Google Panda and Penguin
In the latest updates to the most popular search engine, the Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates have taken steps toward lowering the ranking of websites deemed to be low quality, duplicate content, scams, or spam. The Google Panda algorithm was released in February 2011, and the Google Penguin algorithm was released in April 2012.
The focal point of the Panda algorithm update was to decrease the ranking of websites with an overall poor user experience, based on criteria of Google’s human quality rating system. After Panda, but preceding Penguin, Google released another update to their search algorithm that affected websites with extensive advertising “above the fold.”
Most recently, the Penguin algorithm update targeted websites that employ black hat SEO techniques and ignore guidelines that Google has presented for webmasters. The most harshly dealt with techniques included link cloaking or hidden redirects, overuse and counter intuitive use of keywords, and the use of duplicate content.
The Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates focus on improving the quality of search results, by lowering (or in some cases altogether removing) the ranking of uninformative websites for the keywords they target.