By Rajeen Shah on 7 August 2012 @ 9:17 AM.
Google’s ranking algorithm is constantly changing. Matt Cutts, the Google engineer who leads Google’s search engine team, stated that over 250 changes were made to the algorithm in 2011 alone. Some of the changes were minimal with small variables being changed slightly to affect the rankings. However, some of the changes were major with some sites quickly losing their high ranking positions in Google. 2012 has already brought about two major changes to the Google algorithm. They are known as ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’. This article will examine these two algorithm changes explaining how they can cause some sites to lose their positions in Google’s SERPs (search engine results page) and what can be done to cause these sites to rise to the top again.
Panda was designed to find and penalise what Google considers to be ‘low quality’ sites. To quantify what a ‘low quality’ site is, Google presented a sample group of volunteers with a number of websites and asked them to fill out a survey regarding the quality of the site. Through these surveys, they were able to find certain characteristics unique to those sites that were considered ‘low quality’. Google then examined all the sites in their network, searching for sites with these characteristics. If a site exhibited characteristics of a ‘low quality’ site, it was given a penalty causing it to fall in the Google SERPs.
Panda examines websites taking into account a number of different metrics to determine whether a site’s content is deemed “high quality” or “low quality”. They include:
Sites that lose their position in the Google SERPs due to the Panda update can rise back to the top after a few changes have been made.
Make sure that all the content present on the site is engaging and relevant to what the user was searching for. Also ensure that the design of the website is clean and professional looking. If the website is old and poorly coded, consider switching to a modern day content management system such as WordPress.
Penguin examines websites to find out whether their position in the Google SERPs has been determined naturally or if it has been manipulated by “unnatural link building”.
Penguin examines websites looking at a number of factors to determine whether a sites position in the Google SERPs has been manipulated or not. The main factors include:
Recovering from the Penguin update can be difficult, but it is possible. New links need to be built with plenty of anchor text variety and include more links to individual pages deep within a website. Links should also come from reputable, rather than ‘spammy’ sources such as blog comments and forum profiles. Indeed, if possible, pre-existing links from ‘spammy’ sources should be removed.
Google’s Panda and Penguin updates are designed to work hand-in-hand to ensure the quality and relevancy of sites present in the Google SERPs. Take steps to ensure that your site provides a satisfying user experience while maintaining a natural link profile with links coming only from high quality sources and your site will rise to the top of Google’s search engine results pages.
If you suspect that your site has been penalised by Google, you can cross reference the day traffic to your site dropped to see whether it matches a recent algorithm update. If it does, you can then work out what to do. Failing that contact an SEO expert and they’ll diagnose any issues for you.
This content was published by an author that has no affiliation with Clubnet Search Marketing, we will sometimes publish content from guest bloggers and the views, opinions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent those of Clubnet Search Marketing.