A Guide to Google Updates in 2012
Penguin and Panda
The most important thing to consider before having a successful SEO strategy is to understand the newest Google updates. In 2011 Panda first appeared on February 24. Panda was put into place to spot low quality content. If Google determined that a website was in violation of this, the entire website would see a drop in their organic rankings. It only took between one to three days after the Panda update was refreshed to see a drop in these rankings.
The newest Google update is Penguin. Penguin first showed up on April 12, 2012. The purpose of this update was to target any low quality links. When Google determined if a site was in violation of this, specific pages that had several low quality backlinks would drop almost immediately. Some pages within a website would see larger drops depending on where their backlinks were coming from.
What is the Big Difference?
Initially, with panda, thin content and duplicate content was closely monitored. If there was a high ad-to-content ratio the website would get dinged. Panda also protected against poor user experience and high bounce rates. Now, Penguin looks for unnatural links and too many internal linking. This update was meant to stop people from using excessive links from low quality sites, low quality directory listings, and poor article marking.
It is important to understand each Google update in order to stay on top of your rankings. Google uses these updates to maintain quality and relevant search findings within their search engine. Both penguin and panda are in affect to make sure that websites have well-written content and natural inbound links.