2 May 2012 |

Pandas, Penguins and Penalties – Oh my!

Google Panda & Google Penguin

Google last week announced its latest webspam update – called the “penguin update”. This update, as explained by the Google Webmasters Blog is aimed at removing spam sites from the ranking and punish the sites adopting black hat SEO techniques. The blog, by Matt Cutts, underlined some basic principles that a website should adhere to in order to keep its rankings higher.

  1. Do not create hidden links or hidden text
  2. Do not use unauthorised tools to send queries to Google or do automated submissions
  3. Do not use cloaking (at all)
  4. Do not duplicate content
  5. Do not create ‘doorway ‘pages, sub domains or domains solely for search engines.
  6. Do not create pages with viruses, trojans or malware behaviour.

Soon after the update was implemented many sites lost their rankings – some of them completely vanished from the rankings. Google was also criticised a lot for penalising authentic sites and showing irrelevant results in rankings. One of the funniest examples of the update faux-pas was pointed out in the comments on Google’s announcement of the webspam algorithm change:

Joseph said…

Anyone who’s looking at the results rather than what Google claims will know this did nothing to help webspam. For instance #10 for “make money online” …
makemoneyforbeginners.blogspot.com
I’ve seen countless more examples of minimal content pages ranking now. I guess that’s one way to get around the “over-optimization” filters … just don’t have anything on your site to optimize!

The comment was posted after encountering a blank blogpost on page one for keyword “make money online”.

The criticisms of the update even resulted in a petition against the Google Penguin Update. Maybe Google too realised that Penguin was not as successful as Panda – later that day Matt Cutts was seen tweeting companies, asking them to give their feedback on Penguin, reminding them that if someone wants to report spam that Google missed, they can send the feedback to Google. It clearly shows Google is not very sure of Penguin as yet and is looking to improve it further.

Whatever Google’s plans for further updates are, Penguin has definitely given its winners and losers, and it seems there are still more surprises to come. So, it’s better to give your SEO techniques a second check and make sure they are strong enough to stand against… THE PENGUIN! :). The trick is simple – as always said by Google “Create Content for Users Not Search Engines, Links Will Come Naturally”, just what we believe here at Tamar – NATURAL IS THE BEST!

Team Tamar

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  • sunaina

    I guess its a tricky business for Google too, the delicate balancing between keeping the genuine clients happy and not loosing authenticity altogether. very well written excerpt. Will keep the generation SEOs on their toes! happy searching folks!

  • James Adcock

    Who the hell does that TODAY?!?!?!?

    Do not create hidden links or hidden text
    Do not use unauthorised tools to send queries to Google or do automated submissions
    Do not use cloaking (at all)
    Do not duplicate content
    Do not create ‘doorway ‘pages, sub domains or domains solely for search engines.
    Do not create pages with viruses, trojans or malware behaviour.

    I don\’t think you understand what the Penguin or Panda update was………

    #FAIL

  • http://www.henrysblog.co.uk/ Henry Elliss

    It’s always good to see Google reaffirming their policy of “Do no evil” – though it would be nice if they could be a little less contradictory at times. Lots of people seem to have been hit by this latest update, and the prospect of “Negative SEO” has reared it’s ugly head again…

  • http://www.tanyagoodin.com Tanya Goodin

    Recent comments on the need for Google to be a bit more transparent and *explain* their actions/moves more clearly are very welcome.

  • Nara

    Basically, Google tries to make engine more intelligent and SEO more advanced. I think,companies will have to work harder on their SEO to stay on Top…

  • Simran

    These updates are much needed to keep everyone on their toes and realise the benefit of good, clean SEO. Although, it’s a pity to see genuine websites loose rankings.