Pandas and Penguins: Google's Changes Upset Website Rankings

Over the past three months, Google has been refining its algorithm with updates named after animals. The first major update was Panda, and the most recent was Penguin.

Both updates threw the SEO world into a frenzy; websites that once enjoyed top positions on Google have been penalized for infractions such as keyword stuffing, low quality links, over-usage of repetitive anchor text and even thin content.

Many companies believe that having hundreds of inbound links is the magic answer to getting a top ranking, but Google prefers quality links over quantity. For example, Google puts very little value – if any at all – on links that go into your website that originate from a website whose business categories are unrelated to yours. These are called “unnatural links” and may actually result in a ranking penalty.

While these algorithm overhauls started in April, ongoing refreshes – much like after-shocks of an earthquake – are expected to continue throughout July and the coming months. If you’ve noticed a dip in your website traffic and your ranking has dropped, blame it on the Panda and Penguin.