Is This New Panda Update Helping Small Sites?

Chris CrumSearch

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If you're feeling the effects of a Google algorithm update this week, there's a good chance it's Panda. No, Google hasn't already launched another one. It's still the last one. It's just not done rolling out (at least as of Monday).

Have you felt the effects of Google's algorithm this week? Let us know in the comments.

On September 25th, Google launched the update, which it suggested should help small sites. Google’s Pierre Far said on Google+:

Earlier this week, we started a slow rollout of an improved Panda algorithm, and we expect to have everything done sometime next week. Based on user (and webmaster!) feedback, we’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice. Depending on the locale, around 3-5% of queries are affected.

Search Engine Land reported on Monday that the roll-out was still occurring, claiming to have confirmed as much with Google. That is indeed a "slow rollout," and webmaster/SEOs are still feeling the effects.

A new Penguin update is on the way as well, but we still don't know exactly when that will hit. It could be as early this week, but will most likely happen before the end of the year at the latest.

So, has the latest Panda update actually been helping smaller sites? Well, probably some, but others feel like they're being left out in the cold, while others are just generally skeptical.

"I still don't see small businesses appearing in the search results," one reader recently commented. "I suspect this new Panda is just more smoke and mirrors from Google..."

Another said, "There is nothing favorable for small business in this update."

That was early in the roll-out, however, and if it's still rolling out, who knows how long it will actually take.

Searchmetrics put out its regular lists of winners and losers from the Panda update, which are as follows:

Losers:

    Domain – Loser     Before     After   Change in %
yellow.com  16383 3413 -79%
similarsites.com  118771 25197 -79%
free-coloring-pages.com  12268 2960 -76%
dwyer-inst.com  13225 3229 -76%
issitedownrightnow.com  69354 18376 -74%
updatestar.com  13232 3788 -71%
office365.com  29365 8781 -70%
findthebest.com  30848 93937 -70%
homewyse.com  14161 4410 -69%
adelaide.edu.au  20351 6537 -68%
pearltrees.com  16769 5503 -67%
ok.co.uk  18226 5995 -67%
socialcomments.org  27476 9058 -67%
mybillcom.com  12258 4136 -66%
tgiblackfriday.com  10037 3420 -66%
discountsstory.net  20907 7337 -65%
indyweek.com  13373 4826 -64%
zabasearch.com  42679 15697 -63%
exacttarget.com  14849 5729 -61%
okc.gov  12547 4907 -61%
no1reviews.com  18403 7235 -61%
mademan.com  23006 9779 -57%
studymode.com  10756 4611 -57%
thefair.com  14067 6277 -55%
appappeal.com  11265 5149 -54%
chronicle.com  17244 8208 -52%
lyricstranslations.com  16944 8077 -52%
onhealth.com  118017 56735 -52%
cherrybam.com  20178 9736 -52%
nerve.com  17264 9016 -48%
emedtv.com  30739 16266 -47%
hubpages.com  30493 163548 -46%
brothersoft.com  25357 13969 -45%
collider.com  47733 26383 -45%
337.com  21172 12141 -43%
hypestat.com  18047 10553 -42%
telecomfile.com  17652 10448 -41%
discountednewspapers.com  19472 11624 -40%
bugmenot.com  25339 15152 -40%
medterms.com  286956 172836 -40%
translationcloud.com  43295 2674 -38%
archive.today  48603 30085 -38%
game-oldies.com  47279 2932 -38%
kxan.com  26622 16609 -38%
thinkbabynames.com  22762 14246 -37%
amtrakcalifornia.com  18965 1192 -37%
theepochtimes.com  34385 21638 -37%
addresses.com  33042 21012 -36%
hrblock.com  24599 15775 -36%
areacode.org  33412 21799 -35%
buzzle.com  76279 50134 -34%
militarycac.com  30014 1977 -34%
howstuffworks.com  1251213 827093 -34%
eprize.com  42565 28358 -33%
travelandleisure.com  110818 74347 -33%
webutations.info  190251 127762 -33%
appbrain.com  59235 40254 -32%
enjoygram.com  28335 19322 -32%
dailypuppy.com  24775 1701 -31%
oxforddictionaries.com  383172 265208 -31%
offers.com  56036 39082 -30%
guardianlv.com  34268 24045 -30%
thinkexist.com  138435 97364 -30%
hallmark.com  61087 4381 -28%
ehow.com  101928 73157 -28%
laws.com  26208 18839 -28%
greenwichmeantime.com  45629 32906 -28%
miamiherald.com  99912 72274 -28%
dubbed-scene.com  26502 1926 -27%
bobdylan.com  27307 19881 -27%
cardhub.com  49508 36101 -27%
mommysavesbig.com  46118 33913 -26%
healthcentral.com  47799 35173 -26%
appcrawlr.com  29088 21595 -26%

