The Differences Between Panda and Penguin
Lets review the differences between Panda and Penguin and what they were designed to do! It is very important to understand the differences between the two and how they affect your website.
The Google Penguin Update launched in April is an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change decreases rankings for sites that Google believes are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. Google noted that black hat SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing would get a site in big trouble, but other tactics such as incorporating irrelevant outgoing links into a page of content would enable Penguin to flag your website.
Websites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming sites without strong analysis, however, there is a common thread in these websites which are much more than white hat SEO; Google stated they are using webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings.
Website owners should check their Google Webmaster accounts for any messages from Google warning about your past spam activity and any potential penalty. Google says that Penguin has impacted approximately 3.1% of queries as compared to Panda 1.0 release at 12%. If you observed major traffic losses in late April, chances are Penguin was the perpetrator, even though Panda 3.5 came out around the same time.
Regrettably, Google has not defined exactly what content Penguin is picking up on, so many website owners that were impacted are left out in the cold as to where they went wrong with their onsite SEO.
The SEO community has hypothesized that some of the contributing factors might be things like:
- Aggressive exact-match anchor text
- Overuse of exact-match domains
- Low-quality article marketing & blog spam
- Keyword stuffing in internal/outbound links
Please remember that Panda is an algorithm update, not necessarily a manual penalty. A reconsideration request to Google won’t make much a difference; you’ will have to repair your site and wait for a refresh before your site will recover. In any case, do not be alarmed with a down turn in traffic, in the past when there is a major Google update like this things often come back. If you do think you have had some sort of SEO penalty as a result of the Google Panda or Penguin updates, please contact your webmaster to get help..
The Panda update was designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites which are low-value for users, who may copy content from other websites, or sites that are not very useful. In as much, it was designed to provide better rankings for high-quality sites with original content and information such as research, high quality reports, and analysis.
In addition, Panda updates are designed to target pages that aren’t necessarily spam but are poor quality. This update was the first ever to go after “thin content,” and the websites that were hit hardest by the Panda update were content farms where users could publish dozens of low-quality, keyword stuffed articles that offered little value to the reader. These websites submitted the same article to a bunch of these content farms just to get extra links.
Regardless, Panda is a site penalty, which means that if enough pages on your site are flagged for having thin content, your entire site could be penalized. Panda was created to stop “scrappers” i.e.:sites that would republish other company’s content from outranking the original author’s content.
A great number of website owners complained that even after they made changes to their sites in order to be more Panda friendly, their sites didn’t automatically recover.
Panda updates do not happen at regular intervals, and Google doesn’t re-index every site each time, so some site owners were forced to deal with low traffic for several months. This was fixed after Google re-crawled their website to check for changes.
Some of the above problems for Panda and Penguin can be avoided very easily by using a website index application on your website. For example; if you are using WordPress, there is an plugin called Google Site Maps that will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your Websites. There are also plug-in for Joomla and other Website development tools.