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Difference between Panda and Penguin

     
8:49 pm on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think of myself as an avid learner of understanding Panda, considering how much it affected my income (which I am sure many can relate to).
I would just like to clear up, what I believe to be, the difference between Panda and Penguin.

In a nutshell:
Panda is a measurement of how visitors interact with your site. Which essentially comes down to design, content, features, tools, and intuitiveness.

Penguin is a measurement of how pro-active a webmaster has been in trying to rank their sites higher, whether placing lots of keywords on their pages, or building lots of links.

They are both algorithms, but I would say Penguin could be a lot harder to get out of.
9:57 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They are both algorithms, but I would say Penguin could be a lot harder to get out of.
From personal experience I would say that you are right! ;)
9:59 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Think of Penguin as being more about spam.

With regard to backlinks... for some, that line gets a little fuzzy. Freely given editorial links, even when you "beg" for them, are OK. If you begged so hard that you were given 10,000 run-of-site links all with the same anchor text, then they no longer appear to be either "freely given" or "editorial" to Google.

Intent plays a big part in it. Building profile links from irrelevant sites for the sake of directing PageRank to your site, eg, is easy to spot, and the intent is generally quite clear. So is hiding links in sponsored WordPress themes. Yes, it can be hard to recover from Penguin.
10:30 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I confuse all the time between the two.

Panda is more about the content quality and Penguin about over optimization. Right?
11:01 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yea, basically. But how they measure content quality and over optimization is a different subject.
11:15 pm on Sept 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Penguin is a measurement of how pro-active a webmaster has been in trying to rank their sites higher, whether placing lots of keywords on their pages, or building lots of links.


Well, in my experience, if your assumptions were to be correct, and I'm not saying they are not, their implementation got that totally wrong.

Scraping spam rules in many sectors, and I do not mean solely blackhatters...I see a site every day in the SERPs that did not exist before 2007, yet scraped my biggest B&M site, 1995, and another company's B&M site, and now they rank above both of us for many terms.

How? I have no idea, these guys just copied our sites, many of the widgets are only available from us, yet we rank below a scraper!

I may seem to be off-topic however it is important to understand that whilst trying to comprehend Penguin that one must realise that Google had no idea what it was unleashing on the "regular" websites whilst "supposedly" targeting the manipulators, hence the all round crazy collateral damage.
1:05 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Have you guys seen the snake oil sellers peddling what they call "Panda-safe backlinks" ? How can backlinks be panda safe ?

Penguin has only been refreshed once. I feel it might be easier to escape than Panda.
1:48 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Well if you have 100s of spamming links, then it is going to be very hard to get rid of them all.
3:39 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Penguin has only been refreshed once. I feel it might be easier to escape than Panda.

When they finally release Penguin version 2, you might be right. My feeling is that the long stretch means they need to do more than "fine" tuning. Unfortunately, until they do re-engineer Penguin (or at least roll out a new Data Refresh), it looks like anyone who was hit by version 1.0 is just plain hit.

However, since talk here has turned to spammy backlinks, it's good to remember that almost at the same time that Penguin 1.0 was rolled out, Google started their bad backlinks campaign with all those WMT messages and manual "actions". See our Monthly Reference [webmasterworld.com]

Those manual ranking demotions for spammy backlinks can be reversed manually, too. They are not the same thing as Penguin's "verdict" about a site.
6:40 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Think of Penguin as being more about spam.
In my experience it is more about over optimisation than spam.

I may seem to be off-topic however it is important to understand that whilst trying to comprehend Penguin that one must realise that Google had no idea what it was unleashing on the "regular" websites whilst "supposedly" targeting the manipulators, hence the all round crazy collateral damage.
Once again [in my experience] you are correct. I had three sites that were badly hit by Penguin on 24 April. Spam was not a problem on them and AFAIK the optimisation was all within Google's guidelines. It may have been a little overdone; every opportunity to score algo points was used but it was within the guidelines and I don't think that established sites like this should have been hit as badly.
7:59 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Penguin could be kind of completion to what Panda has started.
I think it is not only about content but also more about authority (brand name, backlinks, optimization).
Not only people have to find what they need, but now more importantly trust what they find, hence Google ranks higher authority sites.
If I bring the best single article on earth about Psychology topic, Google wouldn't recognize it because it's not packed with all the ingredients (a full content site about Psychology) - entry becomes tougher.
10:16 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google always want to decrease ranking for poor and duplicate website. For giving good to user Google update in algorithm. These are the part of update...
10:50 am on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, until they do re-engineer Penguin (or at least roll out a new Data Refresh), it looks like anyone who was hit by version 1.0 is just plain hit.
That's right.
Penguin has been the most severe "penalty" EVER!
12:07 pm on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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In my experience it is more about over optimisation than spam.

