Having had a meeting with a client last week about SEO, I decided the topic of the conversation was a perfect subject to share. You may have heard people use phrases such as “panda updated” when referring to SEO practices. So, what does it mean?
Panda updates are changes to Google’s algorithm, which penalizes sites that use thin content web pages on their site. An example of a thin content page would be a page stuffed with keywords having little to no actual value to a reader. These sites were created for the sole purpose of skyrocketing SEO.
Now, there have been multiple updates to the algorithm since the original update. When the update launched back in February 2011, it affected about 12% of all sites in the index. The update was to protect original authors’ content from scrappers. (Scrappers take content from another site and had the ability to outrank the original author.)
So now that you have a brief understanding of Panda updates, you may be thinking “Aren’t there Penguin updates too?” Yes, there are!
Penguin updates are slightly different than Panda updates in the fact that they flag sites for different issues. Mainly, the Penguin changes search for typical “black hat” SEO techniques, but as well as “gray hat” techniques. Stuffing a page with nothing but keywords and no real content value is a sure way to be flagged by Google, but it was harder to flag sites using linking techniques on valid websites in order to create a net of spam. This is where the Penguin update came into play. The update affected only about 3% of all sites in the index, but it was a noticeable change for many web site owners.
These are very basic concepts of Penguin and Panda updates, but hopefully it is informative to you. Fortunately, we understand the concepts on a deeper level, that we can ensure your site is panda and penguin friendly! I’ll quote what our client said in the meeting that sparked the idea for this blog post “I’m going to leave the Penguins and Pandas to you, and I’ll just focus on my business. Ok?”
So leave the SEO animals to us, and get back to work!