So far, fall is shaping up to be a busy season for the folks at Google. It’s not even Halloween yet, and our favorite search engine has been busy refining its algorithm in order to provide searchers with more appropriate results for their queries. Over the last several weeks, Google has rolled out the latest iterations of its Panda and Penguin algorithm updates. Here are the quick details that our B2B clients need to know:

Panda 4.1

Previous Panda Update: 4.0, May 20, 2014
Projected Launch Date: September 23, 2014
Projected End Date: September 29, 2014
Search Queries Effected: 3-5% of worldwide queries (estimate)
Main Objective: Evening the playing field; Helping smaller and medium sized websites compete in the SERPs.


Penguin 3.0

Previous Penguin Update: 2.0, May 22, 2013
Projected Launch Date: October 19, 2014
Projected End Date: TBD (Should continue rolling out over the next few weeks)
Search Queries Effected: Fewer than 1% of English queries (estimate)
Main Objective: To reward sites that have cleaned up their acts after being penalized by previous Penguin rollouts and to demote sites with newly discovered spam.

The objective of all Penguin algorithm updates thus far has been to penalize sites that 1) have content that can be considered spam, and 2) have link profiles that can be considered bad or unnatural. This particular Penguin update is merely a refresh, with no new signals being added to previous versions of Penguin. If you were penalized by previous Penguin roll-outs, but have since improved both your content and backlink profile, then 3.0 should be beneficial to your rankings and organic traffic. If you have undertaken a paid backlink or content creation strategy since the last Penguin update in 2013, 3.0 may hurt you.

Major Takeaways

Both Panda 4.1 and Penguin 3.0 further solidify Google’s commitment to rewarding sites with frequently posted content that is both interesting and engaging, while penalizing sites that attempt to trick its algorithm by buying content and backlinks. In order to continually improve your SEO, focus on regularly creating well-optimized content that seamlessly integrates your target keyword in a natural, organic way. Bonus points go to those who write content that is interesting enough that it just has to be shared.