In recent Google-speak, those two are the same thing. And yes, that is Google's admitted target with Penguin, rather than "shallow" content which is Panda's target.

We're going through a language change at Google. There now is no such thing as a "penalty" in their language, but only manual actions and algorithmic evaluations. Also any site that is ranking well due to over-optimization is often being called "webspam". The algorithm currently demotes those rankings more than simply zeroing out the effects of over-optimization.
5:38 pm on Sept 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget that affiliate sites can also be considered "spammers" if, in Google's opinion, the site provides "little or no value".

Also, consider Matt Cutts' "frog" example, where he describessites that don't deliver "additional value" as other sites in the same language.

Pretty soon everyone will be a spammer in Google's eyes, except Wikipedia and Amazon.
2:52 am on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Difference between Panda and Penguin?

Pardon the kindergarten analogy, but this is what helped me:
Panda polices what you do inside your home (domain) and Penguin polices outside your home (domain). They work together to make sure you also play nicely and are a valuable member in the community (web).

Panda (inside domain) - Keep house clean and spotless. Don't make the cute, fat, overweight lazy Panda go from room to room unnecessarily, especially if you have tons of rooms empty (blank or thin content) or filled with junk (spam, ads, etc). He will get upset (waste of crawl budget - gets tired and cranky) and slap you before he is done.
* NO Thin content
* NO Dupe content
* not too many ads
* NO Spammy content
* NO Bad topics
* YES to usability - Panda needs to know how to go about your home - give the bear a good map, easy and direct access (as much as possible) to all rooms, etc. Good site architecture is imp.
* If enough rooms in your home are deemed "insufficient" by Panda, your whole home (site) will be affected.

Penguin (outside domain) - No false, deceptive tactics to get people through your front steps. You are part of a community so be a good community member. No misrepresentation, fake claims, fake facade to get people into your door. Offenders will have the roads to their home barred and access reduced until next update.
* YES to Quality back links and external links (Do the roads TO and FROM your home lead to bad neighborhoods and locations?)
* YES to Varied Anchor text back links
* YES to Varied Sources of backlinks
* NO to webspam
* NO Over-Optmized Internal and External Links
6:27 am on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What is an example of an over-optimized internal link?
7:12 am on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Nice analaogy ms. I really like that! I never paid attention to architecture but I'm hearing more about it.
9:04 am on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What is an example of an over-optimized internal link?

Good question! Particularly when web master guidelines still state stuff like ...

"Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links."

This is what pissed me off about Penguin. On the sites I had that were hit I only ever did what Google told me to do and they punished me for it.
9:05 am on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What is an example of an over-optimized internal link?


Good question. I am struggling with this a bit too. Spammy anchor text is easy enough to spot and iron out but the issue of too many internal links with the same anchor text is causing me issues.

On one site I manage, reviews invariably reference other reviews (ie "Movie B is a prequel to Movie A") and it makes perfect sense for "Movie A" to be linked to from within the review - in fact as a user, you would expect it. This happens a lot through the site so invariably Movie A ends up with dozens of references using the "Movie A" anchor text.

The site ranks well for it's brand name (and gets good traffic for it's brand name which would indicate some authority I'd have thought) but the longtail has all but disappeared since Penguin (used to rank each Movie in Top 10 SERPS).

It strikes me as illogical that Google would insist you vary anchor text away from what suits the user best so I hope a) it is something else hurting the longtail (which I just can't see) or b) that it is an error in Penguin. But the signals I'm getting are too murky.

Would be interested to hear other people's experiences of sites with this type of internal linking policy (have they suffered on longtail searches or been ok etc).

