Implementing proper SEO practices to drive traffic to your site is key. Most sites use legitimate SEO practices to improve their web rating; but occasionally there are websites who implement shady web practices in order to become a top Google search. Since there are many ways to implement SEO practices (both good and bad), Google often updates their algorithm to combat sites that use black-hat SEO methods. Google uses a series of algorithms (Panda, Penguin, Pigeon) to help improve the top content that Google suggests to its customers. Each algorithm has a specific purpose, but they all work together
to help identify the websites with the most relevant content in relation to a user’s search.
- Panda: Panda’s main purpose is to reduce poor quality results in searches. Low quality results are often pages and websites that were created solely to increase the website’s ranking. Often these websites will have pages full of keywords related to your such but offer no relevant content. Trustworthy websites usually won’t be affected by any Panda updates. Make sure you’re following all of Google’s website guidelines (Google Support) if you’ve noticed a decline in recent website visits.
- Penguin: Penguin updates are very similar to Panda updates; their main purpose is to reduce the ranking of low quality sites. The biggest difference between Panda and Penguin is that the main purpose of Penguin is to remove spammy websites; this includes websites that use keyword stuffing, comment spams, duplicated text, link schemes and posting unrelated content. If your site has been affected from a recent Penguin update you’ll want to immediately address the main concerns; remove any duplicate and dummy text, create proper link schemes and start disavowing links (Google Support) asking Google to ignore spammy websites that are backlinked to yours.
- Pigeon: The Pigeon update is in place to help localize search results. Pigeon uses distance and location parameters to help improve results for local searches. Always make sure your business address and description are prominent on your site. Verify your business information with as many directories as possible (Yellow pages, Yelp, Facebook); the more consistent backlinks your website has, the higher of a ranking you will receive.
The key to recovering from a hit on your ranking is to make sure you aren’t hit with any SEO infractions in the first place. Always follow proper SEO practices to avoid losing your ranking and being grouped with spammy sites.