Google’s Panda And Penguin: Is It Safe Yet?
Regardless of whether or not you've been impacted by them, if your business utilizes its website for online marketing, you need to be aware of how Google's Panda and Penguin updates work.
The reason this information is so important is because even though Panda was released in February of 2011 and Penguin was rolled out in April of 2012, both of these changes continue to play a role in Google's algorithm.
In fact, the search engine continues to update both components of their algorithm on a regular basis.
Matt Cutts, who works as Google's head of search spam, confirmed that Panda is updated on an almost monthly basis. And just two months ago, Google deployed a huge update in the form of Penguin 2.0. That update affected a lot of game sites, as well as some major brands.
Since both algorithm components have the potential to hold your site back from gaining the rankings you want, let's take a look at the current state of Panda and Penguin, as well as what you need to do to ensure your site's search engines rankings thrive:
Content is the core focus of this algorithm update.
"Content is king" is a phrase that has been echoed throughout the online marketing world for years. The problem was that many people forgot that this phrase is only true if "quality" is at the start of it.
Because so many sites were focused on quantity over quality, prior to this 2011 update, Google's search results were filling up with low quality content that was cranked out in no time or even spun by a computer program.
Since its initial rollout and subsequent updates, Panda has done a solid job of weeding lower quality content out of search results.
Like most components of an algorithm, this one looks for certain patterns in content. To avoid having content that seems robotic, instead of focusing on elements like word count, the best strategy is to always write directly for your target audience. That will naturally result in some posts being longer, while others will be able to deliver all necessary value in fewer words.
Links are the main focus of this update to Google's algorithm.
The way Penguin works is by identifying backlink profiles that don't look natural. If a site is simply attracting links from other sources, those links are going to use a variety of anchor text. But if a site is manually building links, over sixty percent of their links may have the same keyword anchor text.
Because backlink variety is the key to avoiding any kind of action by Penguin, the best thing to do is stop worrying about anchor text.
At the end of the day, a natural link from a respected site with the anchor text "our source" is better than a link with optimized anchor text that's from a low quality source.
Although plenty of website owners still worry about Panda and Penguin, as long as you focus on producing great content and avoid any manipulative link building, your site should continue and even improve its performance in Google.
So, how has your site dealt with Panda and Penguin in recent times?