Google Has Released A 10 Day Panda Update

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Google Has Released A 10 Day Panda Update

*Update:  Some of the information I originally posted was faulty. We were reporting news that others had deemed as true without checking our facts.  We’ve tried to update everything as best as we can!

The summer of 2013 has been full of Google updates. The last major update Google released was the Penguin 2.0 update. On July 18th, Google released their newest Panda update. In a statement from Google, we learn, “In the last few days we’ve been pushing out a new Panda update that incorporates new signals so it can be more finely targeted.”

In other words, this update incorporates new signals that should serve to help sites that were affected by original Panda update. Google will be updating Panda on a monthly basis over a 10 day period. What has been the result of this update so far?

Here are some of the experiences some webmasters have had so far:

  • Increase in impressions but same amount of CTR’s (Log into your Google Webmaster’s Tools for this information)
  • The rankings of informational sites such as Wikipedia and have been heavily impacted.
  • Authority sites will be getting more prominence in the SERP’s
  • Sites using Google + are being rewarded  (Some of our readers were upset that I made this claim without presenting any data. What I should have said is that Google + is merely a ranking signal. Some webmasters have noticed the impact of Google + on their rankings, while others haven’t. Search Metrics did a great study of the ranking factors in 2013 that I recommend you read. See the study here. Of the sites they analyzed, they found a strong correlation between high rankings, backlinks, and social signals. Google + 1’s being one of those. Anyhow, it’s too early to tell just how powerful this signal actually is.)

What types of things should you take action on?

  • Start using Google + if you haven’t already!
  • Enable Google Authorship
  • Stay within the guidelines set forth by Google and focus on quality. (No black hat stuff)

Have you noticed any difference in your rankings since this new Panda update began?

image credit: Shutterstock

Adam Morgan

Adam Morgan

Adam Morgan is a PPC expert, entrepreneur, blogger, and amiable guy. In his spare time, you can find him updating his own blog.
Adam Morgan
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  • Katrina

    Hey Adam – yes my traffic has dropped more than 50% in the past 2 days! My site is still very new and I was very happy with steady increase in traffic for the past 2 months… 1000 visitors per day wasn’t far off, now am rather dejected 🙁
    Specifically one page that was my top earner so far has dropped from Page 1 to beyond 15…. while all the spammy, badly written one page sites are still ranking high. I’m using Google +, although only a few followers so far…
    A bit of hope though – perhaps since it’s rolling out over 10 days this is a sort of yoyo as it steadies out?

    • Sahil

      Panda has completely changed the way webmasters, SEOs and site owners think of the web. Its all about value additions in the form of Content, usability, genuineness, authority and credibility.

  • Rand Wilson

    Please post the data that tells us that sites using G+ are being rewarded..

  • Brett Aquila

    Massive upswing in traffic for us. We’ve been down from where we expected to be for the past few months and sometime over the past week or so it’s like someone flipped a switch and we’re back on! About a 15% increase.

    I’ve felt like we were stuck in a nightmare from years past where suddenly sites like,, and superpages were all the rage again! I couldn’t look up anything without getting these “shallow content” sites or directories lining the front page of the SERP’s.

    Now it seems Google may be back on track. Better late than never.

    I’m waiting to hear about anti-trust litigation for Google+. How long can it be before Microsoft starts lobbying the EU and The Feds about Google unfairly promoting sites using Google+? Hopefully it won’t happen. I’m using it myself. I’m no dummy.

  • Mark Traphagen

    Where in the world are you getting the data for the outrageous claims you’re making here? How can you tell people that Google+ usaage and Authorship had an effect here and tehn provide no data to back that up? How would you even isolate those factors to have the confidence you state here? This is why I trust almost nothing published by Search Engine “Journal” (Jouranl in quotes because there is no real journalism here)

    • John S. Britsios

      I would also love to hear where does that information come from! But Mark, we cannot blame SEJ about the accuracy of the information posted here. But I agree with you. Very sad!

    • Search Engine Optimization Chicago

      Mr. Mark I agree with you but some time we got an idea from journal, and I think Google webmaster is the best forum to get update of panda, penguin and other update.

  • Rob Wagner

    Need to see data. It’s not responsible for you to make these claims without attempting to show any coloration with a meaningful data set. May be it would be best to go back to the drawing board with this post and start over?

  • Doc Sheldon

    Adam, I think you’re way off base. In fact, I know of nobody that has made any credible claim that there’s any direct advantage whatsoever involved with having a G+ account, with the exception of visibility to users.
    At most, you could claim an indirect effect, due to an increased CTR with authorship implemented.

  • Mark Traphagen

    For the record, I want future visitors to be aware that the author added the fourth bullet point in the first set of bullet points AFTER I posted my comment above and we called him out on Twitter and Google+, but without having the integrity to label it as an update (really a correction) to his post.

    Also he deleted the comments of others who pointed out what I did. If either of my comments here are deleted, I will make that known to my 56,000 followers on Google+. The only responsible thing to do, if SEJ was really a responsible publication, would be to delete this post.

    • Martin Bonner

      Your points about responsibility lose authority a little when you start bandying about social proof with your Google+ followers. A little immature, no?

    • Adam Morgan


      Thanks for reading the post and kindly pointing out my mistakes. The post has now been updated to reflect your suggestions. The coming weeks and months will be exciting as we will be able to fully understand the effects of this new Panda update and be able to provide data to assist the claims. 🙂

      • Mark Traphagen

        Thank you for your reply, Adam.