Winners:

    Domain – Winner     Before     After   Change in %
comdotgame.com  2632 38231 1353%
hongkiat.com  135 68372 406%
babble.com  8963 42916 379%
rd.com  17209 71434 315%
mediamass.net  6839 27876 308%
hotelguides.com  8563 32957 285%
yourtango.com  30624 109148 256%
moreofit.com  6431 22864 256%
celebrity-gossip.net  10727 38068 255%
spoonful.com  2813 89573 218%
ivillage.com  11818 37065 214%
800-numbers.net  11809 34631 193%
thepiratebay.se  2571 67457 162%
aceshowbiz.com  21679 55059 154%
dummies.com  42806 104764 145%
geekwire.com  11606 28319 144%
ispot.tv  12242 28062 129%
womansday.com  11868 27195 129%
bncollege.com  36738 76969 110%
afterdawn.com  18519 38775 109%
allwomenstalk.com  19836 41088 107%
livescience.com  79499 164323 107%
savings.com  25874 52886 104%
fastcodesign.com  25303 50326 99%
mystore411.com  24262 47482 96%
health.com  120733 212827 76%
unblocksit.es  23559 40897 74%
newseum.org  36201 59205 64%
netdoctor.co.uk  25973 41246 59%
celebdirtylaundry.com  34511 53817 56%
digitaltrends.com  137257 21076 54%
quickanddirtytips.com  28288 43284 53%
tvtropes.org  105715 160152 51%
simplyrecipes.com  100684 149017 48%
glamour.com  53907 77933 45%
astrologyzone.com  45185 65237 44%
chow.com  117933 168931 43%
arstechnica.com  121742 171708 41%
parenting.com  49936 70185 41%
realsimple.com  180553 252922 40%
webopedia.com  153512 213758 39%
healthgrades.com  70386 97103 38%
laptopmag.com  53221 73249 38%
dispatch.com  44614 60412 35%
dealcatcher.com  95757 128887 35%
businessdictionary.com  104606 140213 34%
vice.com  157693 208496 32%
smithsonianmag.com  18069 238733 32%
thefreedictionary.com  2124356 2774647 31%
internetslang.com  50578 65093 29%

These lists were also released early in the roll-out, so it's likely that they've changed significantly by now. It's also worth keeping in mind that these lists have in the past not always been a completely accurate view of sites affected by Panda, as other signals have come into play. It's an interesting look some sites that have lost and gained search visibility in Google, but strictly speaking about Panda, the lists should be taken with a grain of salt.

Notice that eHow - the content farm poster child, which has been a major victim of Panda over the years - is in the losers list yet again.

While you're dealing with the new Panda update and anticipating the next Penguin, keep in mind that Google is also bumping up HTTPS sites and is apparently adding mobile site usability as a ranking signal. Also, you might want to take another look at that list of Panda-related guidelines Google provided.

What are your thoughts about the latest Panda so far? A step in the right direction? Let us know in the comments.

Note: This article has been updated from a previous form to include additional information.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.