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Panda: Another Change; Plus It's A Job Killer

Google has made another tweak to Panda following the one on Oct. 9, unofficially bringing the algorithm to version 2.5.2, as dubbed by Search Engine Roundtable. Matt Cutts at Google via Twitter confirmed the second update on Oct. 13.

The latter change, however, seems to be a major one, SER reports, pointing to literally hundreds of complaints on forum and message boards.

It may be, though, that the huge drop in traffic reported in 2.5.2 — read SER's post for links to the comments — will be short lived. That appears to be the case with Panda 2.5, when consumeraffairs.com, prnewswire.com, entrepreneur.com, thenextweb.com and technorati.com all experienced major hits from Panda 2.5, according to Searchmetrics.

Many, though, quickly rebounded, Search Engine Watch said. Consumer Affairs had a 78% drop, and then saw a 437% increase the next week, it wrote. The same "drop and improve" pattern is true of Businesswire.com, starpulse.com, savings.com, PRnewswire.com, and others on the "loser" list, it said.

"Either Google has already backed off this Panda update, which isn’t something that seems to have been noticed or announced, these sites all leaped into action as soon as they heard of this update and quickly fixed all their issues, or there was an issue with the data that week, that’s corrected itself this week."

If it is the latter then that is good, because the industry will just have to get used to these changes, WebProNews writes. "The lesson here is that while Google can be a tremendous source of traffic, you’d do well to put the effort into creating and improving upon other sources. Google is not going to stop altering its algorithm," it said.

Job Losses

Indeed, Panda has already led to job losses in the search industry, according to an informal poll taken by Barry Schwartz at SER. Some 9.2% of respondents - or 23 people — claimed to have lost a job because of the Google Panda update. In addition, 6.8% said they had to lay off people because of the Panda update, for another 17 lost positions. "A shocking 25% of you are "afraid" you may lose your job or may have to layoff people because of the Panda update. That means, business is not good, traffic is down or your SEO client is blaming you for their downgrade in rankings," Schwartz concluded.

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