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Google Search Algorithm - Panda and Penguin Updates

by in Inbound Marketing
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Trying to Keep up with Google’s Ever Changing Search Algorithm to Boost Your Search Engine Ranking?

The SEO industry is an ever changing landscape that needs one to be extremely alert to changes, and be prepared to handle the changes. The only constant thing with Google search algorithm is change. Google search algorithm keeps on changing from time to time. The reason for this constant change is to prevent rogue site owners from manipulating Google page ranking criteria such as keyword usage, and link building. This is particularly good news to sites that have always maintained quality content, and which follow white hat SEO techniques.

Google controls about 67% of the search engine market; therefore, Google can afford to make rules, and change them as often as it pleases. To put this into perspective, Google’s closest competitor is Microsoft’s Bing which controls only 16% of the search engine. This explains why many SEO experts make it a top priority to understand Google search algorithm.


Google has been making latest SEO updates through what it terms as Panda and Penguin. Many site owners are, however, left wondering what real differences exist between Panda and Penguin Updates. Here is a summary of the breakdown:

Google Panda Update Overview

When Google launched its Panda Update, it stated that they were carrying out a crackdown on sites that contained contents that have low-value; sites that have little use to the visitors. As a consequence, such sites would be downgraded in the search engine ranking. Instead, sites that provide well researched, thoughtful analysis and in-depth reports would receive higher ranking in the search engine. This is meant to curb sites with low value content created by black-hat SEO site owners, as well as those sites that are manipulating Google search algorithm. The Goal is to ultimately improve the quality of content online so that online pages don’t get stuffed by useless and low value content.

Google has been releasing various Panda updates since Feb 2011. The first time it was launched panda update targeted sites with thin content. Among the sites that were hard hit by this action were the content mills, which publish low quality content just for search engine ranking. Many of these content mills experienced a nose diving of their search engine ranking. Also, targeted are those sites that engage in content scrapping. Content scrapping is where a site copies content from another site with the aim of out-ranking it. Thus, Google search algorithm is put in place to ensure that content scrappers do not outrank the original sites. Many sites that engage in content scrapping have since been penalized by Google.

They say content is king, but if the content is king then quality content is the emperor. As seen with panda updates, only those sites with quality and original content are confident of performing well in search engine ranking.

Google Penguin Update Overview

Google Penguin was launched in April 2012. Google penguin update, at the time of its launch, indicated that Google is targeting those sites that are engaged in web spam. This has gotten to do with black hat SEO techniques like keyword stuffing, irrelevant outbound links, and other aggressive black hat techniques that are meant to cheat Google search algorithm. Also, using aggressive search engine tricks like overuse of exact-match domains, aggressive exact-match anchor text, blog-spam, and low quality marketing like placing links in forums and using low quality article marketing will land you into trouble. However, there were quite a number of sites that were accidentally caught in the mess, but they are required to update with Google for reconsideration, although this takes time.

If you want to achieve lasting success with Google ranking, engaging in black hat techniques like the one mentioned above will only harm you in the long run even if you may experience short term success in some cases. Employing white hat techniques (legitimate and natural techniques) is the only way to ensure that you conform to Google search algorithm. It may take you months to see positive results in page ranking if you employ only white-hat SEO techniques, but it is worth the effort and time because it will keep you off from trouble. Eventually, any black hat technique is bound to fail because Google keeps on updating its Google search algorithm.

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