Are Google’s Panda and Penguin on Your Radar Screen?
Anyone with a website has heard of Google’s new algorithms, Panda and Penguin. These algorithms are designed to help web users have a better experience when searching for content.
Due to the number of webmasters using ‘illegal’ SEO methods or Black Hat SEO, Google decided to do something about it. People were being redirected to sites that ranked highly on the search engine due to keywordstuffing, falsifying site description, and other suspect means.
What Google did was create algorithms that acted in the same way as the human website evaluators employed by Google.
Humans evaluate sites, enter in information pertaining to the site’s content, and then the algorithm learns. The search engine company worked to create more specific algorithms that would behave like humans using the engine.
Panda was released in an effort to improve the experience of users.
Sites that had little content above the fold, contained mostly ads, and were designed to only drive up web traffic for ad earnings lost rankings.
Some legitimate sites were affected, usually because of the webmaster’s poor understanding of site SEO. Google’s Webmaster Tools was created to help webmasters design their sites to best reach readers and to stay within Google’s guidelines.
People are able to report sites that are not within Google’s guidelines.
These sites can be reported from Google’s search results. People can report link spam sites, offensive/illegal sites, and phishing sites.
The software is usually effective in warning people away from potentially infected sites which webmasters can often repair thanks to the Webmaster Tools pages.
While the tool will not repair the pages, webmasters can find what pages are infected and then manually repair them or speak with their hosting company for information on how to remove the infection.
Penguin helps target sites that are manipulating links. This can be by using black hat SEO or by purchasing links.
Some methods to increase the incoming links are to place irrelevant guest posts on blogs that have nothing to do with the content of the site receiving links. Others can be by creating numerous free blogs that all linked to the original site. These free links falsely inflate the site’s rankings.
Penguin was created to root out the false links.
Too many links from sites that are not updated, are fake, or have other SEO issues may disqualify a site from Google’s rankings.
Some legitimate sites were hit during the update, though Google believes that only about 1% of English based sites were accidentally hit.
For webmasters that believe their site was dinged by Penguin falsely, Google rolled out a feedback form.
The form allows site owners to appeal the decision and list why their site is legitimate. Human employees will evaluate the site and feedback.
Many link bait sites were taken down from Google’s search results and with the implementation of yet another algorithm, Hummingbird, Google claims that their search is more human friendly than ever.
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