Google Pushing Out Panda Update 3.9 Tonight

Google says it will roll out the latest update to its Panda algorithm later tonight.

The company posted the news a few minutes ago on Twitter, saying this update will affect about one percent of search results.

By our count, this is Panda Update 3.9. The previous update, 3.8, occurred just about a month ago — on June 25th.

Panda rolled out initially in February 2011 and was designed to remove low-quality/thin content from Google’s search results.

For more background on the Panda algorithm, see our Panda Update News archive.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Features: Analysis | Google: Panda Update | Panda Update News | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • David Cohen

    Congrats to Matt Cutts and team for rolling this update out the night 700+ SEOs hit Seattle for Mozcon. Well played, Mr. Cutts.

  • Jeremy Morgan

    Is this for real? Wow. Thing is, the best SEOs at Mozcon are going to be happy about this. 

  • igl00

    i was telling people theres something going out since few days when i was noticing odd changes but nobody believed.

  • Donna Fontenot

    It’s the people who have been (im)patiently waiting for a penguin update that are going to be frustrated by this. I’m going to get tons of messages (again) asking if I know when Penguin will run again. No. No, I do not know.

  • Alan

    Is this Google firing a shot across the bow of the SEO ship?

  • Durant Imboden

    If we’re up to 3.9 now, does that mean a significant shakeup will be coming in another month or so? A 4.0 release should be more than incremental, shouldn’t it?

  • David Cohen

    In theory, yes, so-called great SEOs won’t sweat it. But when does Google ever really follow the theory? Google’s got a track record of hitting sites that may not have necessarily been hit-worthy. Google’s no stranger to friendly-fire casualties.

  • Jeremy Morgan

    Yeah, I agree. Unfortunately there will be some casualties, but I think for the most part people will be ok if they follow the guidelines and stop trying to outsmart Google.

  • Jeremy Morgan

    I think it’s more like their way of crashing the party and becoming the hot topic. Google really wants websites to follow their rules, it’s in their own best interest. It just doesn’t always work out so great for the webmaster.

  • Max Pinton

    Not necessarily. The next incremental release could be 3.10.

  • Danny Sullivan

    Google doesn’t number these. We do. Unless Google says the next update is a major change, we’re kind of out of point numbers. We’d probably call it 3.91 or something. Saying 3.10 would be confusing with Panda 3.1. We need more decimals!

  • Danny Sullivan

    No, it’s them continuing to improve search quality, which doesn’t mean removing SEO. SEO doesn’t equal low-quality or spam.

  • Yul | SEO from Cebu

    Or unless they are killing SEO

  • CrazyChris01

    How about a Penguin refresh Update again? What up with all the Panda’s?

  • Max Pinton

    .9 -> .10 (and so on) is very standard in software development these days. It’s not meant to be a decimal representation but just (typically) three numbers (major version, minor version, bugfix) separated by periods. So seeing something like “version 2.14.26″ is commonplace.

    But I agree, if Google isn’t setting these numbers, they have no relationship to Google’s development cycle.

  • Jeremy Morgan

    Agreed, it seems that Google doesn’t have a problem with SEO as long as you’re providing quality content that’s represented accurately.

  • Sachin Saroj

    I want to know that is there synonyms are also effected with Google’s Panda???

  • Sheila Cruze

    @Danny, I have a question! If we have same company “about us” and “description” on various Social Media Channels, Do you think this will be treated as spam or copied content by Google. And if it is so what should we do then?

  • Content Axis

    Wish this time only culprits are being punished and those publishers who are fair and clean on their SEO works should be spared. 

  • Jose Princely

    There will be no 3.10 for Sure. Huge Impact going to be in next Panda. 4.0

  • rahul sharma

    Put in this keyword in  ”property registration services noida”  and you will see the disaster Google algorithm is doing . All 10 organic results from one website. Just check it once! How can one be sure about Google really giving right results . 

  • Seo Jaipur

    Rahul it totally Google Host Cording

  • Dilawer

    Hi, Matt McGee
    Thanks buddy for sharing this info, I got shocked when I read about the Panda update will affect about one percent of search results??? Got Damaged my nephew website is full of copy content It might be possible he also will lost!

  • SorcimTechnologies

    i noticed 60% increase in web traffic on July 21 when compared to the average daily traffic from july 1 to july 20. But after 21st July traffic went back to normal! 

