Google Panda vs. Google Penguin: What do these updates mean for your blog?

Panda and Penguin are algorithms that have been introduced and updated by search engine giant Google over the course of the last two years. For many bloggers working with old timey SEO tactics or those that have been sloppy in developing content, these updates have become a real cause for concern. Even new bloggers need to be acutely aware of the implications of these updates. Here is a breakdown of what these updates are and how they affect blogs.

What is Google Panda and how it affects your blog?

First global launch of update: February 24, 2011
AKA: Farmer Update
Number of updates: Panda has been given more than 24 updates as of March 2013.
Purpose and penalty reasons
Panda seeks to weed out websites with low quality content, those that use employ black hat SEO and violate the Webmaster Guidelines laid out by Google. The major reasons for penalty with this update are:

  1. High routine rates
  2. Content “farms”
  3. Thin content

The purpose of this update is to bring sites with high quality and high quality content to the top of rankings in the search engine.

How do the algorithms affect a blog?

Panda looks at overall content of a website. Hence, blogs with thin or duplicate content are more fully penalized.

Google tools to recover affected content


How can blogs survive the algorithm change?

Since Panda doesn’t penalize individual pages, blogs would need to take the following measures to avoid a penalty:

  1. Get rid of all low quality keywords, content and pages.
  2. Stop spinning content
  3. Write appealing, informative and well written content
  4. Use submission based back links for all unique content.
  5. Checking and eliminating/modifying over-optimized pages helps you save a blog though if you have been naughty through your blog’s existence, Panda will not be kind to you.
  6. Isolating affected pages from the safe ones also helps minimize the damage while you work on the affected pages.
  7. Working with social media promotions and brand awareness would help affected blogs recover their ranking over time.
  8. To manage thin content, informative, well-written and unique FAQ sections etc. would be deemed legit.

What is Google Penguin and how it affects your blog?

First global launch of update: April 24, 2012
AKA: Over Optimization Penalty
Number of updates: Penguin is essentially a “Google change” hence only three updates have been launched for it since April 2012.

Purpose and penalty reasons

Penguin looks at giving a proverbial slap on the wrist that is aimed at forcing websites to improve or eliminate individual low quality pages on their site thus bringing pages with a good variety of theme-based back links to the fore of search rankings. Penguin basically seeks out and penalizes pages that feature:

  1. Keyword stuffed content
  2. Anchor texts over optimized for search engines
  3. Low quality links

How do the algorithms affect a blog?

Penguin affects pages at keyword level and doesn’t damage the entire site unless it really is spammed and stuffed with keywords.

Google tool to recover affected content

To allow sites to recover the content that has been penalizes, a “disavow links tool” has been introduced by the search giant.

How can blogs survive the algorithm change?

To survive the Penguin update, your blog would need to take the following steps:

  1. Ensure that links on your site don’t look purchased. Also, ensure that these are links to relevant pages on your blog.
  2. Use the Disavow tool to eliminate excessive links that are simply tied to keywords.
  3. You can also create contextual links that are relevant for your theme.
  4. Abolish all black hat SEO tactics from your blog. There should be no space or tolerance for these practices even if you’re getting content for your blog from a number of sources. You would also need to be very careful with the quality of guest posts.
  5. Socialize your content and create content for other websites and blogs to get more natural back links flowing in. the social media promotion for your blog should be created keeping this point in mind.
  6. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
  7. Don’t try to fool Penguin. It is sophisticated enough to distinguish between disguised black hat SEO and genuinely high quality links and content.

This Post is written by Kelly. She is a writer/blogger. She writes articles on Technology, social media, WordPress, Gamification, responsive design and software development etc. These days she contributes on