Google Panda 3.9 – Official Release (24/07/2012)

So it’s about that time of the month where Google deems it appropriate to run a data refresh on their Panda update – weeding the SERPS, freeing it from miscreants and sites that were MFA.

It may be too early to tell but looking over my current portfolio of sites, there doesn’t seem to be much of a change in either direction. The recent shift to white hat strategies on my new affiliate properties has paid off. Although confusingly a slightly less than white hat strategy one a new property that was run as an experiment seems to have benefited from this latest update.

I’ll post an update in 24 hours when the SERPS stabilise with some further insight into the strategy or whether it was just the usual calm before the storm. Unless Google is indeed missing a trick.

What Does Google Have To Say?

When looking at a Panda refresh make sure you heed their advice:

  • Is your content of a good quality?
  • Are you duplicating your content?
  • Would you trust handing over your credit card details to the site in question?

What About Guest Posts?

Assuming you’ve been engaging in best practice and are not engaging in what I like to call “Article Marketing 2.0” then you should be largely unaffected. Good quality links from high quality sites are always in demand.

If your guest posting strategy falls afoul of any of the following then you’re doing it wrong…

  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites donโ€™t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

Update: 26th July 2012

I can confirm that none of my sites were hit and the majority actually increase in organic visibility. The site that stood out the most was the one which had been engaging in Web 2.0. Nothing particularly grey but a few portal sites seemed to have increased the visibility substantially.

Guest posting is alive and well for the time being… let’s wait for the next Penguin update!

That’s it from me, were you hit by the latest refresh and want some impartial advice? Post below and I’ll see what I can do!

10 Replies to “Google Panda 3.9 – Official Release (24/07/2012)”

  1. Hello, My site is badly hit and earlier was ranking on more than 50 keywords and at the moment its no-where.
    I have rechecked my content and totally scrapped and not a single paragraph is copied.
    I need your help me getting back my ranking.

  2. Hey Sebastian, it’s been nearly 4 months since that April 25th Penguin update which killed my ranking in all the keywords for my site. The only way my site shows up now is if the exact words of my domain title are entered in google. You mentioned something about a 301 redirect to temporarily solve this.

    Does this mean if my site is then I would have to buy a domain called and make it redirect to

    Btw the reason I got penalized in that April 25th update is cause I was using blog networks which I obviously haven’t used since then.

    1. Hi Brian,

      That is indeed the case! Although I’m starting to feel that if a site has been hit so badly that it’s almost worth binning it and just creating a new one without the 301 (did this to one of the sites I had hit that is still sitting around position 200, whereas the “new” site is on page 1).

      1. Hi again Sebastian,

        Did you keep the content from the penalised site and simply transfer it to the new site or did you post all new content on the new site and entirely scrap the old one?

        If all new content was posted then is this not an entire waste of a site that has been built up over time?

        1. Hi Mick,

          It was simply a 301 and no new content was created for the site. As an experiment I’d love to populate the penalised site with new content to see if that brings it out, but you are correct it would make more sense to bin the old site and create a new one from scratch rather than posting fresh content on a dead site.

  3. Hey Sebastian,

    So I just finished 301 redirecting all my pages from my website , to another domain that I just bought.

    Do I also need to tell Google that I 301 redirected all my pages to a new domain? Or will google find out and re arrange my SERP by automatically?

    Also how long will it take for my SERP to go back up now that I redirected all my pages?


    1. Hi Brian,

      Your best bet would be to add both domains within Google Webmaster Tools ( and within the site configuration, select change of address (to the new domain).

      As stated before the recovery does only seem to be temporary unless you’ve significantly changed your strategy to dilute the low quality links, or alternatively removed them.

      When performing a 301 I found the positions had recovered within about 3 days. If you need help with a white hat link building strategy do let me know ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Thanks, I just decided, to finally let go of my site that got hit by the penguin penalty. As you said, the 301 only worked temporarily.

        Should I just copy all my content onto a new domain and then delete the old domain(along with all its content)? Or should I copy all my content onto a new domain and let my old domain(along with all its content) stay alive?

        I want to let my old domain stay alive but then Google might see that I have duplicate content on two different sites.

        Thanks, I always love to read your blog

        1. Hi Brian,

          Sorry to hear it wasn’t a permanent fix. Regarding your query, truth be told I still haven’t got around to re-using content from a burnt site.

          If it were me I’d generate the content for your new site from scratch and kill the old domain. Otherwise you may risk linking your old site to your new one via the content you publish. Although I cannot confirm if this is possible at this stage.

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