A penguin or panda update can mean big changes for a website, so you have to always be prepared, informed, and ready to react and recover when possible if needed. Google is constantly making algorithm changes in order to improve the results that show up on a SERP, and whether you agree with the change or not, Google is the one that gets to decide if you’re on page 1 or page 10.
When I talk to people about their site and possible penalties there is almost always some confusion about which animal they are dealing with. I want to take a moment and clear up any confusion. Simply put...
And of course we have the infamous "manual penalty" but we will save that topic for another post.
It is a change to Google's search results ranking algorithm that was first released in February 2011. The change aimed to lower the rank of "low-quality sites" or "thin sites", and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.
Google says it only takes a few poor quality, or duplicate content, pages to hold down traffic on an otherwise solid site. Google recommends either removing those pages, blocking them from being indexed by Google, or re-writing them. However, Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, warns that re-writing duplicate content so that it is original may not be enough to recover from Panda—the re-writes must be of sufficient high quality. High quality content brings "additional value" to the web. Content that is general, non-specific, and not substantially different from what is already out there should not be expected to rank well.
Panda is updated from time-to-time. When this happens, sites previously hit may escape, if they’ve made the right changes. Panda may also catch sites that escaped before. A refresh also means “false positives” might get released.
Google Penguin is a code name for a Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012. The update is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using now declared black-hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, participating in link schemes, deliberate creation of duplicate content, and others. Unlike PageRank, however, Google makes all updates to this algorithm public.
On May 22, 2013 Google released penguin 2.0. The main purpose of this update was to provide a more in depth analysis on websites that benefits from link spam. This update helped keep websites with unnatural link building out of the eyes of Google users when viewing the search engine result pages.
Older techniques like Google bombing, anchor text spam and link spam have been heavily scrutinized by this update. These types of updates have a larger impact on Small Businesses than larger corporations due to limited resources and typically a less technical group of people.
Recovering from Penguin is all about positioning your website as an authority and cleaning up bad links.
If you need help with any of the Google animals or just increasing website traffic and rankings in general, feel free to contact us. You may also want to check out our Search Engine Optimization Introductory Package or our Yahoo! Store SEO package if you are on the Yahoo! Store platform.