If you’re taking your first foray into the world of digital marketing, you’ll run into ominous talk about penguins and pandas. You might encounter warnings about them, or even find someone declaring that pandas and penguins have killed SEO. However, such reports are greatly exaggerated; SEO hasn’t been the victim of any foul play, not from pandas, penguins, or waterfowl. However, it is important to be aware of what pandas and penguins mean in the context of SEO.
Ferocious Pandas and Penguins; What Are They?
In short, pandas and penguins refer to two major updates to the Google search algorithm in 2011 and 2012. They had a transformative effect on the SEO industry, but an innately positive one that helped it mature into a $70 billion industry today. However, such a long period is basically a lifetime in the dynamic, fast-paced world of SEO. To understand the Panda and Penguin update, you need the context of early 2000’s content marketing.
During the first decade of the 21st century, people figured out the retrospectively primitive means by which the Google search algorithm worked. The algorithm contained many of the features such as authority and keywords that we know today, but it lacked any mechanism to enforce good quality and good faith. As such, an entire industry of content farms exploded between 2005 and 2011.
These websites churned out bad-quality, keyword-stuffed content that websites could use to boost their traffic and rank for popular keywords. While this was great for the content farms, it produced a deluge of terrible content that was getting between people and helpful, informative web content. With the position that Google found themselves in, there was a clear need to punish the content farms and reward good quality content.
The Panda and Penguin Updates
Panda was the more comprehensive of the two updates, and it permanently changed the face of the internet. It introduced an array of weighting features and penalties that served to elevate content that adhered to certain guidelines, used a modest number of keywords, and indicated good quality. Besides that, it also worked to place great value on the habits of users visiting a website. If people spend a great deal of time on a website during each visit and go to other pages, then the Panda algorithm rewarded them.
While Panda sunk the content farm industry and forced SEO to mature to its current, respectable state, that wasn’t even the intention. Rather, the goal of the Panda update was to reward a full-picture vision of what good content looked like. On the other hand, the Penguin update was much more narrowly focused. It served to punish people operating shell websites that would link to their real websites, artificially driving up the authority of these domains. Together, these two updates have succeeded in changing the digital landscape and elevating good content.
Panda and Penguin-Approved SEO
At Azonaco, we’re on top of the latest developments and trends in SEO. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in starting a content marketing program or building a blog for your website. Not only will we work to drive greater traffic and conversions, but we’ll provide you with excellent content that offers real value to your followers.