Help save the Tasmanian Devil

Devil Digital gets its name from the native Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) a carnivorous marsupial found only in Tasmania.

Tasmanian Devils are widespread and fairly common throughout Tasmania, but are quickly dying from the deadly 'Devil Facial Tumour'.

If you are concerned about the plight of these iconic Tasmanian natives, visit our Tasmanian Devil page and find out how you can help save this endangered native!

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September

Understanding Google Panda and Penguin

John Robinson

Like it or not, pleasing Google is essential if you plan to be successful online. Google is notorious for changing their rules and algorithms when it comes to what they find acceptable in terms of web content and search engine optimisation practices. The two latest examples of this are Google Panda and Google Penguin. If you have a website, it is essential that you understand both Google Panda and Penguin.

What is Google Panda?

Google Panda is the name of a change to the algorithm used to determine where a site appears in the search engine results page, also known as SERPs. This change was actually named after Navneet Panda, an engineer employed by Google who was instrumental in creating the new algorithm program. The program was initially released in February of 2011. Since its inception, Google Panda has undergone multiple changes.

Google Panda has been described as a content quality filter, where the content on a site is essentially filtered and judged based on its quality. Page Rank used to be the standard used to judge websites by human beings, but with Panda, Page Rank essentially became a concern of the past. Google Panda does not just affect how one page on your site ranks in the search engines. It affects how your entire site ranks.

The goal of Panda was to rank poor quality sites lower in the SERPs, while increasing the ranking of high quality sites. Sites that had low quality content, replicated content, or an abundance of advertising as compared to the amount of useful content fell drastically in the rankings. Sites that had original content that was thought to be useful to visitors rose in the results.

Additionally, sites that were over-optimizing were also penalised with the implementation of Panda. This included sites that were keyword stuffing, and producing content with unnatural language or sentence structure to use keyword phrases. The quality of the links used on the site also affected a site’s ranking.

What is Google Penguin?

Webmasters had barely recovered from the implementation of Google Panda when Google Penguin was released in April of 2012. Penguin is essentially an expansion of Panda. It made the guidelines for what constitutes a high quality website even stricter than they were before.

Now, the algorithm not only looks at the overall quality of the content on a website, it also looks more closely for keyword stuffing, link cloaking, content that has been spun to create different content, and web spamming.

Many people feel that Google is trying to monopolise the search engine rankings for certain high profile websites, and the Federal Trade Commission has taken note of this. The FTC employed Beth A. Wilkinson to build a case against Google concerning the new algorithms that are used. Ms. Wilkinson was once a prosecutor for the United States Department of Justice.

While it is unknown whether the FTC will ever actually file an official case against Google, what is clear is that many website owners have been negatively affected by Google Panda and Google Penguin.

How to Recover from Google Panda and Google Penguin

If your website has been negatively affected by the new algorithms, there are certain things that you can do to recover.

 

  1. Check every word of your content. Dump all duplicate or unoriginal content. Make sure that all content uses proper spelling and grammar. Make sure that there is no keyword stuffing used in your content.
  2. Check all of the links on your pages. Make sure that you correct broken links. Additionally, make sure that the websites or pages that you are linking to are offering high quality content.
  3. Add social networking factors to your website. Google is ranking the social networks very high. Add your Twitter and Facebook feeds to your website, as well as feeds from any other related social networks that you use.
  4. Rethink your advertising. Does the advertising on your website relate to the keywords that you are targeting in your content? If it does not, this can hurt your search engine rankings. Also, make sure that you are not over advertising on your pages.
  5. Make sure that your site is well structured. Use categories for your content, and make sure that the content is filed under the categories that best describe the content.

The fact is that you cannot fight Google. It is in your best interest to play along with the rules set by the world’s most popular search engine, and today, that means abiding by the standards that are set by Google Panda and Google Penguin.

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