I know, it’s not what you wanted to hear, but the internet is a wild and crazy place. It is a highly competitive space where only the strong will survive when it comes to SEO and search engine marketing. I suppose that’s why Google would name it’s the updates to their algorithm after animals. Although I’m rarely frightened of Pandas or Penguins, you should know how they affect your business.
Both of these updates were launched with over with same basic goal. Google over the last couple of years has wanted to lower the rank of low quality websites. Remember that their business model requires that people searching the web find the answers that are most relevant to their questions.
Over the last couple of years Google launched the new animal named updates, similar in concept and yet very different in practice.
Sure, pandas are cute right? But they are still called Panda BEARS for a reason. (Forget for moment that real pandas may be related more closely to raccoons than bears!) The Panda update reinforced the idea that all the content of a website can and will affect its search rankings. No longer will an individual page be savior for the entire site. It you have a large number of pages that are flagged for having lousy content, your entire site can be penalized.
While the real animal pandas enjoy munching on bamboo, the Google Panda enjoys fresh, original content. Even tastier to Google is content that is backed with authority, and thoughtful wording. If you want to improve your search engine rankings you may want to get rid of your lousy content. Even though you may have a few pages that are excellent, the lousy stuff with no value can potentially harm the ranking of your entire site.
While real pandas eat weeds, Google’s Panda is designed to weed out duplicate content. If it’s not a good answer for the person searching through Google, they don’t want it. On a grand scale this update was in large part intended to get rid of “content farms” that republished other folks’ work as well as content scrapers and other hooligans.
Penguin is a different type of animal (I know that was obvious right?) However, we are talking about Google’s Penguin. It was specifically intended to reduce the amount of web spam. Websites that violate Google’s Webmaster guidelines can see their rankings drop.
Specifically there are few trends that Penguin was designed to thwart. The old practice of stuffing keywords into your site, using bad anchor text, purchasing links etc. is no longer going to work. While these are obviously bad techniques to use in your SEO efforts Penguin might affect you if you’re using less obvious methods as well. Take care not to incorporate irrelevant outgoing links.
Google is always a little bit secretive when it comes to their updates. They won’t go into all the details but they’ve mentioned that “Penguin targets sites that are doing much more than white SEO.” Google has their crosshairs on websites “engaging in web spam tactics to manipulate search engine ranking.”
If you find yourself at odds with the Penguin update you begin to recover your rank by losing all of the low-quality links and removing any ‘stuffed’ keywords that may be lurking on your website. When in doubt remove anything that could be interpreted as to Google as “Black hat SEO”. Most of the time Google is not shy about sharing their concerns with your site through your Webmaster Tools account. Make sure you’re checking that regularly and noting any concerns they have with your site.
Evolution – It’s time to make some changes!
Rather than making reconsideration request to Google the best approach is to make changes and fix your site. Google will eventually come back and re-index your content and then you may start to see a recovery in your search rankings. Make sure as soon as possible that you’re not in any danger of violating the Panda or Penguin algorithm updates. If you have any questions about whether your site may be in danger of violating Google’s best policies contact Click Magnet Internet Marketing today for a free site analysis.