Did your site get hit by Penguin or Panda?

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Did your site get hit by Penguin or Panda? Does it matter which one?

As most of you know Google is constantly making adjustments in how it ranks websites. The search engine continues to strive to produce what it deems are the best possible results. To do that, they reward those that develop high quality sites with high-placed rankings and penalize those that violate Google’s Webmaster guidelines. Many sources suggest that the search giant implements as many as 500 quality adjustments on a yearly basis. But, no one outside Google really knows for sure.

Google’s two major updates from the last couple years, Panda and Penguin, redefined how sites are ranked based on the quality of their content and the quality of their inbound links. If your site used to perform well but it doesn’t now, chances are it’s been affected by one of these updates. Or, if your site never has performed well, it likely also does not adhere to the new changes. Here’s a breakdown on each one:

Panda:

  • First appeared in February 2011
  • Last update made on November 5, 2012 (21st update)
  • Targets low quality sites
  • Common sites that are targeted and downgraded:
  • Poor content
    • Duplicated content
    • Poor user experience
    • Lack of content above the fold o Sites with high amounts of advertising
    • Over-optimized sites

Penguin:

  • First appeared in April 2012
  • Last update occurred on Oct. 5, 2012 (3rd update)
  • Targets sites with unnatural inbound links
  • Common links targeted:
    • Links with sculpted or exact mach anchor text. Example: You have a high number of links directed back to your site with the same type of text link
    • Links obtained via networks o Links that are commonly for sale for link building purposes.

So has your website ranking suffered as a result of either the Panda or Penguin updates? The answer probably doesn’t matter. What’s important is to be aware of what search engines require of your site or work with an SEO partner that will do that for you. Focusing on quality above everything else should keep you away from the zoo of penalties.

BTW- Rumor has it that a major Panda update is on its way.

How’s your site’s quality? For assistance in evaluating how well your site performs in the new Google environment and how to fix it if it’s not performing well, contact John Inama at 877-799-9994 ext. 2104 or fill out this form.

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