Think your site’s been hit by a Google penalty? Curious how the recent Panda and Penguin updates have impacted you and your competitors? And what SEO actually works on Google these days? Read on. We’ll answer these questions and show you how to take advantage of the changes in the SEO world.
Google is constantly updating its algorithms. These algorithms decide if your website is ranking third or fifty-third in the organic Google results. We will discuss the most recent Google algo updates – Panda and Penguin – and how your site may have been affected.
Panda vs Penguin Updates
So what’s the Panda update?
Panda is Google’s attempt to reduce ranking for low quality sites. Its goal is to improve search to include the highest quality sites possible in the top tier results. Panda primarily penalized sites with low quality content, thin content and duplicate content. According to Google:
This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
What’s the Penguin update?
Google’s other black and white update has been called an over optimization penalty by some. According to the Google announcement, it’s an
“important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines.”
Google tells us that some webspam isn’t obvious to an average web surfer but they can detect patterns of over optimization because they have such a tremendous amount of data to analyze.
“Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise, but the common thread is that these sites are doing much more than white hat SEO; we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings.”
The Penguin update affects what’s typically called Black Hat SEO. As opposed to White Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO tactics include practices such as keyword stuffing and spammy link building.
Both the Panda and Penguin updates target sites that have tried to use SEO tricks and over optimization instead of SEO best practices. If you’ve hired a cheap SEO in the last 5-10 years, there’s a good chance that the Pandas and Penguins are gunning for you.
For an explanation of Google’s list of recommended guidelines (relevant content, white-hat seo, appropriate linking, user-friendly design…) and tried and true best SEO practices, call us for an SEO Audit. We’ll discuss how you can prevent your site from being penalized and what to do if it’s been penalized.