Google Penguin and Panda 3.5 – too much change, too quickly by Tony Thornby
When it all goes wrong – and it is – how are they going to know what bits of their algorithm changes caused it? It looks like Google Panic to me
NEW GOOGLE SEARCH RANKING ALGORITHM CHANGES – AN OUTLINE
Google is going crazy with changes in its search ranking algorithm – In my view, most probably because of the impact that the world economic situation is having on their Adwords search advertising revenue.
If you thought that its Panda change was over, think again. Here’s an interesting Search Engine Land article about Panda 3.5 which was released on 19th April 2012 – http://selnd.com/IZ8WeM
Almost simultaneously, Google has launched a search algorithm update called Penguin – targeted art web spam. Google defines what web spam is at http://bit.ly/IZ9gu8. You’ll notice they include a form to report web spam – what an open invitation for your competitors to stir up trouble for you that is!!
Want to poke the penguin yet?
THE PENGUIN ALGORITHM CHANGE
Penguin was launched on April 24 with the stated intention of better detection of websites using tactics against Google’s webmaster guidelines, such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, and link schemes.
The stated eight specific targets:
(1) Hidden text or hidden links
(2) Cloaking or sneaky redirects
(3) Automated queries to Google
(4) Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
(5) Creating multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content
(6) Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other
(7) “Doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as
affiliate programs with little or no original content
(8) Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first
ASSOCIATED GENERAL GOOGLE GUIDANCE:
(1) Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank
(2) Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc
I have news for you Google, companies have a legitimate need to know where they rank for phrases where they would like to be on page one of search results. Links obtained by offline methods are just as manipulated as any other and don’t deserve any more credit – if you cannot detect and down-value these, you are just tipping the balance in favour of big spending corporates at the expense of SME.
Google do offer a reporting mechanism if you think your site has been unfairly hit by Penguin: But they did a similar thing after Panda launched and that Webmaster Central thread filled up with thousands of responses – mainly complaints when sites’ rankings crashed and income plunged – no doubt Google will be inundated again.
None of this is new. It’s just that now Google thinks it has a better way to enforce them. As for the Penguin name, perhaps Google’s 2011 Earth Day Doodle gives some clues to the names of future algorithm updates:
WANT TO POKE THE PENGUIN NOW?
You might get it the first time – after poking it a dozen or more times in quick succession – but watch out if you try again
A PRACTICAL EXAMPLE OF THE PENGUIN IMPACT FROM ‘SEO BOOK’
“The first page of results for a recent search for ‘baseball cards’ included:
– a user-driven aggregator site with a thin affiliate post made years ago & attributed to a site that no longer exists
– a Facebook note that was auto-generated from a feed
– an old blogspot splog
– a broader tag page for a social site
– a Yahoo! Shopping page that was completely empty
Google has bad algorithms when they rank literally blank pages simply because they are on an authoritative domain name. The SERPs lacked expert blogs, forum discussions, & niche retailers. In short, too much emphasis on domain authority yet again.”
SEOBook says “Now more than ever SEO requires threading the needle: being sufficiently aggressive to see results” These sort of updates harm the ability to do SEO consulting for anyone who isn’t consulting the big brands. “
Is Penguin Fully Live?
Sometimes it can take a few days for an update to fully rollout across all Google’s various data centers, which in turn means impacting all its search results. In this case, the rollout is complete. Google confirms that Penguin is fully live.
Relevant other sources of information and opinion