  • Seomagic

    Interesting I have been noticing lately the rankings have been fluctuating dramatically. When will the next Penguin update roll out I wonder…

  • Boris Krumov


  • DrRoot

    This is a data refresh, not algorithm update, algorithm is same for now!

  • DrRoot

    I don’t think it will be any time soon, a lot of links i removed from some of sites a month ago can still be seen in Google cache, which makes me think i am certainly not alone, its better to wait and see once Google has fresh data.

  • Mariya James

    Well there is no end of Panda and its effects. Just waiting for the day I will say Yuppppppppiii… 

  • Ashish Chauhan

    Let’s see, my fingers are crossed for all my website. I have followed all Google guidelines this time, hoping for improvement in ranking.

  • Heather Solos

    Looking good here, referral traffic seems consistent. It’s been on a monthly 10% rise pretty much since the original update.

  • Aranzamendez Design

     Wow! the number 1 site is also the number 2-9! I can;t believe this and the site has no links or zero PR as well but still rank on high! What a waste!

  • Aranzamendez Design

    I’m so happy for this update because the ranking of our website goes up to number 6 position from number 9 yesterday.. Thanks Matt! I hope after this update, our ranking will be consistent now..

  • Ashley Wilson

    Google always comes up with something or another to track spammer. 

  • Arsie

    I am going to monitor my websites for the next few days. Thanks for the info.

  • Vincenzo Desroches

    Scary thing is, I am seeing newer less than 3 months old sites being indexed and given rankings as of this morning.

    I do not like seeing rankings that fast.

    Maybe the new panda is ninja quick

  • Durant Imboden

    Thanks for the clarification. Just out of curiosity, how do you decide what’s “dot {n}” update and what’s an “[n] dot” update? By whether Google says it’s an algorithm change or a data refresh? Or maybe by whether Google says it will affect a whole lot of search results or just a few search results?

  • HISWebMarketing

    I’m predicting that a Penguin refresh happens soon!  The initial Penguin algo change was sandwiched in between two Panda refreshes.  It’s almost as if Google wants to confuse people to the point where they say, “I don’t know why I was penalized but I better start making good content and stop producing spammy links!”

  • Luis Miguel

    I agree… Penguim update next week, begin August… I bet on that

  • Mike Doherty

    Should be no issues if current SEO strategies are within Google’s guidelines. I have a love/hate relationship for Google’s control, but I do love the idea of constant improvement and striving to make better, more relevant search results. My company ( is doing a webinar on the Penguin and Panda updates this Friday for anyone looking for help/clarity on the topic.  Registration Forms:

  • Travel Center UK

    Oh!! When I was waiting for the PR update by Google suddenly this happened.. am sure this is going to kill SEO, try a different job folks. No more SEO

  • Manx Voter

    Appears to be a mega problem with property sites at the moment where sheer size of a vendor is severely punishing quality niches sites

  • lifequoter

    This comes like a shock to everyone. I should begin the countdown and wait to see how this update will affect my sites :( And SEOs are definitely not going to celebrate this, it will anyway sweat them out until they find out what actually happened. Panda updates being rolled out one after another has devastated the foundation of SEO market and forced them to relay it again. Still waiting to see the new dawn of SEO principles with eyes set on Google. Hoping for the best! Finger crossed :P

  • Paul Ryan

    Why are you getting tired Google updates?  They aren’t the problem; your clients are.  You should be tired of clients who used such methods.  Don’t be under the illusion they aren’t paying for some else for webspam while you are doing “white hat ethical SEO”.

  • Durant Imboden

    The simplest step Google could take toward encouraging high-quality content–and removing clutter from its SERPs–would be to filter out stubs (such as “Write a review” pages on some of the big tech sites and crowdsourced travel sites) or, better yet, penalize the sites that spew out worthless pages automatically for every conceivable product name or keyphrase. Those megasites would quickly learn to “noindex” their stub pages until the pages actually had some content on them.

  • Jersey Don

    {slow clap}

  • Surebetter

     Yeah, I also noticed changes. Basically it’s site with little to no linkbuilding but decent content — they went up for main kws and longtails.

  • Surebetter

     I wish that “SEO” that can be killed by this was actually killed. Enough wannabes mocking the industry.

  • Dom Casas

    I’m wondering what’s new in Panda 3.9… It seems like Most webmasters will be very busy again…

  • Surebetter

    I’m calling for the Anteater update by SEOs: that would mean not viewing Google SERPs as the ultimate goal and diversifying traffic sources. But that would mean being smart, right, update-sufferers?

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