Affiliate Marketing & Programs

Google Panda vs. Penguin: What’s the Difference?


You may be at a point, in your affiliate marketing venture, where you’re getting up to speed on the world of Search Engine Optimization.

Behind you, there is nearly two decades of SEO knowledge which makes the task hard enough to understand it all (let alone the constant updates that come around every corner). Don’t feel overwhelmed, we’ve got you covered.

The two largest updates that rocked the world of SEO has been the Google Panda and Penguin updates.

The following will give you a breakdown of the effects of each and what it means for your progression into applying effective SEO for the future of your affiliate business.

Google Panda: Explained

Google Panda rolled out in two main stages (within February and April of 2011) which aimed to improve web search results by applying filters on what is supposed to be “good content” on websites. In essence, the Panda update was meant to weed out websites that abused re-used or ‘thin’ content.

Major “article farms” such as eZineArticles and eHow were most affected because many articles weren’t very detailed and overwhelmed search results. Google’s plan was to shift search results away from the few major websites blasting out low quality articles in place of higher authority websites and web pages containing detailed, valuable information.
Other factors that played into the Panda update was a low amount of incoming links, high bounce rate, over optimized keywords within the content, and duplicate content.

Google Penguin: Explained

In April 2012 (and an update in March 2012), Google Penguin rolled out with the main goal of shaking up search results that had been dominated by websites that are overly optimized. Google reported that just 3.1% of total search results were affected but it did cause some fallout within many websites’ rankings.

Taking a closer look, the main culprits of the Penguin update has shown to be over optimizing websites with too many keywords and not enough link building diversity (especially with the anchor links). Websites that tried to “game” the search rankings by using multiple keywords were hit hardest especially if there wasn’t a clear congruency with the content. Websites that focused heavily on building spam links (mass forum links, profile links, etc) were smacked hard and saw their rankings drop.

In all, moving forward from the Penguin update simply means that your strategy needs to focus around curating content to ensure that it’s unique and valuable to your community. Likewise, links you build outside of your website should be diverse but remain relevant within your niche.

Moving Forward

Google is the largest search engine which is why you should pay particular attention to the major updates. There are new updates done every day but on a smaller scale; the best advice you can receive is to keep pushing forward, build up your brand to create repeat visitors, start an email list, and diversify your link building methods.

There are ways to future-proof yourself from updates like Panda and Penguin – it just means that you shouldn’t cross the proverbial “ethics” line when it comes to building your online business. Play it straight, make something great, and you’ll be rewarded with success.

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