As the world’s leading search engine, Google is under a lot of pressure to provide online users with relevant and reliable search results at all times. To this end, Google updates its search engine algorithms on a regular basis to sniff out unscrupulous websites more effectively and thereby dissuade website owners from resorting to unethical online marketing techniques. Two of the most important algorithms in recent times are dubbed Panda and Penguin.
The Panda algorithm was launched in 2011 as a means for Google to penalise websites with low-quality or plagiarised content and give precedence to those that regularly offer fresh, original content. Before Panda went online, poorly designed websites were put forward as genuine, informative ones by copying the content of other websites. In essence, Panda was a means for Google to remind webmasters to exert extra effort in maintaining their websites’ originality.
Meanwhile, Penguin was launched in 2012 as an answer to ‘web spamming’. This underhanded marketing technique allowed websites to gain a higher number of visits or ‘hits’ by producing as many pieces of content as possible.
Web spamming exploited the search engine’s key shortcoming, which is that websites were deemed reliable and relevant enough based on the number of hits they have. Penguin, therefore, encourages websites to play by the rules, i.e. attract visitors using intriguing sales pitches, effective social media marketing campaigns, and other services reputable online marketing firms offer.