Getting penalized your website is the worst situation many webmasters and online marketers have gone through during sequential updates in both and it is one of the toughest things to get it out from that penalty. If your website falls into that category, you need to understand all the updates and should have knowledge from its root. This post will help webmasters and marketers to understand the basics of Panda and Penguin updates and the impact delivered with each release made by Google.
At the end, we have concluded key points which are already tested and proven to get recovery from these two updates. Let’s have a detailed look at the history of Panda and Penguin.
Panda 1.0, 24th Feb 2011
It was the first time Google introduced its updates in its SERP in US and major English speaking countries. The primary target of this update was to eliminate all the sites which were being appeared in result with the help of content farms, scrap sites, sites using duplicate content and unnatural linking, it has impacted almost 12% of search queries and proved to be most successful update by Google for cleaning up its search result for sites with unethical black hat SEO techniques.
With SEO point of view, this led to deleting duplicate content on the sites and improving efforts for overall quality of the content on the website.
Panda 2.0, 11th April 2011
After a month, it introduced second data refresh improving its quality to capture websites with duplicate content and allowing users to block websites from their SERP.
Panda 2.1, 10th May 2011
Till scrap websites with smart Black hat technique appeared in result, it has improved the quality of an algorithm to detect and evaluate scrap websites based on various new factors.
Panda 2.0, 16th June 2011
So far, all the previous updates in panda were to focus on low quality sites and eliminating them from the search result. It was the first updates which imposed some new rules to give more priority to websites which have unique and original content that those which didn’t. This time, it didn’t affect on bad sites but given priority to websites with original content, thus pushing back the websites in SERP with low quality content. Certain websites which were being appeared on top due to keyword stuffing in content or domain get evaluated from result and new rules for determining relevancy between content and linked keywords had been imposed.
SEO point of view, websites with overly optimized content got pushed back in the result and force webmasters to focus exclusively on relevancy of content and keywords linked from that content.
Panda 2.3, 23rd July 2011
Small updates in algorithm giving priority to websites which upload fresh and unique content regularly, impacted small websites with few pages and eliminated all dead websites without any updates for considerable amount time. It gave priority to the website which updates fresh content regularly among top websites with quality content.
Things became tougher for link builders and SEO service provider, along with focusing on quality and relevancy of the content; they have to take care of regularity of content as well.
Panda 2.4, 12th Aug 2011
So far Panda updates were applied to English speaking countries, it has impacted non English SERP and applied the same rules to evaluate the quality of a website in non-English SERP as well. Around 6-9% of sites in SERP got affected with this update.
Panda 2.5, 28th Sept 2011
Good news for all website owners, it has updated its database and index the panelized websites which have updated quality content and links and eliminated duplicate content and unnatural links from irrelevant sites. 2% of the search queries had been affected with that update.
After this, there were 5 updates in the algorithm. Panda 2.5.1 on 10th Oct, 2.5.2 on 13th Oct, 2.5.3 on 19th Oct, 3.0 on 18th Nov and 3.1 on 18th Jan. All these updates were notified by tweets by Google and were intended for SERP data refresh.
Panda 3.3, 27th Feb 2012
Till this, Google didn’t reveal anything about fixed criteria for improving the quality of the website, with this data refresh it has made 40 new changes in its search result and highlighted each update with little information on each on its official blog here. The better semantic algorithm had been introduced for improving the ability to prioritize the relevancy of the content, link value from other sites and imposed new rules for evaluating quality of link to a specific website.
SEO point of view, it reduces the importance to some of the link building techniques like link exchange, link wheel and link buying. Some rules for content and link optimization have been redefined.
Limitation on keyword density, placement of targeted keywords and varying anchor text became necessary to reduce the ratio of over optimization, sites which are heavily optimized with point of content experienced down ranking.
Panda 3.4, 24th Mar 2012
This updates targeted all the big content networking websites and blog networks. Buying blog post or featured links on general blogs was still able to get the result, as blog network and content network themselves affected badly; it reduces the importance of utilizing these content networks for optimizing websites.
It has eliminated the link building methods like irrelevant blog commenting and buying features links from the home page of the blogs. Websites which depend solely on content and blog network for back link acquisition impacted highly with that update. The use of blogging for social media optimization had been given low priority and focused on genuine social media optimization had been recommended by industry experts to recover from this update.
Panda 3.5, 19th April 2012
It’s another big update after panda 2.4 which affected around 11.8 % of the search queries. This time new rules of the page layout algorithm combined together to evaluate better websites and impacted positively to websites with matched with good content and page layout design. All the sites built for ease of earning revenue through advertisement without the use of quality and original content have been eliminated from the SERP. Algorithm for detecting low quality spoon content and detecting overly optimized websites have been improved.
SEO point of view, it was end of advertising network, article spinners or any kind of smart interlinking techniques which were working so far.
Google Penguin Update, 24th April 2012
So far there are two updates from Google in Penguin. The objective of the Penguin updates to evaluate the quality of links and quality of websites which link to other sites. It was also intended to detect some of the black hat techniques like cloaking, too much redirection and link schemes. It had impacted all the websites which had achieved ranking with excessive amount of backlinks from low quality websites.
Thus, Panda works for evaluating the quality of the content and penguin works for evaluating quality of links, work together to prioritize the best websites in SERP for prospective search queries.
Guideline for Panda and Penguin Recovery
Improve the relevancy of content and relevancy of sites for link building.
Focus on implementing quality and original content for your website regularly.
Delete duplicate content from your website and also check content duplication between inner pages as well.
Improve Social media presence and try to get consistent quality traffic from social networking and media sites genuinely without making any financial arrangement.
Clean up certain factors like excessive interlinking, use of same anchor text, too much keyword density, irrelevant content, excessive links from same IP address websites, links from irrelevant sites and links from blog & forum spamming which can give over optimization signal to search engines.
Make sure, your website doesn’t violet guideline of page layout algorithm and evaluate User friendliness of your website and take actions which improve the overall user experience of your website.
Identify the other source of traffic on the web rather than the search engine and give importance to those websites for quality visits.
Conduct link building activities naturally without spamming to that specific website.
For detailed guidelines wait for our next post “ Panda and penguin recovery points”.