        I realize my comments seem rather harsh, but they were made only after several other people had tried to comment about your data, and their comments were either removed or never posted. Furthermore, I have to say that your post is sadly way too typical of the kind we see too often on SEO blogs like this one that don’t have the integrity to fact check their guest posters. You never would have gotten past the front door with a post like this submitted to Search Engine Land or, where they actually have editors who care about the information presented on their site.

        I don’t mean this in any condescending way, but as someone older and more experienced in the business, my advice to you is to learn a lot more about your stated craft of SEO before you start trying to publish authoritative content on it. Even your latest correction, as gracious and humble as it is, reflects that you don’t yet understand the science involved in SEO.

        You cite the SearchMetrics study as evidence that Google+ has a strong effect on rankings. But that is a correlation study. The most fundamental caution any SEO (or anyone in data science) should have is that “correlation does not equal causation.” Correlation merely means that two conditions were both present in the same situation. But it proves no necessary relationship between the two. For example, I could present a chart that showed that use of flossing in the US went up at the same rate as the national debt. Technically, the two would have a strong correlation, But would anyone think one caused the other?

        When it comes to ranking factor correlation studies, one must be even more conservative, because there are literally hundreds of factors that affect any ranking changes, many of which we don’t even know about and have no means of measuring. As a matter of fact, at SMX Advanced in May, where I was speaking, Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting presented a study that showed a strong correlation between Facebook Likes and Google ranking increases. Later in the day Google’s Matt Cutts made an absolutely clear statement that that was impossible, because he said Google gets little to no useful data from Facebook. So what about the correlation? Matt said it is likely explained by the fact that sites that tend to get a lot of likes on FB are probably doing plenty of other things well that search engines like.

        But more to the point, even if we accepted the SearchMetrics study as “proof” that Google+ has a strong effect on search rankings, that still wouldn’t necessarily be support for your original assertion that having an active Google+ account might protect a site from a Panda update. And I think I know where you got that idea, along with the other things you asserted in this post: from anecdotal comments by individual webmasters on forums and social sites. I saw those same comments. A few people saying that they use Google+ and/or Google Authorship and their sites went up after the last update is the flimsiest of “evidence” to write a post as you did. If I and a few of my friends told you that we took our rain coats to work three days in a row and it didn’t rain, would you post on that taking rain coats to work prevents rain?

        And one more thing, even though you now have a slightly more clear disclaimer (which you’ve changed twice now), you still have a list of recommendations that include doing the very things that you now admit you have no evidence to back up! That’s why I stand by what said earlier. You need to stop trying to patch up this sinking ship of a post. The best thing you could do to save yourself further embarrassment is delete it.

  • Rand Wilson

    Well I see that you retracted and changed your previous totally outrageously incorrect statement.. I also see that you deleted/did not publish my previous comments kindly asked you to provide some data… any data, to back those claims.
    You now state as fact “We do know that Google+ is a ranking signal among others” – can you give us the link to the data or statement from Google that tells us this is the case?

  • Patrick

    Fishy – I don’t understand how all of this misinformation can be published on places like this. Lately it seems like anything that is submitted is published.

  • Richard Hearne

    Correlation != Causation.

  • Hemanshu Tanwar

    Nice Post Adam!

    Ya, we have seen impact of this Panda update, our rankings haven’t dropped significantly but organic traffic have dropped over last week (maybe we are loosing on organic traffic from long tail keywords), will try to figure out from Analytics.

  • Veneer Pressing Machine

    It seems to be an too much informative, plss also share some informative post like this.. these post are very helpful to the peoples…

  • Nick

    When you say Google Authorship, What ae the exact right steps to do it , So that maximum benefit comes out of it ..

  • Angelica Wood

    Thanks for sharing this blog post! I am surely agree on this updates that Google has made, specially for those spammer they will all trashed on search engine. I have some thing to share, we should always apply to ourselves that we must aware on Google Panda updates to avoid penalties and our websites may not be removed, and we have to follow the Google webmaster guidelines to avoid all the penalties that we might encounter in the future.

  • Jim Rudnick

    Way way way to much like most of the SEO blogs….is how I’d say this post is very much NOT on point. THANKS Mark for outting this G+ fallacy and sharing same!!!

  • Shannon Steffen

    Great post, Adam!

    Curious though….

    When you stated: “The rankings of informational sites such as Wikipedia and have been heavily impacted.”, in what way were these sites affected? Given the amount of social influence and usually very high search engine rankings, are sites like these now losing rank or are they climbing in rank?

  • Rotimi Orims

    For me, I’m just a little confused about something;

    So obviously I agree that correlative signals are NOT enough to draw conclusions.
    And I really don’t understand why people can’t just say, “Hey come join me on Google+ it is great for business, and it is full of great opportunities to get the latest tools and so on!!!”
    I don’t know they have to cook up stories to convince people.

    But still, I’m just wondering how it would be possible to find causative signals through studies.

    I mean, EVEN if Google did do that, what kind of studies COULD ever be able to PROVE that having a G+ profile with authorship led to any rise in search engine rankings anyway?
    Such a study would have to be something that broke into the almighty impregnable algorithm. Because there would always be other millions of factors to consider anyway.

    I guess people secretly wish to believe (myself included) that using Google+ and other Google products could somehow buy you points with Google. And there is no way to be absolutely certain that it doesn’t.
    I mean, this is the same world where conspiracy theories & ghost stories thrive so much that such a situation in itself could actually inspire conspiracies all on its own.

  • Kristina

    Great insights thanks for sharing. I agree that its important to use authorship. In the time since Google released the authorship feature, authors have linked their content to their Google profile. By doing so their picture shows up in the Google search results, which is invaluable to their credibility as an author.
    As Google works towards using human signals and monitoring people as well as brands it’s important to take these steps while it’s still early. Otherwise, you risk falling behind your competition.