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Penguins, Pandas, and Google….. Oh My!

By Erin Sparks
March 14, 2013

During the August 20th 2012 episode of Edge of the Web Radio, we discussed the chronology of recent updates to Google’s search algorithms.

The updates named Penguin and Panda were created to decrease the rankings of sites using “black-hat” SEO techniques to artificially boost their rankings in search engine results.

Google Penguin

Penguin was released in April of 2012 and targeted keyword stuffing, link schemes, duplicate content and cloaking.

The first Penguin release affected approximately 3.1% of search queries, two subsequent releases targeted 0.1% and 0.3% of queries.

Websites using manipulative techniques saw a significant reduction in web traffic due to these releases.

Google Panda

Panda, released in February of 2011 targeted sites with low quality or thin content.

The first release affected nearly 12% of all search results.  Sites not providing original content or value to readers saw their rank results plummet with the release of Panda.

What’s next?

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam recently announced what he termed a major upcoming update to Penguin.

The Penguin 4 update is scheduled to be released sometime in 2013 and will significantly impact how Penguin works.

Unfortunately, until Penguin 4 is released, there is no way for SEO firms to prepare for possible ramifications.

How have you responded to previous Penguin and Panda updates?  What advice do you have for business owners concerned about Google’s next generation update?

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