Google’s Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird Update

Hummingbird algorithm update

Google’s Hummingbird Update

Announced April 20th 2013


The Hummingbird Update did not penalize websites. However, it was an update that changed the way Google understands queries and text. Overall, it improved the way Google understands synonyms and search intent. This now makes it easier to rank higher with natural on-site content.


You can use this update to your advantage by placing keywords synonyms throughout the content of your website. This will not only build authority for your primary keywords, but will also help you index for more long-tailed keywords as well.
Google Panda Algorithm Update

Google’s Panda Update

Announced February, 2011


Google’s Panda Update was an update that targeted and penalized websites with thin content on their website. It’s intent was to punish websites with low quality content and keyword stuffing. These penalties are meant to target websites over-optimizing to rank in the search engines, rather than provide a valuable user experience.


  • Make sure you have enough text on every page. We typically recommend 1,000 words per page in order to show authority.
  • Don’t over-optimize exact match keywords. Try using synonyms and long-tailed variations.
  • Have custom content throughout your website. Do not duplicate content from other websites.
  • Lower your “Bounce Rate”. This means increase how much time people spend on your website. You can do this by adding more content for users to engage in, such as videos.


If you are hit with a panda penalty, take the following steps to recover your website’s rankings:
  1. Add Content: Add unique and extensive content to your pages. Create content that users can learn from and engage with.
  2. Rewrite Titles: Rewrite any titles and content that may be over-optimized for specific exact-match keywords. Use synonyms and other variations.
  3. No-index Tag: Add a no-index tag to pages that have thin content and cannot be changed.

Google’s Penguin Update

Announced April 24th 2012


Google’s Penguin Update was an update that targeted and penalized websites with extensive unnatural link building. This primarily included unnatural anchor texts and also links that were placed on website not relevant to their niche market.


  • Make sure backlinks come from relevant websites.
  • Diversify Backlinks, have them come from more than one source and vary the type of backlink.
  • Have links placed within an article/content specific to the keywords you are wanting to rank for.
  • Balance between “follow” and “no-follow” links.
  • Use naturally branded anchor texts (Ex: Click Here, Learn More)


If you are hit with a penguin penalty, take the following steps to recover your website’s rankings:
  1. Audit Links: Do a complete audit of your links to figure out where the negative links are coming from. Ahrefs Link Auditor is our favorite link auditor.
  2. Remove: Remove whatever negative links are pointing at your website, if possible.
  3. Disavow: In your Webmaster Tools, “disavow” those bad links that are directing to your site.

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