The two endangered species are now the most ferocious animals creating havoc in SEO world. I think you have already guessed it; Panda & Penguin. And the credit goes to Google who has made this evolution twist in a matter of one and half year contradicting the Darwinian principle regarding slow pace of evolution process.

Google Panda & Penguin

Why am I discussing this stuff though both these algorithm changes are quite old now? Yes, there are thousands of articles, discussions, videos etc. on these changes providing ample quality information and insights. But my curiosity plays around the fact that there are a good number of sites still penalized by Panda even after one and half year of its release. Thousands of sites are still got hooked in the position where they went after the first or recurring blow of Panda. Though our innocent devil (for spammers only) Penguin is comparatively younger than Panda, still six months have already gone since its arrival. The periodic refreshes in these two algorithm changes have affected the search results with varying degree of impacts. So, let’s have a quick review of these two.

What you should know about Google Panda algorithm:

Panda was released on February 24, 2011 affecting 11.8% search queries in US. But prior to it, Google had announced in January, 2011 that a constructive correction was in pipeline to address the problem of shallow and low quality contents. But no one had thought that it would affect in a huge way. Panda was basically against the scraper sites and content farms producing low quality contents or generating duplicate contents by modifying the original contents. So, in reality they don’t add any value or provide any unique information on the existing one. Panda is all about quality. Google always emphasizes to provide the best user experience in your site. So, it is quite obvious that such a change would come. Till date, there are 21 updates in Panda algorithm. On April 11, 2011, Panda was released internationally for English search queries. The important thing in this update was the incorporation of signals drawn from users’ complains and Google also announced that 84% of changes due to this update matched with users’ signals. On August 12 in the same year, Panda rolled out to other languages except Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The key point about Panda is that it is a site-wide penalty. That means if you have low quality contents in some pages in your site or have same stuff in different pages, then be sure that your whole site is going to be penalized. Ranking of all pages including pages having quality contents will be down. Panda is being considered as a ranking factor.

What you should know about Google Penguin algorithm:

Penguin algorithm was released on April 24, 2012 affecting initially 3.1% of search results. Till now there are 3 updates in this series. Its aim was to target the web spam activities or it was specifically termed as over-optimization penalty. It was a long awaiting step from Google. As the term “over-optimization” covers up both on-page and off-page optimization processes, you should better be aware of both these factors. Some aspects related to over-optimization are aggressive promotion using exact anchor text, low variations in anchor texts, keyword stuffing in contents or in internal and external linking, linking to low quality sites or sites banned by Google etc. Penguin is not a manual penalty. So, reconsideration request is not going to help you. Google sends warning emails about spamming activities to your webmaster mail account. Some SEO professionals feel that if you clean those spam and send a reconsideration request to Google, then your ranking will again increase. But you should remember that as Penguin is more about algorithm penalty, so reconsideration can’t increase your ranking. Google will crawl your activities as it always does and if you have cleared your spam, then in its next update, your ranking may rise but it is not guaranteed.

What to do if you get affected by Panda and Penguin.

  • Obviously the first step is to go through Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Try to analyze your site and your off-page optimization process to find out where you violate the guidelines. You can do it through experienced SEO professionals.
  • Google always prefer quality, uniqueness & freshness in your site to provide the best user experience. So check whether the contents in your pages stand up to these factors.
  • Any duplicate or low quality or shallow content has to be removed and replaced with quality and in-depth content.
  • Never try to over-optimized contents by keyword stuffing. Your style of representation should be natural and unique.
  • Never buy cheap contents from the market. Try to prepare it yourself or through high quality content writers. The content should be unique, well researched and should provide new insight in the subject.
  • Internal linking must be well articulated. Don’t try to push keyword rich anchor texts in all linking.
  • Never link to low quality sites or sites that are banned by Google. If there is any such link, remove immediately.
  • In your off-page promotions, try to maintain relevancy and quality. Be sure to link only relevant and quality pages as Google is now giving more importance to relevancy than PR . Otherwise Google would consider it as unnatural.
  • Site-wide link is not troublesome if that site is relevant & of high quality. As per Google, these links must have no-follow attribute for non-relevant sites so as not to pass PR juice.
  • If you have some site-wide links in low quality sites, then remove them by request. If there is no response from the site, you may go for “Disavow” option released by Google last month.
  • Anchor texts for inbound links should not be keyword-rich. Don’t promote only exact anchor texts in your link building process. Try to give enough variations to theses anchor texts.
  • The last option is; if you don’t see any rank development by following these procedures, you should start with a fresh site.

No one knows completely about Panda and Penguin and the periodic updates in these. But we can safely say that it is all about quality. So, the best thing is to follow the Google guidelines and maintain that throughout your development process both on-page and off-page.

Dillip Kumar Mohanty
About Dillip Kumar Mohanty:

He is the co-founder & director of SUVAANCE Internet Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd. He is passionate about search marketing & Google algorithm and is actively writing on these here. You can find & contact him at :

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