Google Panda Update On The Way

Google panda

Google panda

It’s been a while since the last Google Panda update. Usually they roll out monthly, but there hasn’t been one since the 22nd of January (source), so we’re overdue.

According to SearchEngineLand, Matt Cutts recently said that the next Panda update will be on Friday 15th or Monday 18th March, so batten down the hatches and get ready for some ranking changes. It’s a bit like the good old Google dances, apart from the Panda update affects your whole website, not just individual pages! I’ll be watching to see if my rankings return after doing a lot of work on the blog, but I’m also willing to be patient as Google usually takes quite a while to respond positively to changes to avoid being “reverse engineered”.

The Panda filter targets low-quality websites and its data is fed into the main Google algorithm roughly once a month. It’s important not to confuse Panda with the Penguin filter which targets bad backlink profiles. Penguin updates are much less frequent. Interestingly, Matt said a Penguin update was due later in 2013 which will be a “major” update and “significant“. Now is the time to check your backlinks… purge bad ones and source great ones! Here’s a useful article on using Google Webmaster Tools along with Majestic SEO’s free service to find your “bad” backlinks. You don’t need to be a paid subscriber to follow the article.

Video version…

Update: Everyone assumed the Panda update would take place over the weekend of 15th to 18th March 2013. However, no out-of-the-ordinary changes were seen and Google didn’t confirm an update. It seems that Google Panda will go out with a whimper rather than a bang, as it becomes integrated into the main algorithm with more frequent data pushes making it less likely anyone will notice the events.

About Neil_Shearing

I've been an Internet Marketer since creating and selling my first ebook in 1997. As a former scientist I like to test money-making ideas, then simplify and share them. Apart from this blog, I can also be found on many social media sites. Click here for a list.
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21 Responses to Google Panda Update On The Way

  1. Allen says:

    I am anxiously awaiting this one. I took a small hit on the last round which is a big deal for an internet retail site. I have seen movement up and down the last few days which makes we wonder if there is pre-testing?

    • Hi Allen,
      Yes, there’s usually pre-testing before a Panda refresh. Although, any changes you see could also reflect one of the 500 tweaks Google reportedly makes per year. It’s hard to tell.

    • John says:

      I’m in the same boat as you Allen. Took a few hits with the last update, and hopefully restore some rankings with this one.

      And Neil, thanks for the heads up.

  2. Noel says:

    To be honest, I have given up with the whole Google thing. In fact, I now use Bing as my default search engine.


    Because it has become clear that Google’s mantra of ‘do no evil’ no longer applies (now you can do negative SEO). And that their primary concern is to boost revenue – eg by downgrading commercial sites (replacing them, once again, with .gov and .edu sites) so that they then have to pay for advertising to make up for lost organic traffic.

    So long Google. You are just another big corporation now.

  3. John Flynn says:

    Thanks Neil. TBH I don’t get too worked up over the Google changes. I’ve been online since 1999 and I remember when Google first crashed the scene with ‘relevant’ search. Their business model is all about relevance (literally their bottom line with ad revenues) so I have just tried to follow a common sense and ‘natural’ approach to ranking. Slow and steady and ‘keep it real’ have so far worked well. Knock wood. LOL

    • Hi John,
      Congratulations on avoiding all the Google penalties. Have you noticed less organic traffic over the years as Google has inserted more of their own properties in and around the organic results?

      • John Flynn says:

        Yes Neil – definitely less organic traffic from big G, but I would say better traffic at the same time, and more traffic from other Google sources & social media. Also I’ve noticed a real bias toward web properties where I invest in all the Google products vs. web properties where I don’t. For example, if I’m on G+, YT, Picasa, Earth, etc., it seems to do a better job of making G understand what the site is about… at least that’s my benevolent way of seeing it. [rose coloured glasses? LOL]

  4. Kashem says:

    Last time ranking of our site gained for a few keywords . Like you I am also looking forward to see the impact .

  5. Craig says:

    Hi Neil
    For some reason I can’t see the video, as soon as I click play, it just displays a message “This video is private” :(

  6. It’s difficult to know what to do for the best when trying to optimize your websites. I’ve decided not to worry too much about Google updates and instead try to put as much relevant info on my sites as I can.

    I hope its enough

  7. Donald Ong says:

    I think Google always trying to make it difficult for people to manipulate backlinks. I feel now it is really getting more difficult to rank to new site on Google, but easier to rank for Bing & Yahoo.

  8. Hi Neil,
    when you wrote the post about losing rankings,i started checking why my site was doing so bad. My links are good. The problems i am having is that i deleted some posts and am getting a bunch of 404’s. And my writing stinks. I am going to buy the writing software that Andy Williams developed and sells. That should improve my writing. Also my site has improved in google. Before it was 300 or so. Now my main keyword has come up a hundred points. Anyway,thanks for the article and video. That baby in your picture,how old is he or she?

    • Hi Billy,
      The baby is now 12! Time flies. :-)
      Good to hear about your ranking improvements. If you deleted posts, they should no longer appear in your XML sitemap, so Google will stop trying to index them sooner or later, as long as you don’t have internal links pointing to the missing pages. I’ve had a quick look at your site and can see a link to a 404 page in the sidebar… the link is called “404”. That’s a bit odd!

  9. Mike says:

    Hi Neil,

    I’ve lost boatloads of money by relying on google…sites that used to earn $300-$700 a month (per site) in 2010 now earn about one-hundredth of that amount now!

    Thankfully, I’ve shifted to Google-independent business models (read those utilizing paid traffic, and not Adwords either). Allows me control over my life and I sleep better at night! :)


  10. Name? says:

    Not looking forward to the Panda update although we don’t have much to worry about. I did however make some changes (like you mentioned in the video) with no index tags to the tag pages and useless attachments pages on some of our sites. Can believe how much junk Google indexes LOL.

    Good share and hopefully we don’t have a huge barrage of ‘IM Gurus’ selling the ‘solution’ to the damage this update does to a lot of the sites it will affect.

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