What is Google Panda and Penguin?

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

First, there was discussion of the Panda, then it was determined the Panda wasn’t working hard or well enough, and probably was more interested in taking a nap. Now, along comes the Penguin, that playful creature which always seems to wear a tuxedo. The Penguin is supposed to take up where the Panda left off, but in a more refined – and better – way.

In either the case of the Panda or the Penguin, humans apparently are not necessary.

Google, trying to fight webspam tactics, created the Panda algorithm – sans humans for interaction – as a way to fight against over-optimization, and keep search engine optimization on the allegedly straight and narrow path.

Google says it’s targeting low quality web sites which don’t play by rules normally adhered to by proper ladies and gentlemen. Click here to view Google’s guidelines. But, the result is many good guys are getting caught in Google’s net and causing headaches even for legitimate web sites seeking legitimate results.

The Panda did not work effectively; the Penguin update is supposed to take over from the Panda and be more effective. Some results showed Panda algorithms effected 22% of queries while causing heartburn for SEO programs, but the new and improved Penguin affects only 3% of queries to fight what the bird-which-cannot-fly thinks is spam.

Estimates are the overall effect on search queries will be lower with Penguin than Panda, and Panda is not all gone, but the Penguin update seems to have in place strategies to wipe out real spam altogether with no manual (human) intervention

The lack of human intervention means if your SEO program was hit by the Penguin and you sent a request to Google Webmaster for reconsideration, the chances are very low of getting your request reconsidered since there is no human behind the penalties. It is an actual algorithm change taking place automatically.

So, what to do? One way is to post in the webmaster forum about your problem and hope for a reply. This should occur quickly, because you would want to explain to Google as to what your end-user/customer is missing instead of what you have lost due to the Penguin penalty on the site. You can also follow our tips on how to recover from the Penguin update.

This brings to the forefront of the discussion of what’s the most important: while many bury themselves in the technical details of it all – very easy to do – the main focus should always be what is best for the goals of the customer, either through driving revenues or driving responses as a result of your SEO program. All animal and fowl names, algorithms, and non-human intervention aside, customer results are what matters most; the rest can just be debated nearly endlessly.


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