2012 The Year Of The Penguin & Panda

penguin panda

penguin panda

The title makes this article sound like Chinese New Year! Alas this article is one about important Google updates during 2012.

In an attempt to promote high-quality content, Google made major changes in the way they rank websites. When Google launched Panda in 2011, many website owners were caught by surprise after their site’s ranking sunk or disappeared completely in the search results. This year, Google has become more aggressive, and is determined to eliminate web spam and sites with low-quality content.

The following are Google’s new changes to their search algorithms and updates for 2012:

1. Panda. According to Google, many online users voiced their bad experience of search results returning a high number of low-quality websites. Due to such complaints, Google launched ‘Panda’ in February, 2011 to lower the ranking of sites that had thin or no content, or content that is farmed. This year, updates to Panda are aimed to drop the rank of any website with duplicate content, or is filled with excessive advertising. Through Panda, websites with relevant and significant content have improved their ranking.

2. Penguin. If Panda punishes websites with thin content, the latest ranking algorithm called Penguin will lower the rank of sites that spin content, practice keyword stuffing, and spam the Web. Penguin was released in April to promote ‘white hat’ SEO. It has also encouraged web publishers to create remarkable content in order to increase users’ positive experience. Since the Penguin release and subsequent updates, web spam has dropped from the top rank in search results. Websites with high-quality content and relevant links have increased visibility as they receive better placement in the search results. Today, users find websites with educational and informative content easier to locate than before.

3. Page layout algorithm. Besides Panda and Penguin, Google has made improvements to their algorithm used to determine high-quality page layout. Many users complained they had difficulty finding content on pages that were inundated with excessive advertisements. Additionally, these sites offer little or next to no content. Google took the complaints seriously, and demoted sites that placed excessive advertising above the fold. These changes gave users a better browsing experience.

4. Knowledge Graph. Google launched Knowledge Graph to improve users’ experience while searching for a popular place, building, historical figure, and more. With this new change, users receive more unexpected facts or information related to their query in the search results. Along with this, the results also display images or graphics and background information, including interactive maps.

5. Venice. Google launched an algorithm called Venice to improve the ranking of local searches. With the Venice update, local websites receive a higher ranking in the search results. For instance, when users search for certain companies, the search results will display a list of nearby businesses. Thus, it is important for website owners to use an accurate address or location as their primary keywords. The impact of algorithm changes and updates on the digital marketer

Without a doubt, websites that violate Google’s search engine rules and requirements are severely affected. Digital marketers are not excused. Google leaves them with little choice, but to do the following:

• Improve the quality of the site to get a better rank. By following all guidelines, marketers can avoid their sites from being hit adversely by Panda and Penguin latest updates. Along with these, they understand they must create remarkable content, avoid unnatural links, and prevent excessive advertising on their site.

• Create high-quality content. Marketers can promote high-quality content as a primary marketing strategy. Any content that offers to solve users’ problems are ranked favourably.

• Change the mindset. All these updates help the marketer to understand how to get ranked favourably in the search results. They also understand there are no short cuts to a higher ranking, but to implement ‘white hat’ SEO.

For the user, these changes make searching the web more pleasing. Finding the correct or accurate site is now easier and more convenient. They are appreciative as websites with low-quality content are no longer displayed. These improvements also encourage marketers to optimise their site according to the search engine’s rules and regulations. As a result, their site will rank high, receive a high number of visitors, and propel their marketing endeavour to profitability.

I hope you liked this article, the search engine landscape is a constantly changing one, with so many metrics used by search engines it’s difficult to stay ahead of the curve!

Frank writes about subjects from marketing through to outsourcing business processes like auto enrolment for Aon. In his spare time he likes to go cycling and plays golf.