Well the other animals have all been fed and put to bed but the Pandas and the Penguins are still munching their way through the SERPS. (Search Engine Results Pages). Now I don’t know about you, but out of all the others to be found at the zoo, I bet you never thought you could be bitten by a Penguin or have your website turned upside-down by a Panda did you? Google has plenty of other parts to its search algorithms (such as Hummingbird, Vince and Buffy) but Panda and Penguin are the main attraction.
For those feeling a little lost here; don’t worry I will hopefully make things a lot clearer as we go on!
How does it work?
In order for Google to bring you good relevant returns on your searches; it has to do a lot of filtering and sifting. Imagine looking through millions of indexed pages to find the right pair of shoes, in the right colour, in a store that is not that far away! Imagine your disappointment when the screen has stopped flickering, the results arrive and you are greeted with a list of dog breeders in Poland! The Google search results were doing ok but every time they improved things, others would be looking for a way to dupe the results. This gave rise to the Google menagerie and once you get an idea of what they do, you may even be impressed!
Penguin is an algorithm which looks predominantly at the quality of the links on your website. Its main job is to crack down on dodgy link farms which can devalue your website. This is a very simplified overview and there is a lot more going on but for the sake of this article I wanted to keep things as simple as possible.
Panda on the other hand is another algorithm that mainly looks at thin or poor content as well as updated content.
Together these two continue to clean-up the pages that Google have indexed and order them in such a way that enables Google to return more accurate, relevant and up to date search results. Whenever these algorithms get updated they have an impact on some websites that may have been using old or underhand means to get good positioning in Google’s SERPS which means that they have to review how their website uses SEO and adapt to Google’s changes.
What does this all mean?
Well it means that we are heading towards websites being designed and written for humans rather than trying to impress the search engines. It should come as no surprise that the sites that have been affected the most have been gambling and porn sites. There will be others but the important thing here is that regardless of whether you love or hate Google, it is working very hard to give people a better return on their search!
When you have received one of those emails or even a phone call telling you that your website could be number one on Google, just stop, think, and then ask yourself; how are they going to do that? The most likely thing would be to add your site to a link farm, which means that you have no idea where your website is linking to or where! This is the quickest way to get your site penalised by Google, then you have the fun task of getting Google to like you again!
If your content is good and answers the questions that your searching audience is asking and you have good solid links to relevant websites; then you shouldn’t need to worry. If your website is riddled with spammy content and spurious links to other sites that you have paid for, I would suggest that you take a good look at your website and get it cleaned-up. We do offer a FREE SEO evaluation of your current website, if you’re still curious about how to optimise your website to get the most out of it, just get in touch!