Penguins, pandas, hummingbirds. Dodge these fluffy bullets and come out on top!
Google is the search engine giant of our times and this means that all website owners should find out as much information as possible about how it works in terms of ranking and rules. Google uses algorithms to place websites on result pages according to their relevance and usefulness to the user. To manage this, Google has been using some animals, to be specific, penguins, pandas and humming birds to determine which websites make it to the top of the results pages. Well, they are not really animals; they are just algorithms that do the ranking work.
This is nothing related to the famous Kung Fu panda or the panda in the forest. It is a Google algorithm that was introduced in 2011 and has been updated a number of times ever since. Panda went in with a lot of action that changed a lot in the way the search engine operated. The focus shifted to the elimination of poor quality websites in favour of rich, deep and fresh content. Since the introduction of Panda, content marketing became more intense and social media participation increased.
Another black and white animal was introduced in 2012. Google Penguin came as a response to unethical SEO practices referred to as ‘Black Hat SEO’ used in link building. Any of the manipulative link building schemes such as buying links, spam links on comments, thin sites building for link building among other tactics were the main targets. The Penguin is pretty stern on poor links and the burden falls on the website owner to ensure that all links are high quality links from good sources.
The next iteration of Googles algorithm is the Hummingbird which was introduced in 2013. The Bird’s job was to reinforce all that Google had done using the Panda and the Penguin algorithm as well as add other dimensions. Penguin focused on what existed and also on mobile searches. This is what has led to the increase in mobile responsive website designs. A lot of people are now accessing the internet using mobile devices and many would argue that it is of great importance for all websites to have strategies that make it easy for users to find them using these devices.
Dodging These Bullets
Following all the rules that Google has on ethical practices is what will assist you in dodging these bullets and escaping the wrath of these ‘animals’. If you are a website owner, then you need to make sure that your site content is of the best quality and provides useful information to the users; this will save you from Panda. To escape Penguin, you just need high quality links and provide an updated link profile. The Hummingbird is the latest and requires that you follow all the rules buy Panda and Penguins and make sure that your website is accessible through mobile devices and that everything is made more human instead of blocks of texts. Now we can only sit and wait for the next animal, sorry, algorithm.