With the endless amount of information on the World Wide Web, it’s important to not only be able to access what you’re looking for, but to access original, in-depth and informative content. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is used by websites to increase their page rank in Google to be seen easier and ahead of the competition. SEO can be done by inserting keywords, linking between pages, and creating fitting title and anchor tags. Also important and not forgotten about is the quality of the pages themselves and the content on them. Google Panda and Google Penguin are two popular SEO algorithms used to determine where content should be ranked and how much traffic it should be seeing based on content or SEO tactics. With the implementation of these algorithms, many people found themselves confused as to what the differences between Google Panda and Google Penguin are. Knowing these differences can help you keep your website search-friendly and seen ahead of the competition.
Returning Quality to Web Pages
Developed in the beginning of 2011, Panda has been updated 13 times and affects about 12% of web pages. It focuses on improving search engine results by weeding out websites with thin and not very useful content. Targeting content farms, websites with high bounce rates of traffic, and those with thin content, Panda is focused on bringing higher-quality pages to the top of search results. If a user visits a page for certain information, and it’s either not there or they simply cannot find it, and leave without interacting with the page, it’s considered a bounce. Bounces help tell the search engine if your site is performing up to quality standards of if it is receiving traffic because of its SEO strategies. Since search engines base their page ranks on not only on content, but also keyword usage and linking strategies, Panda encourages websites to vamp up their pages to more high-quality and user-friendly content and links to quality pages and resources.
Keeping SEO in Check
Google Penguin was launched in May of 2012, and is still on its first version. With SEO becoming increasingly more widely used and understood, Black Hat techniques are being used to increase page rank with no regards to quality information or user experience. These techniques are found distasteful in the web development and can include:
- Overuse and keyword stuffing in content.
- Comment spamming using links with the same anchor text.
- Many links from low-quality sites without quality information.
- Having excessive and unnatural links.
- Linking to article directories or directory listings.
- Too many external links pointing to your website that use the same anchor text.
Individuals and organizations that focus on quality content shouldn’t be ranked lower than a keyword ridden, over-linked page, simply because they’ve got less of the search word while maintaining better content. With these frowned-upon techniques achievable by almost any designer or developer, Penguin is helping to level the playing field when it comes to SEO. Many individuals and companies that found themselves greatly affected by Penguin, had spam and risky links on their sites. While the anchor tags may have had the right keywords and content, the links didn’t provide any additional content aside from higher search ranks. If many visitors are bouncing off pages on a site, Google views them as not interacting or receiving the information they’re after, which means the web page isn’t high quality. While this can sometimes be due to the visual design and layout of the page, SEO techniques are often the greatest influences for a websites ranking.
Protecting Your Websites
Knowing how the Google Panda and Penguin algorithms tackle websites and what they look for can help save your site from getting put at the end of the line, or keep it ahead of the competition. Providing your users with the information they’re looking for in an understandable, user-friendly way can keep Google Penguin and Google Panda at bay. If you find your website traffic to be hit by these SEO algorithms, consider your content quality, keyword usage and link strategy. Knowing how to get your website seen is the first step in growing a business or spreading knowledge. Pandas approach to content usage and quality and Penguins approach to proper SEO tactics keeps the well-developed and thought-out pages ahead of the competition and the lower-ranked pages on their toes.