Google Algorithm Updates Are On The Way

Posted on March 13, 2013

What is Google Panda? What is Google Penguin? Maybe you have asked yourself these questions before, but they will be coming to the forefront again in the near future. Matt Cutts, Google's face for all things SEO, has announced that updates to their Panda and Penguin algorithms were on the way. It looks like some will be coming within the week.

What Is Google Panda?

Panda was first introduced in February of 2011, targeting low-quality sites in an attempt to get higher-quality and more substantial sites to the top of search results. Initially, news and social media sites saw a surge in rankings and sites that contained little information or a surplus of ads were negatively impacted. Duplicate content was also a key metric in the algorithm, penalizing sites that didn't have original content or had multiple versions of the same content on multiple pages.

An update to Panda is expected to hit on either Friday (March 15) or on Monday (March 18). This will be the 25th update to Panda, with the last taking place in January.

What is Google Penguin?

First introduced in April of 2012, Penguin was originally developed to reduce web spam and to penalize sites that had link profiles that appeared to be unnatural and various black hat SEO practices. Cutts has stated that a "new generation of Penguin" is on the way and that the next update will be a significant one.

With the new Panda update just around the corner, take a quick inspection of your Analytics account and monitor your existing ranking. With the algorithm change just a few days away, there are still some things you can do to prep.

  • Duplicate Content:
    There are many things you can do if your site has duplicate content. Using no-index meta directives, 301 redirects, canonical tags, and more can all help limit the information that Google indexes on your site.
  • Include Original Content:
    If all you do is repost other people's work, you aren't really providing anything new to readers, and Google can see this. Why would Google rank you over the original creator of the content? The answer is simply that they won't. Bring fresh and interesting material to your site.
  • Flesh Out Your Site:
    Having a page on your site that only has two sentences isn't that engaging. Don't go on and on or put in content just to fill a page, but be deliberate about your site's content. If that page only has two sentences, maybe it should be combined with another page. Or maybe you should bolster it with additional content that users might find helpful.

So start monitoring your site traffic over the next couple of weeks to see if Panda is having an impact on your site.

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