Google Panda and Penguin Updates – the story so far!


Panda Updates:

In order to make sure the authenticity of the content being published on the web, Google in January 2011 came up with an innovative search filter by the name of Google Panda Updates.

What this meant was that people, who were earlier posting anything on the internet, now had to realise that they cannot simply come on top of search results. Rather, it led to the evolution of a digital era where Content would be the King!!!

And, in order to make sure that the importance of quality content does not fall down with time, Google comes with regular Panda Algorithm updates. So, if you want to stay on top of the search results, you need to make sure that you update your website according to the latest changes in the algorithm.

In fact, there have been websites that were ranked amongst the top results prior to the coming of Panda, but lost their rankings completely after these updates.

There have been more than a dozen of these updates so far by the search engine giant, with the latest one being made by Google in September 2014. The updates can be looked upon as Google’s voyage to ensure authenticity of content on the web, and penalize webmasters publishing poor quality content to emerge in the search results. 

You can have a look at all the updates made Google so far –

  1. Panda Update 1, 
    Panda 1.0, Feb. 24, 2011 (11.8% of queries; announced; English in US only)
  2. Panda Update 2, 
    Panda 2.0, April 11, 2011 (2% of queries; announced; rolled out in English internationally)
  3. Panda Update 3, May 10, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  4. Panda Update 4, June 16, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  5. Panda Update 5, July 23, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  6. Panda Update 6, Aug. 12, 2011 (6-9% of queries in many non-English languages; announced)
  7. Panda Update 7, Sept. 28, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  8. Panda Update 8 
    Panda 3.0, Oct. 19, 2011 (about 2% of queries; belatedly confirmed)
  9. Panda Update 9, Nov. 18, 2011: (less than 1% of queries; announced)
  10. Panda Update 10, Jan. 18, 2012 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  11. Panda Update 11, Feb. 27, 2012 (no change given; announced)
  12. Panda Update 12, March 23, 2012 (about 1.6% of queries impacted; announced)
  13. Panda Update 13, April 19, 2012 (no change given; belatedly revealed)
  14. Panda Update 14, April 27, 2012: (no change given; confirmed; first update within days of another)
  15. Panda Update 15, June 9, 2012: (1% of queries; belatedly announced)
  16. Panda Update 16, June 25, 2012: (about 1% of queries; announced)
  17. Panda Update 17, July 24, 2012:(about 1% of queries; announced)
  18. Panda Update 18, Aug. 20, 2012: (about 1% of queries; belatedly announced)
  19. Panda Update 19, Sept. 18, 2012: (less than 0.7% of queries; announced)
  20. Panda Update 20 , Sept. 27, 2012 (2.4% English queries, impacted, belatedly announced
  21. Panda Update 21, Nov. 5, 2012 (1.1% of English-language queries in US; 0.4% worldwide; confirmed, not announced)
  22. Panda Update 22, Nov. 21, 2012 (0.8% of English queries were affected; confirmed, not announced)
  23. Panda Update 23, Dec. 21, 2012 (1.3% of English queries were affected; confirmed, announced)
  24. Panda Update 24, Jan. 22, 2013 (1.2% of English queries were affected; confirmed, announced)
  25. Panda Update 25, March 15, 2013 (confirmed as coming; not confirmed as having happened)
  26. Panda Update 26 
    Panda 4.0, May 20, 2014 (7.5% of English queries were affected; confirmed, announced)
  27. Panda Update 27 
    Panda 4.1, Sept. 25, 2014 (3-5% of queries were affected; confirmed, announced)
  28. Panda Update 28
      Panda 4.2, July, 22,2015 (about 2%–3% of English language queries.)



Penguin Updates:

While making sure that content is the king, Google also rolled out another set of updates to better catch websites which were using black hat techniques and posting spamming links. The update was named Penguin Update!

The first penguin update was launched in April 2012. With these updates Google penalizes webmasters using unethical techniques such as buying links or getting them from link networks to get into search results. However, Penguin does not always bring a bad news.
With each update, chances are that the website that have adhered to ethical techniques and also taken action to remove bad links may regain their rankings. 

There have been half a dozen of these updates until date, with the latest one being launched in October 2014. In fact, the last update was quite a long one that kept on rolling for more than 6 weeks, which was quite unusual. And, the update impacted only a small fraction of the queries i.e. not more than 1%.

While there have been only 6 Penguin Updates so far, the impact of these updates have been huge, with many a website simply losing their identity and ranking within the search results.

Here is the complete list of Penguin Updates that have been rolled out by Google so far –

  • Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
  • Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
  • Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
  • Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 (impacting around 1% of queries)
If you have had your share of experience with these updates, both good and bad ones and would like to let people know about your side of the story, then feel free to post what you have to say in the comments section below.