Google is the leader in the online world and is breaking new ground in the internet search. Google owns almost 2/3rd share in the industry till this time. Today Google is the biggest company present on the whole web! Google updates its search functionality very frequently almost more than 10 times in a day. For the past 4 years, some fundamental changes have been a spot in Google’s search model. Just like it was only two years ago that the Panda and just one year ago when the penguin was unleashed onto the cyber world! Since the very first day these algorithms were released, they have become a very hot SEO topic.
These names really do give out a friendly image of the algorithms. But they are not friendly at all! They have punished and penalized a great number of websites and blogs. But the question is that what are these about and how do they affect websites?
Why are these Algorithms Essential?
If all these updates are about something, they’re about Search Engine Optimization. SEO is good because of it, you can take your website to a better level and make it rank even higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). But in particular, that is where the problem exists. It gives a shortcut to the webmasters where they can just pass over creating quality content, and still be able to take their low-quality content to a higher ranking.
Since the day it was born, Google has been continuously improving its whole search algorithm, but Google’s every update was dodged by black hat optimizers no matter what Google had to throw at them. Basically, these black hat SEO techniques defeat the basic goal of Google, which is to provide quality content to readers, instead of webpages that spam the web and gain high authority in the SERPs. Hence, an advanced spam screening and filtering mechanism were required which would filter out spam and let quality through.
So basically, all these algorithmic updates are released for delivering quality and filtering out spam.
Google released the Panda on Feb 24, 2011. Without wasting even a second, the Panda immediately made its mark and hit so many websites and blogs shaking the entire ranking structure. New websites started gaining ground in the SERPs and some old websites started to come down. According to Google, the Panda was indented to filter “low-quality content”. Since its launch, Google has made changes to it 25 times. And a total of 12% of websites and blogs have been affected by this algorithm.
Google Penguin was introduced on 24th April 2012 to the online world. It aimed at penalizing spam websites with link farms, hidden content, keyword stuffing and copied content. Since its release, it has affected a total of 3.1% blogs and websites. Before its release, Google said;
In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at web spam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted web spam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.
Panda and Penguin Penalty
Once again, these updates are aimed at punishing spam websites, although there could be a lot more reasons for the updates to hit your site. A picture speaks a thousand words.
So for a way better explanation, take a look at the images below:
Google Panda & Google Penguin Infographics
Why have you been affected?
The exact reasons why any site or blog got hit are known only to Google. Google does not give out any kind of technical knowledge about its algorithms, because if they do, search engine optimizers would try to become successful in cheating Google once again. So Google doesn’t reveal all the details, thank you very much. Here are, however, some causes as to why you took a hit.
- High keyword density / Keyword stuffing – Blogs and websites with high keyword density call out loud to search engines; “check me! check me!”. And search engines hate it when you call them out loud. Search engines consider this practice as a form of spamming. It was 10 years ago in the past when pages were ranked by a number of keywords and keyword stuffing was a good SEO practice but not anymore. Never forget that.
- Lack of good user experience – Google has been giving a hell lot of importance to this lately. Pleasing the search engine is one thing. Pleasing the visitors is another. Even if your website has proper SEO, if it lacks a good user experience then it’s the reason why your hit.
- Over-optimization – Now this is crucial. Websites lacking quality content are just over-optimized. So it is better to do what is important, and just create quality!
- Duplicate content – People think it is a lot easier to copy content than actually creating it, but it makes things harder. You see Google not only hates plagiarism but also penalizes the website. So never ever try to copy something from another source.
- Virus and Malware – No one likes a website that infects their computer with viruses and malware. Hosting malware on your site, or even having spamming scripts can trigger the alarms for Google.
- High Bounce Rate – Slow loading blogs and websites often have a high bounce rate as they are hated by both people and Google. Reduce site loading time as much as possible by reducing the number of advertisements and other heavy scripts and graphics to make sure your site is way more faster. Don’t even make the page look dull and grey. Be smart and yet creative!
That’s all we had to share today. Some more detailed posts of this series are awaiting you where we are going to discuss reasons for failure, how to avoid them, and best practices. Give us your feedback in the comment section below. Peace and blessings! 🙂