Google’s Not-So-Scary Penguin and Panda Updates

Search Engine Optimization is really complicated. Search engine algorithms have thousands and thousands of factors and it changes constantly. New products and updates change the game all the time. A discipline of words can turn more into a complex math, probability, logic and human behavior algorithm. SEO is really complicated but… it also is not.

SEO is easy

At the most basic level, all search engines are trying to do is determine if your website content matches a query that a search engine (and a searcher) is looking for. So you need to let search engines know what content you have on what pages so that they are delivered up when people are searching for those terms.

Of course there are ways to do this: by how you layout your website pages, your content, with a good linking strategy and more. But website owners are often over obsessed with the details of optimizing their sites and not the big picture aspects – like having quality content that users will find helpful.

Google Panda and Penguin Updates

This year Google made some serious waves and got lots of website owners in a panic with two major updates – Penguin and Panda. People were analyzing, over analyzing, writing blogs and obsessing over blogs on how these changes were going to effect their search rankings. I think they overreacted.

The Panda update was made to try to track down low quality content and not rank it as highly. The Penguin update was a complex update that was trying to find web pages that were trying to trick the Google system and make sure they were not ranking high as well. So unless you were trying to trick Google or you were posting low quality content… you probably didn’t notice these two updates at all. If you were affected, you may want to work on identifying the culprit and fixing it like this website owner did.

Below are slides from a recent presentation I did on ranking better for search engines. We talked about the Penguin and Panda updates but also spent a lot of time going over the basics of ranking better. The biggest takeaway from the presentation and from these two major updates – create quality content, on a well built site that people like… and search engines will like it too!