impacted by the Panda algorithm. There was no date given on its release but he made it clear, this will be a bigger update that will make Panda less of an impact on certain sites.

Glass Panda Story

Yes, that is a Google Glass vignette view from Danny Sullivan while on stage, with my Search Engine Land story on the topic.

Didn't Google already soften the Panda algorithm? Yes. They announced it last may and rolled it out in July. With that, only 18% recovered fully with that last softer Panda update.

I assume when it rolls out, Matt Cutts will let us know, unlike other Panda refreshes.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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Vikram Rout

03/14/2014 02:09 pm

I am very glad to know that new panda will help small business to improve the ranking for there website. Thanks

Balaji SEOZ

03/14/2014 02:20 pm

You said this panda algorithm would be favor for small business... But what you mean of "small business" in the statement of website ranking on search engine result...?


03/14/2014 02:33 pm

agreed! how would google know if it is a small business... brick and mortar establishment maybe? if it is just "small business" it could be just about every site online making little to no money making it "small" in the eyes of G.

Balaji SEOZ

03/14/2014 02:44 pm

Do you know about "Small Business"?

Durant Imboden

03/14/2014 02:55 pm

In his longer story for Search Engine Land, Barry wrote that a Google team member was working on ways to help "small web sites and businesses" do better in the Google search results. So maybe "small business" in this context means "small Web site." I suspect that, if any changes do occur, they'll be motivated more by a desire to improve search results than to provide a "softer and gentler" ranking experience for small businesses or site owners. If small businesses do benefit--and let's hope they will--it will be a side effect of dialing down the "big brand effect" that leads to a sameness (and sometimes a lack of relevance) in the SERPs.

Jim the drain cleaner

03/14/2014 03:04 pm

does this mean they recognise the brand bias is 2 much and how bad local serps are right now? (all large directories/newspapers and lead generating supersites)? I hope so because having a national brand knock out a "single page" with just the mention of a local town city never used to outrank a dedicated local entire "site" but it has for the past couple of years and only getting worse!


03/14/2014 03:13 pm

Good news for genuine small websites that are striving. I hope though, that the keyword domain .info/.co/.org sites with amateur scraped content, with adsense and affiliates all over them, do not make a come back.


03/14/2014 04:33 pm

Soften it? So is this an admission that they got it wrong and were too heavy handed with destroying smaller sites? Off topic, March 14th Pi day? I thought it was steak day...

David Boozer

03/14/2014 08:19 pm

Hmmm, this should be interesting.


03/14/2014 08:26 pm

I will believe it when I see it. Somehow I doubt it will make any difference. Google have a track record now in being bad so rather than doing anyone any favors it will probably smash more down.

PM Fiorini

03/14/2014 09:06 pm

So, I guess Google has turned a new leaf. Now, they want to help SMB. LOL!


03/14/2014 10:31 pm

I wonder how many died and are left for Google to help? How many years has Panda been crushing small business websites? I rest my case.

Jitendra Vaswani

03/15/2014 06:15 am



03/15/2014 11:17 am

It seems like a Loan System. First it takes away rankings and then give back in chunks as if it is their property not ours.


03/15/2014 11:38 am

Lets wait for the update!...

Sunil Saini

03/15/2014 11:43 am


Patti Paz

03/15/2014 12:27 pm

With all the dead bodies (websites) lying along the roadside, NOW Google decides to, "aimed at helping small businesses that may be impacted by the Panda algorithm." Mighty BIG of them . . . . It's like throwing a drowning man a life raft AFTER he had drowned and saying we did all we could do . . . .

Durant Imboden

03/15/2014 02:28 pm

"Better late than never" beats "Better never than late."

Durant Imboden

03/15/2014 04:56 pm

Of course, if it's "Too little, too late," that's a different story.

Emory Rowland

03/15/2014 07:01 pm

The first release of Panda was three years ago. That's a long time time for small businesses.

Casey Markee, MBA

03/15/2014 08:21 pm

I'm curious what characteristics Google uses to determine if a website qualifies as a "small business?"


03/15/2014 09:41 pm

i don't know if gentle means the same thing we know about it to google

Durant Imboden

03/15/2014 10:08 pm

Barry's article on Search Engine Land said "small Web sites and small businesses," which is even more encompassing than "small businesses."


03/16/2014 06:25 am

What is definition of panda "soften" algo ? please explain ?

Barry's best friend from 1983

03/16/2014 07:13 pm

Small companies need to sell a lot of what they produce or offer in terms of products or services. They need to sell enough of something to pay the bills. If you are specialised in a product/service and have a website that is large enough to be accepted by google as a decent amount of "content" then, Google will chose which part of your site will become popular. Of course you need to buy a few links even rel=nofollow links to get people to your site. E.g. If you are bakery and are baking bread every day but in order to make your site popular you have to add cakes, biscuits, tea, coffee, candy etc etc.. Google might decide to make you cakes the most popular pages on the site for a while. When Google release an update it might be coffee.. E.g 90% of your business is the sales of copper, but you have stock for zinc, steel, aluminium etc .. One day no-one can find you on Google although you've got more copper in stock than anyone else. Google makes sure they want you to sell aluminium. So, you have to now start selling aluminium and forget about your successful copper business. So, the morale is that you have to change your business every time google makes an update. You have to understand that google is controlling what you are allowed to sell by making something popular and making something unpopular whenever they want. In order to have a sustainable business, you must be able to change what you sell overnight. You have to keep changing to google's every whim.

