Google’s Big Three: Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin
Algorithm updates can be a sensitive subject depending on who you talk to and in this past year, its been a hot topic among SEO circles. Most recently, “Hummingbird” was released and has become one of the most successful algorithms presented in the past decade. Released in September, Hummingbird was a response to the newest trends in consumer search behavior. These trends included the ingenuity and constant updates and additions in our smart phone technologies, the overall growth in mobile searching, and the new part that social media and mobile phone apps are taking in regards to searching. At a time when consumers are searching through their social media pages and their phones, this has created a widening gap in our search behavior and has called for the mighty Hummingbird.
Hummingbird proved to be more than its previous counterparts, including recognizable data in regards to context, semantics, and intent within the algorithm. This was a natural shift within our increasingly technological world; bridging the gap between strict “exact match” search results to actual language interpretations. Following Hummingbird’s release, discussions began regarding how this update would affect Google’s previous algorithm champions “Penguin” and “Panda”, however their has been no information given to show that either algorithm has been affected.
Panda took the internet by storm in February 2011 and then again in March of this year after Google announced that adjustments were being made. Panda became a heavy hitter, taking swings at duplicate content and infrequent data and content. Low-quality sites became less valued and had their ratings reduced. On the flip side of that, better rankings were provided for high-quality sites with frequent, original content. Penguin has also been a big player in the SEO world since its introduction in May 2012. Penguin sought out over-optimized inbound links, low quality links, and the misuse of keyword use in site content, links, comments, etc. Penguin addressed these issues, forcing sites to consult their own SEO practices and manually address the site’s issues.
As stated earlier, different people have different opinions when it comes to these algorithm’s and what it means for their site. As a company or webmaster, you would like to stay out of the way of these three web-police. Keep your content updated with quality, original content and stay away from poor inbound links. Play right, play safe, and boost those rankings responsibly.