Recently, Google has been repeatedly trying to cut through the iron curtain of web spam that has been clogging the search engines. By developing various algorithm changes (known to us as Panda and Penguin), they are trying to create a better use experience. The first most notable change was Panda in February of this year, which removed deemed “low-quality” web pages and returned “high-quality” ones to the top of organic search page results.
Web spammers, sometimes referred to as black-hat SEO, have been known to make their way to the top of search engines by creating spam and “tricking” the search engines. Unlike previous algorithm updates, Panda can impact an entire site’s ranking position, rather than its individual pages. It also puts a site’s date into consideration, lowering the rank of older, un-updated sites.
On April 24, 2012, Google announced the update Google Penguin. Like Google Panda, Penguin targets low-quality web pages that are loaded with web spam and duplicate content. In announcing the new update, Google stated that their goal is to create a more user-friendly search while promoting white hat SEO. Indeed, it intends to remove sites that are altered by spam and black-hat SEO from the top of organic search results. This includes sites that are altered by link manipulation and cloaking as well as keyword stuffing and duplicate content. Google can penalize a site that has duplicate content by removing them from any relevant search results. Google is also currently considering a disavow link for web masters where you can block certain links, although this change wouldn’t be until months from now if enacted.
Essentially, Google is trying to deal with the over-optimizing of web pages. By eradicating duplicate content, Google users can find what they are looking for more efficiently without seeing the same website repeatedly in one search. Hopefully, this change will allow web designers to keep simplicity in mind and remove on-site and link spam from their sites. With the recent slew of algorithm updates, Penguin simply seems like another update in the long, ever-developing road to an optimal search engine experience.