Barry's best friend from 1983

03/16/2014 07:15 pm

BTW- Durant Imboden is still spamming here after a year or so? He is a fake because he is too positive about everything. He's just using Barry's site to get traffic.


03/16/2014 07:24 pm

Durante is editorial guy from webmaster world! He is a troll, by being over the top positive on all things google he gets a reaction! He needs attention and being a 'positive Troll' ensures he doesn't get banned, we all feed the troll!

Durant Imboden

03/16/2014 08:33 pm

If you're changing your business every time Google makes an update, you're probably doomed because Google is already working on its next algorithm tweak while you're targeting the last one.

Durant The Shill

03/17/2014 02:43 am

Durant is Matt Cutts' butt boy. Matt used (and still does) check his site so it stays on the SERPS, in return Durant spams all comment sections by defending everything Google does. Ignore both trolls

nikki neel

03/17/2014 04:58 am

When will they shut down these sophisticated link networks!! I noticed these 'networks' of sites that cover gossip stuff. What they do is create a new website constantly and use the higher ranked sites to link to the new sites. And they will link to one another when a link is inappropriate. Its obviously some sort of arrangement. They hire this company to do all their content which is why you find all these writers who write for 20 different sites and they generously link to sites in their network. Its very mafia and I hope google sorts out the real links from the fake links. They should figure out who has hired skyword because its a sophisticated linking scam and it hurts the little guys w/ quality content.

nikki neel

03/17/2014 05:02 am

Also when is Google going to start punishing the 'bait and switch' websites like Wetpaint!!! Wetpaint NEVER gets penalized. There content is deplorable. 'Did so and so get engaged' 'we don't know'. I mean its AWFUL! NTM the steal from the little guys and then outrank us for our OWN content!!!!

Anh Wu

03/17/2014 05:26 am

It seemed that started today, reported from Vietnam. Anyone saw this?


03/17/2014 08:35 am

william hunter

03/17/2014 10:57 am

please dont waste other peopls time with such silly comments. If you dont have anything to contribute its better to keep shut


03/17/2014 11:20 am

I did wonder why he is so defensive on webmasterworld and here, makes sense! To be fair to Durant if you were in his position and had a really old outdated website (not even mobile friendly) and no tech skill at all you would probably suck up, what else can he do?

Qandeel Janjua

03/17/2014 11:33 am

They have to sell the Google Glass to the SEO audience, which after the penguins update has been reduced alot. I remember when Google Nexus phone came out, 5 out 10 seos had that phone as an homage to google and their profession. Frankly, I have been in the SEO business for more than a decade and now am completely done with Google. Look for real work where hardwork paysoff rather than a update which throws you back half a decade just because of a lousy link.

Juss Russ

03/17/2014 08:33 pm

I hope the update helps our rankings. can you please email me when the update rolls out


03/18/2014 12:15 pm

This is a great opportunity for small companies like

03/20/2014 08:48 am

Last few days there is some serious serps updates in Greece search results. Hope it's true that next update will help small business.

Pinky Verma

03/21/2014 04:25 am

Good news for the small companies..Let we'll wait for the confirmed updates!


03/21/2014 11:24 am

And the damage has already been done.


03/21/2014 11:28 am

It's nothing but a PR move now that Google sees the tides are turning against it. We're the donkey, and this is a carrot, teasing us to suggest that things will get better when in actual fact they wont. Just this week they attacked guest blogging and removed another avenue for genuine small business promotion, further increasing their stranglehold on advertising and further giving their corporate buddies another big chunk of traffic.

Gracious Store

03/24/2014 02:53 am

How will the new updates "soften the panda algorithm'? Will Google weave off some of the requirements for panda?

Rahul Gupta

03/26/2014 05:50 am

Actually, I m very thankful the Google teams, they already announced to the new panda algorithm and that will be helpful for all small businesses websites. so tell me about on page structure will be change or not


04/04/2014 11:46 am

does you guys have any info is this soft panda update already took place or should I still wait for this update?

Logo Online Pros

04/07/2014 01:43 pm

Good news for the small companies.


04/08/2014 04:09 am

what can be the impact of Panda??? n how google catagorize small business???

Style by Alina

04/11/2014 07:08 am

Yay, we're long over due for an update!


04/15/2014 04:49 am

Updated on 15 Apr as

Deepak Rajput

04/15/2014 04:50 am

A typical Panda update and usual targets are ecommerce websites.

Patrick Whittington

05/11/2014 04:41 pm

Thank god this new alg was rolled out- my page views have quadrupled and my articles have moved way up in search rankings. Loving it

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