Google Algorithm Updates Are Coming: How Panda + Penguin Are Changing


If there’s one thing predictable about Google, it’s change. This change takes place almost every single day on the world’s most-used search engine. As we all know, when Google makes changes, rankings change, which can be a very good or very bad thing depending on which side of the fence you end-up on.

Yesterday at SMX West Google’s Matt Cutts announced that a significant update to Penuin is on it’s way that is expected to have a major impact on the SEO world. Continuing to move forward with Penguin will most likely mean:

  • Much more focus put on quality of inbound links
  • Greater sensitivity to keyword stuffing
  • Link Schemes (this is where I anticipate the biggest impact to be – moral of the story, don’t buy links)
  • Duplicate content used for ranking
  • And you thought Penguins were harmless…


While many people have already stopped doing many of these things, many SEO books still preach them as techniques for ranking better. On top of that, searching in Google will lead you to tutorials with completely out-of-date SEO techniques. This probably doesn’t bug Google too much since they really don’t want you to build for them, they want you to build for the user.

In the next few days Google will be coming-out with another Panda update. This will continue to turn the crank and remove “content farms” from search results. Yes, you’ll still probably see Wikipedia in it’s usual prime territory, but smaller and potentially spammy content farms will continue to be pruned out.

I’m a big fan of both Penguin and Panda and have been since they were first released. At the end of the day you really should be ignoring SEO and instead focusing on building something innovative that people like, share, and come back to. Rather than trying to game the system buying tons of high-PR links, why not try to do something interesting that people want to write about?

Last but not least, Google is on the lookout for link networks, and they’re taking them down. I typically think of link networks being incredibly old school, but hey, they’re still around so someone must be using them…not for long.

More to come but that’s the latest fresh from SMX West. Check-back soon for the full update on Google’s Panda update planned for this Friday or next Monday.

Photo Credit: sevenblock via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: nick_russill via Compfight cc

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Mike March 12, 2013, 7:30 am

    Basically, what Google is saying “really” is that nobody is allowed to get traffic anywhere unless they say it is okay.

    Why? If you can’t get traffic from links you are more subservient to Google. You need them more for traffic, whether organic or paid.

    It’s just like Google’s coming plan to start moving your listings up or down the page based on customer reviews and complaints, a page taken from eBay. Nothing wrong with that from a surfer’s vantage, however as a merchant Google controls your fate too much.

    In this latter case, you need to please Google by being a good little merchant, and you are again placed under another layer of control, another technique to make you more subservient.

    This is why I’m not a fan of developing or SEO or Google : I refuse to be placed into a system that makes me stand up straight, shoulders back, and be a Yes Sir/No Sir kind of guy to Google.

    Why did I choose to be self-employed 20 years ago? It was not to be a worker, subservient, or a slave to someone else, and I’ll be damned if I let Google put me under their big thumb.

    I wish I could always be as positive as you Morgan about Google, etc…, but I’m a cynic at heart and I look for the faults and weaknesses first. 🙂

  • Mike at March 12, 2013, 8:26 am

    Thanks for sharing Morgan!

  • Robin March 12, 2013, 9:03 am

    Google is good for google. Google became the biggest because nobody does it better than them. Do I want to make them the cornerstone of the success of any of my projects? This is a calculated risk and relies on a business decision that factors in that risk. Google is very transparent about what they are up to, and where they are going.

  • Morgan March 12, 2013, 12:37 pm

    @Mike – good points and I really appreciate you sharing them with us! I don’t think Google is trying to stop people from getting traffic from relevant sources, they are trying to crack down on spammy link-building techniques that really did no good for anyone.

    I don’t think anyone should rely on Google for their business, but I do think that rankings are absolutely a key way to drive traffic and understanding how Google changes their algorithm can help all of us stay ahead of the curve.

    @Robin – thanks for sharing and very true! I think just like you might take a risk advertising your business in a magazine or on a blog, you have to look at Google the same way. It’s just another way to generate traffic, but it shouldn’t be the only way.

  • Jason Franklin March 12, 2013, 11:48 pm

    Great post Morgan, Spamy content and paid for links aren’t good for business in my opinion. What good is it to have 500 plus (paid for) links coming in, if the sites they are coming from are filled with bad content and sometimes crooked scheming activity? Having a lot of sites linking in is great and shows that people visit your site, but I’d rather have organic links from real visitors than paid for links from who knows what site any day.


  • Mazhar September 15, 2013, 9:00 am

    Great Post Morgan


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