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Google algorithms – The Birds and the Bear. Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon.

April 1, 2015 by in category Bing, General Update, Google, Page Rank, Search Engine Optimisation, SEO, Uncategorized tagged as , , , , , , , , with 0 and 1

When your SEO geek is talking about Google algorithms do you find yourself wondering if he or she is actually talking about search engine optimisation or random birds and animals?

Well the good news is that they are not nut jobs and they are actually talking real algorithms that can be used to boost your websites SEO. To get a better understanding of all the code-names we have given you a brief overview of each algorithm below.

The Google Pigeon algorithm:

Pigeon initially launched in the United States on 24th July 2014 and then rolled out to the UK, Canada and Australia on December 22nd 2014.
The original Pigeon update aimed at providing a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. Recently the Penguin algorithm has pushed up Yell.com posts and removed some of the location points from Googles business pages. This will help local websites that have ticked each of the SEO boxed to be seen more easily “above the fold”


Confused much?
The quick and easy way to describe it is that Pigeon helps local websites to stand out in local searches much more efficiently.


The Google Hummingbird algorithm:

Launched around August 2013, Google Hummingbird is about understanding the context, intent and semantic signals (natural language interpretations of a query vs a strict definition according to a keyword “exact match”) of content.

In normal people terms this means that it reads through the content of your website and works out the context which in turn provides the Googler with more relevant search results.

Top Tip

  • Give out relevant statistics where possible
  • Facts and figures will be eaten up by hummingbird
  • More dense blog posts and pages where possible.

*Pages and posts that have 100 words are sometimes not even indexed because of its inability to be relevant in its given topic.

The Google Penguin algorithm:

Launched in April 2012 the idea underlying the update was pretty simple – penalize and decrease the rankings of websites that breach Google’s Webmaster Guidelines set the by the search engine. This included lowering the search engine rankings of all those sites that practice evil black-hat SEO techniques like duplicate content, keyword stuffing and cloaking (aka trying to cheat the system). (Source Leapup Marketing)


Penguin also looks at who is interacting with your site. The social shares and how influential the person sharing is. With the development of social influence checker systems, its become easy to quantify how influential a social profile can be. We use Klout to keep up to date with our socials, our clients and our competitions.
With this in mind, links to your site including anchor text, is also taken into consideration. Penguin may look at heavy anchor text and de-credit sites. For example, if you have a leather shoe shop, and you’ve got 100 thousand backlinks that all have the anchor text “leather shoe”. Penguin will do its thing and hammer you for it.

The Google Panda algorithm:

Google launched Panda in February 2011, mainly as a change in its search results ranking algorithm.
The main purpose of the update was just to keep those low quality and low content sites away from the top ranking results and give the actual quality sites their due. This looks at an array of aspects towards your site. This may include the page load time, the layout and usability. (Source Leapup Marketing)

April 21st 2015, brings a massive change in algorithm that will penalise sites without a responsive design. This means you need to at least have a mobile website to go with your desktop view. Ideally though, your website will be totally responsive for all devices.

Page load is important when looking at usability because studies suggest that 40% of internet users will redirect if a website hasn’t loaded in the first 3 seconds in page load

As an obvious result, many websites with huge amount of advertising, or those with low quality content, saw a huge decline in the rankings.

The moral of the story:

If you want your website to rank high then don’t pull any punches. Fill it with as much relevant and informative content as you can.
Don’t steal content! Try to keep it fresh and original – Google likes that. If you are going to steal or borrow content then by nice and give credit and/or link to the source.

I hope the above helps you understand the way Google reads and scores your websites..

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