The Google Zoo? Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird

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.[1] For sites with high quality content, they will be ranked higher in search results, while sites with low quality content will be ranked lower.[2] Many believe this was a way to eliminate “content farms,” where websites would publish a large amount of low quality content.[3] Some other important characteristics of Panda are that it does not target user-generated content and it does not require a specific word count.[4]


Google Penguin is an algorithm that targets low quality links and ranks them lower in search results.[5] Websites that engaged in previously-accepted practices like link building will be affected by Penguin, therefore need to adjust their strategy.[6] Penguin only targets incoming links, and websites should be cautious of seemingly high quality links like .edu or even the Huffington Post.[7] Some of those sites sell links, which Google will deem as low quality.[8]


Google Hummingbird is an algorithm that aims to understand user search queries better.[9] Websites with content that answer questions the user is asking will rank higher.[10] 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.[11] Jennifer Slegg of Search Engine Journal advises websites to make their content easy to read and can answer both short and long user queries.[12]


[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] Ibid

[12] Ibid


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