No, they aren’t the illustrations you see when you go onto the Google page, although they’d make pretty good cartoons. In a web context, Google Penguin and Panda are updates to the algorithms that Google uses to decide whether your site is worthy of a high ranking or should be relegated to the lower echelons where nobody but the most dedicated surfers will ever see it.
You don’t want to be there.
The latest Panda update was launched in October, and was designed to improve user experience by weeding out poor quality web content, keeping the high quality websites at the top of the coveted Google search rankings
Penguin is aimed more at punishing the spammy websites whose SEO managers (or designers) use dubious techniques to try and climb the search rankings. It was originally launched in 2012, and brought in to attempt to reduce the number of sites that violate Google’s guidelines, using sneaky techniques like Black Hatting which manipulate searches by adding dodgy links and repetitive words and phrases to a website.
The techniques have been successful – you won’t see so many sites with terrible content, stuffed with repetitive keywords anymore, and any SEO expert worth their title knows that not only does overuse of keywords sound terrible; it’s now ineffective as an SEO tool too!
Clearly, you won’t need to worry about Penguin updates if you have an expert in charge of your SEO – SEO experts will avoid using any underhand methods to try and confuse searches into promoting your pages. There’s another planned update to Penguin, which rumour has it is fairly imminent, so make sure that you have your SEO expert on hand to check whether this has any effect on your own web traffic, and be ready to make any changes that are necessary.
Keeping your content fresh, relevant and top quality is the best way to avoid your site disappearing into obscurity after another Panda update. We probably don’t need to say this, but don’t ever be tempted to copy and paste any of your web copy from another site, ether, as that’s an instant loss of points from Google. Add new, original content as often as possible.
To make sure that you don’t fall foul of any updates in the future, get an SEO expert on the case!