Google Panda Update: Cutts Confirms Another Tweak

Effect on Unemployment debated

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:

Google Panda Update: Cutts Confirms Another Tweak
[ Search]

As previously reported, Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted out on October 5 to “expect some Panda-related flux in the next few weeks, but will have less impact than previous updates (~2%).”

SearchMetrics has since shared numbers for sites it found to have bounced back. DaniWeb, which originally tipped us off to the most recent major Panda update (commonly referred to as 2.5), saw a recovery even before that.

When asked if there was a “minor Panda update” on October 14 (Friday), Matt Cutts replied on Twitter:

@maheshhari late last night, yes. 2 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Indeed, a number of webmasters reported over the weekend in various forums that they experienced some level of change that would coincide with Matt’s response. Some saw ups, some saw downs, and others saw little to no change.

Search Engine Roundtable has an interesting look at people who have lost their jobs because of the Panda Update. Barry Schwartz, who runs that site, ran a poll for which he got 250 responses, with the following results:

Panda Jobs Poll  

This isn’t the first we’ve seen of the Google Panda update killing jobs. You may recall earlier this year when Mahalo’s Jason Calacanis announced he had to reduce his staff in response to the update. More recently, we’ve seen Demand Media implement a drastic reduction in new article assignments for its freelance writers as part of a larger effort to increase the overall quality of its sites like eHow, which has (or at least had) the reputation as the kind of site the Panda update was designed to have an impact on.

There’s an entire thread about unemployment caused by Panda in Google’s own Webmaster Central forums. The initial question asked in that is, “How many people are now unemployed due to Google’s launch of the Panda update?”

The response listed as the “best answer” is: “How many people are employed because of all the free traffic that website[s] get from Google?”

The guy that started the thread said he started with 15 layoffs (3 administration staff, 1 editor, 9 writers and 2 artists).

One SEO manager said, “I have more clients today after Panda, so I am happy with it.”

Despite Demand Media’s reduction in article assignments, and starting out as kind of the poster child for what not to do in terms of what the Panda update goes after, the company has also kind of taken the poster child role for how to move on from Panda, in terms of diversification of traffic sources and becoming less reliant on Google, and instead putting more focus on quality and driving traffic from social sources and content distribution partnerships.

The lesson here is that while Google can be a tremendous source of traffic, you’d do well to put the effort into creating and improving upon other sources. Google is not going to stop altering its algorithm. Even if you’ve managed to do well so far with regards to Panda survival, you could be hit by another iteration of it, or some other algorithmic change entirely.

Google Panda Update: Cutts Confirms Another Tweak
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • Christina

    Informative. Thank you for posting. Panda doubled my traffic and tripled monthly AdSense rev. Had been happy with changes…until the Oct. 14 tweak. Overnight rank sunk and AdSense rev. crashed. From my stats though, looks like it’s related to freshness of content.

  • http://www.usacarry.com Luke

    This is the first panda update that had a positive effect on my main site. It seems they finally got the ranking correct for my main keyword pushing an old outdated site from #1 and moving myself and another up.

  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    What’s a shame is before Panda was even announced, launched, or anything, we were working on a new template for our sites so that our bounce rate would lower and so we got hit with a double whammy when Panda was launched. Our traffic dropped 90%, but our bounce rate went significantly lower. We’re seeing only a few percent improvement in traffic from Google, but only recently. Not good when you consider we’ve lost 90% of our traffic. I hope they keep on pushing out Panda updates and the FTC makes them change their business practices so they go back to being a gateway instead of a gatekeeper.

  • http://www.avcsindia.com garima

    Ye true … i AGREE …

  • http://www.whizkraft.com/ whizkraft

    Many top ranked websites are also affected by panda updates like ezine articles.

  • http://www.fonerbooks.com Morris Rosenthal

    My IFITJAMS site was hit by Panda April, recovered in September, and then was handed a 3X or more traffic increase on the latest Panda tweak:


    The main ways it differs from my other two sites that were hit by Panda and didn’t recover is that it has far fewer links and authority. Go figure. Now, at a tenth the size of the smaller, it gets as much Google traffic as both of them put together.


    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      That’s interesting.

  • Mike

    Chris, why don’t you write about all the top contributors at googles webmaster forums that BASH anyone who tries to start a thread about Google and the negative impacts from panda. Then Google recently invited few hundred with all expense paid trips to the plex.

    I don’t know how you got through 1 page of comments on the employment thread over at googles webmaster forum with all the back and forth baby BS from top contributors ect. John Mu (google employee)who moderates the forum stands for this. I leave for 4 months and stop by the forum and the same nonsense is still there.

  • http://motorolatriumph.info Dana

    I am so glad to learn that there was a tweak because Friday I had a sudden change/drop in traffic. In the past, it usually stabilizes after a few weeks, but It was so sudden – I suspected an update.

  • http://www.westhost.com Dustin Williams

    It seems like Panda has been all about quality of content. It hits sites which have low quality content, thin content or many pages with similar content. So what do you think this tweak to Panda was focused on? Possibly content freshness? I have seen some comments in blogs saying that sites which have been established and ranked for years got hit by this update.

  • http://netwoozy.com Netwoozy

    I’m all for the updates, but I think it’s just as important to understand that if all a webmaster did was follow the on-page SEO suggestions, quite possibly the site would never rank for anything. It’s important to network online. It’s also important to understand that attracting traffic by search engines is only 1 path. There are many other ways to find people who are looking for what you have to offer.

  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom