Even alien civilizations have heard of Google’s infamous “Panda” and latest “Penguin” updates by now.
But… just in case you have recently emerged from a simulated Mars space travel mission, what’s happened is this:
- February 2012 Google release Google Panda update to search algorithms in order to lower the rankings of low-quality websites. Reportedly this change impacted 12+% of all search results (a massive number).
- March 2012 Webmasters everywhere in uproar for various reasons, many complaining that spammers and copyright infringers were now ranking above their original content.
- (ongoing March/April/May+) Google tweak the Panda algorithm changes to improve the situation
- May 2012 Google release Google Penguin update designed to get rid of spamming & cheating websites.
With both of these algorithm changes huge numbers of low quality and spam sites have been removed or downgraded in the rankings. However, many innocent bystanders report they have been hurt by the changes too.
So what does this mean for those of us trying to make progress?
One thing we can do is sit tight and wait for the dust to settle. Major changes are occurring in the SERPs (the “search engine results pages”) on an ongoing basis, so it’s hard to come to any conclusions until it settles down.
Spend some time working on your site – get your onsite SEO up to speed (need an SEO audit?), work on improving your site page loading times (optimise your images, setup a CDN or hire a performance optimization expert), fix 404s (broken links), etc. Have a look at your site in Webmaster Tools and see if there’s anything else you should be doing.
The other thing we can do is what we should always be doing – taking the long term view of creating good quality content. Network with people in social media and try and earn quality links through creating value.
More on the Penguin update from the venerable Aaron Wall.
P.S. You can get awesome Panda speakers like the one featured in the photo above here on Amazon for only $19.99 :)