How Google’s Panda and Penguin Updates Could Affect Your Website

With pressure on search engines to deliver relevant and informative websites to their users, the methods they use to rank websites are always changing. Search engines have to work in two directions at the same time – they need to promote popular, good quality content, but they also need to be able to identify and remove spam content and make sure this does not come back in their results.

What is spam content?

Spam content is content which is of poor quality, is irrelevant to the keywords it aims to rank for, contains or links to harmful content or employs other underhand search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques in order to ‘cheat’ the search engines’ ranking systems.

Changes in search

As the market leader in search, Google often leads the way in changing the way search engines work. Recently, it has released two much-discussed updates to its process, known as Panda (released 2011) and Penguin (2012). These updates are specifically aimed at targeting spam content and reducing the rank of poor quality content, while offering a boost to sites which are popular, fresh and informative.

So how could this affect your website?

If your website is well optimised for the search engines, does not utilise any ‘black hat’ or improper SEO techniques and is bringing in the visitors, then it is likely that the update will affect you in a positive way – that is, your site’s search ranking could increase. However, if your site’s content is considered to be guilty of tactics such as keyword stuffing, or if it is hard to navigate or the content is badly written, then you might find your site losing its place in the search results.

The best way to deal with the new update is to keep ensuring that you have original, informative, popular and relevant web content that visitors will enjoy. After all, search engines return sites that people want to visit and read – their reputation is built on delivering great websites to their users. By making sure that your site is user-friendly and that the search engines can understand it by using strong keywords, you should find the search engine updates to be a great benefit to your website.