Effects of Google Panda and Penguin on SEO – Part 1

To ensure better user experience, Google has done the updates in its algorithms named Google Panda and Penguin updates. Panda discouraged old SEO strategies whereas Penguin discouraged excessive backlinking to provide useful, high quality information by avoiding pages containing sneaky promotional stuff and ads. Particularly Google Panda was performed to remove pages with low quality contents and rubbish articles. Further Google Penguin update penalized sites containing excessive backlinks replacing them with sites containing high quality content and relevant links. Both of those updates resulted most effectively by ensuring the high quality of search results as well as motivating the webmasters to avoid too much backlinks and poor contents.


panda-penguinEarly in 2011, changes have been happening on the landscape of search results. Many websites disappeared from the first page of search results. Some sites took their place. Then everyone was talking about the change in Google’s algorithm. Since then webmasters and bloggers have changed their approaches in writing and techniques in search engine optimization. Google Panda and Penguin updates have massively affected the ranking of websites, but such change was for better user experience. Both changes discouraged over-the-top optimization and production of so much poor content.

Difference Between Panda and Penguin

Google Panda was implemented to remove low quality content from the first page of Google search results. The idea was actually to distinguish pages with poor content from ones with good, unique content. Poor quality content gets good slots in SERPs due to excessive link building strategies. A few years back, you could find rubbish articles that rank high on Google and you wondered how it got there. That was why the next update was necessary.

The Penguin algorithm further improved the quality of search results by putting a lid on unreasonable link building. Too much backlinking caused many websites to gain good spots in search results despite their lack of useful content. Google penalized sites that had high ranking due to excessive amount of backlinks. Backlinking was a strategy that put websites on top of search results through backlinks from hundreds or thousands of sources regardless of their relevance. Google Penguin removed such websites from their high ranks and replaced them with websites with high quality content and relevant links.

Effects of Panda and Penguin

The first wave of algorithm shift roused website owners and internet marketers from their comfortable complacency. Those who were content at simply tossing spun and keyword rich content were on their toes to change their strategies to keep their places in SERPs.

The Panda updates target the websites with duplicate content, low quality inbound links, and too many inappropriate ads. The new algorithm also targeted pages with low content or those with keyword-stuffed content. The aim is to motivate webmasters to produce web pages that offer more quality to the users. Websites with the above-mentioned issues were given lower rankings. Google ensures that only high quality websites occupy the high spots in search results.

Penguin, on the other hand, discouraged too much link building, an activity which used to bring websites on top of the SERPs but is now obsolete. Website owners who wished to put their sites on the first page of SERPs had to buy links. Most of these backlinks come from irrelevant sources, giving your website a bad name. Those sites had gotten enormous web traffic until the algorithm shift took place.

With the Penguin update, websites that had too many irrelevant backlinks were penalized. They saw their rankings drop as a result of surreptitious SEO strategies.

The whole point of Panda and Penguin algorithms is to improve the browsing experience of users so that they get to pages that provide useful, high quality information, and not to pages laden with ads and sneaky promotional stuff.

Read Part 2: Effects of Google Panda and Penguin on SEO – Part 2


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Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

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