What are these cute sounding code names? Google Penguin and Google Panda are actually named for Google algorithm updates.
Google Panda is an update to Google’s search engine algorithm system in 2011. Like a filter, it aims to bring users better quality websites via their search results. Websites that used heavy amounts of advertising or unnatural backlinking were hit, and social websites with organic activity found that they were pushed higher to the top. Google Panda looks at a site’s usability, and checks a website’s quality via questions like ‘Would I trust my credit card with this website?”, “Does this page add value to the user?” and even “Are there spelling errors on this website?”. It also penalises duplicated and ‘thin’ and unhelpful content. One flagged page can affect the ranking of an entire website. All these are aimed for website creators to create better, higher quality content for the end user. Google Panda has since undergone more updates and changes over the years.
Google Penguin, released in 2012, aims to decrease search engine page rankings of websites that are found to be flouting Google’s website guidelines. This update penalises websites that try to increase page ranking artificially by creating many unnatural backlinks pointing to its page. Your website may be penalised if you are found to be ‘over-optimising’ your website. (Learn more about Google penalties in our article here.)
What to do?
Working on SEO and page ranking is a fine balancing act these days. You need to increase and maintain your ranking in order to stay visible on Google. You also need to adapt quickly to Google’s announcements and guidelines in order to stay on top of your game and ensure steady web traffic. It is recommended to find a trusted, experienced SEO marketer that will help you to achieve this.