[edited by: Simsi at 9:13 am (utc) on Sep 27, 2012]

9:10 am on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Thanks mslina2002 for the info.
12:28 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I just wanted to know one things that Google Minus 60 Penalty and Google Panda are same ? Please help I am confused as of now.
12:51 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I really don't understand the point of an internal page link penalty. If I have a page that is about "Red Widgets", and I have multiple ways to get to that page (because after all, this is the internet, and it is possible to have various lists that include the Red Widget), why would Google penalize me for linking to a page on my own site.

Is there any guidance in their WMT that states that this is a bad practice?
12:53 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Panda is not a penalty engine.

"Minus X" penalties are the result of manual actions, not algorithms (although, of cource, detection could be automated by way of internal algorithms)

Panda causes a score (generally perceived to be negative) to be applied to your page/page-group/site. The resulting movement in SERPs is NOT a set number of places.

Minus X penalties are rare. The usual "manual action" results are more subtle and thus harder to spot and understand than in the past.
12:57 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Shaddows,

Thanks for the prompt response, as far as we noticed whenever google did a panda update we have always gained our traffic, but as of now our main forums, are listed on 6th in Google SERPs, and our Portal is coming on 1st page for most of query so what should I consider Google Panda, or Minux X penalty ?

I have seen upside down in the SERPs mostly on 6th or 7th, But google panda takes all your traffic right ? Even X penalties as well ?
1:05 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I really don't understand the point of an internal page link penalty

Internal links are not likely to cause a Penguin issue, IMHO.

Widgets For You
- Red Widgets
- - Red Widgets with wings
- - Red Widgers with wheels
- - Red Widgets with strings

- Blue Widgets
- - Blue Widgets with wings
- - Blue Widgers with wheels
- - Blue Widgets with strings

- Green Widgets
- - Green Widgets with wings
- - Green Widgers with wheels
- - Green Widgets with strings

- Winged Widgets
- - Winged Widgets in Red
- - Winged Widgets in Blue
- - Winged Widgets in Green

- Wheeled Widgets
- - Wheeled Widgets in Red
- - Wheeled Widgets in Blue
- - Wheeled Widgets in Green

- Stringed Widgets
- - Stringed Widgets in Red
- - Stringed Widgets in Blue
- - Stringed Widgets in Green

Each of those taking you to a category page with a list of products that match those descriptions. It's a poor user experience, it smacks of naive SEO, and it's spammy. Depending on how you define these things, it called also be called "Over Optimised internal links" even if it's anything but.
1:21 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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what should I consider Google Panda, or Minux X penalty ?

It's only Panda if it happened precisely on a Panda date.

If you suspect a Minus X penalty, identify anything that can be perceived as manipulative, and fix it. Then file a Reconsideration Request. Assuming you get a response, you will know if you are suffering from any "manual actions" or not. If not, it's not a Minus X.

The plain fact is, loss of rankings is usually down to algorithmic re-evaluation of the normal kind. Essentially, the current algo recipe thinks you are 0.000001% less good than before, relative to the competition.

But google panda takes all your traffic right ? Even X penalties as well ?

In a word, no.

Panda modifies your score, which in turn impacts your rank. Your loss of rank then impacts your traffic. I imagine you could suffer Panda and Manual Actions at the same time, but either or both will result in a loss of traffic due to massively reduced exposure.
3:41 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Shaddows, I'm not sure I agree with you that Panda is not a penalty engine. I am seeing many of my pages (long-tail) appear in the #11 position. It happens too often for me to not believe it is a "-10" penalty. When I search on Bing I'm often #1 for the phrase.

I am also under the impression that Panda will penalize an entire site - not just the "thin" pages.

I have been told by others that I have a Panda penalty even though my traffic was hit precisely on April 24. What is your thought on that?
7:53 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I have been told by others that I have a Panda penalty even though my traffic was hit precisely on April 24. What is your thought on that?
Going by the date - I'd say it's penguin.
9:21 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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under the impression that Panda will penalize an entire site


Not true, and its a demotion by the algo, not a penalty. Also do I see more 'on the fly' Panda calculations rather than Panda refreshes ? Have a hunch, but difficult to isolate.
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