While researching new topics to write about, I kept seeing Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, and had no idea what they meant. I wanted to find out what they were and share that information on this blog.
Google Panda is part of an algorithm regarding quality of content on a website. For sites with high quality content, they will be ranked higher in search results, while sites with low quality content will be ranked lower. Many believe this was a way to eliminate “content farms,” where websites would publish a large amount of low quality content. Some other important characteristics of Panda are that it does not target user-generated content and it does not require a specific word count.
Google Penguin is an algorithm that targets low quality links and ranks them lower in search results. Websites that engaged in previously-accepted practices like link building will be affected by Penguin, therefore need to adjust their strategy. Penguin only targets incoming links, and websites should be cautious of seemingly high quality links like .edu or even the Huffington Post. Some of those sites sell links, which Google will deem as low quality.
Google Hummingbird is an algorithm that aims to understand user search queries better. Websites with content that answer questions the user is asking will rank higher. Additionally, Google wants to provide the best results for longer queries, and will try to provide an internal page on a website that answers the question, instead of providing the homepage. Jennifer Slegg of Search Engine Journal advises websites to make their content easy to read and can answer both short and long user queries.