Penguins? Pandas? What SEO Is and What It Means For You

These days, many people must think that Google is trying to create some sort of zoo. Every time you hear something about Google’s search engine and updates to it, you hear the name of a different creature.

If you own a website, then you should pay attention to any time you hear about Google releasing a new update named after one of these critters. The latest updates to the most used search engine in the world, Panda and Penguin, have demanded webmasters change the way they go about building their websites.

Here’s just a few biggest changes to online marketing brought about by these beasts:

5. Panda Devalued Low-Value Sites, Not Just Pages

When it was implemented in February 2011, Panda caused quite a stir. It wasn’t the cute and cuddly spirit of the panda that embodied the changes brought about by this algorithm, but the more vicious, bite-your-head-off nature that was displayed by countless websites that feel in their search engine result rankings.

This occurred by the change that Google made to their search algorithm. Instead of valuing each page separately, Google implemented an artificial intelligence algorithm that allowed for the value of entire websites to be processed.


4. Panda Put Quality Over Quantity

Content has always been powerful, but it hadn’t always been quality that made it king.

With the initial Google Panda update, the quality of content is now put above many of the other factors that were attributed to influencing how well a page did in search engines.

When many websites were pushed down in rankings, webmasters complained. As Google addressed other problems with the Panda update, they offered webmasters one piece of advice: look at the quality of your own content.

Rich, unique content is now what matters.


3. Panda Cracked Down on Over Optimization

Google intended for Panda to pressure webmasters into looking at the quality of their content. Some people rejected this and chose instead to optimize their content as best they could.

Google noticed this and responded to it by giving this type of strategy a big over-optimization penalty. Things like keyword stuffing, interlinking a network of your websites and low quality back links should all be avoided.


2. Penguin Devalued Link Spam

One of the biggest problems on the Internet is spam. Link spam has been seen in the form of blog comments, profiles, gibberish pages and every type of page you could drop a link on.

In an effort to further encourage quality content creation, the Penguin update devalued low quality links. That means links from pages with thousands of outbound links or links with little word context around them aren’t worth much.

This also means that links inside of paragraphs of text and those that interlink the pages contained within a website are more important than ever.


1. Penguin Pushed for Less Paid Links

In a move to fight webmasters who preferred optimizing their content for bots instead of people, Google has been on the lookout for paid links. Matt Cutts has even gone on the record warning against paid links by saying that paid links can result in your website being penalized.

The best way to go along with this change is to avoid paid links. Focus on the quality of your content. If you’ve been spending money on links, try to focus on paying your authors better or finding an SEO firm that can help you focus on on-site optimization.

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