What do pandas, penguins and hummingbirds have in common?

Google may be the most popular search engine in the world, but there are few people who understand the advanced formulas behind its success. Google, like any search engine, depends on unique search algorithms to provide answer to internet queries. The secret behind these complex formulas is closely guarded. However, basic things that search engine algorithms use include link authority (quality), page factors (responsive design), brand metrics (specific keywords) and content (frequency of updates). Below will explain some of the unique updates that Google has recently made to ensure search engine accuracy and quality.

What do pandas, penguins and hummingbirds have in common? The answer is they are all major algorithms that Google has implemented to improve critical areas of internet usage. These areas include content, usability, quality links, and how users search. Improving the quality of user queries is important to ensure that users receive sites that have been ranked and prioritized by relevancy.

Google Panda, first introduced in February 2011, is a search engine algorithm that weeds out sites with low quality, poor navigation and too much advertising. How to decide the quality of a website? Basically, website quality can be broken down into topics such as information reliability, author authority, content redundancy, financial trustworthiness, originality and amount of advertisements. In a nutshell, Google Panda ensure that websites are relevant, trustworthy and offer excellent content.

Google Penguin, first introduced in April 2012, is a search engine algorithm that was developed in response to dishonest sites that attempt to manipulate their Google result ranking. That is, certain sites increased their search engine rank result by deceiving the Google search algorithm through spam links, buying links and creating empty sites with a single link. This means that some disreputable site owners create fake links in order to boost their ranking. This was done because a link is like a vote for a site. The more links a site has, the better. The Google Penguin algorithm is able to decipher the amount of trustworthy vs. untrustworthy links in order to provide better, quality query results.

Unlike the first two updates, Google Hummingbird, which was first introduced in September 2013, is a completely updated and revised algorithm. Essentially, it was a completely new search engine that incorporated Panda, Penguin and other previous parts into something unique yet highly functioning. Google Hummingbird focuses on understanding the user query and context in order to improve the overall result quality. That is, it looks at the contextual relationship between the important keywords. For example, if a user queried “the best fast food in Seattle”, the search engine algorithm will logically conclude that the user wants to find a fast food restaurant in that area.

Overall, Google has introduced grounding breaking search engine algorithms that have revolutionized internet query results. Google Panda, Google Penguin and Google Hummingbird has improved the quality, content and reliability of search engine results.


What are algorithms? More importantly, what do they do? In basic terms, they act as a search engine. When people do a simple search, they are looking for one thing only. The want answers to their questions. They want to put in a word and have that answer pop up.

There is only one task a search engine query should have. That is to return a search of relevant data. This information also needs to be organized and prioritized. The most relevant needs to be nearer to the top. The least relevant should be covered on the last page or so. In truth, there should only be 2 or 3 pages which pop up of relevant data for your search. Anything which is not relevant or necessary needs to go bye-bye.

This is the way these search algorithms need to and should work. There is not one source that can provide all of these data by themselves. Like everything else in life, algorithms need help. This is why a few more factors need to be included in here. These factors will help you get the most out of your search.

1) THE LINKS: This is where a specific number of authoritative pages are linked. There is usually anchor text involved in here too. This link authority also provides information on the usefulness of the page. You need to have quality data coming up in your search. The link authority will search that out, only getting rid of the pages which are more lower quality.

2)THE PAGE FACTORS: This has more to do with the speed. You want to find pages that load fast. In some cases, the faster the better.

3)THE BRAND: This is where you get the name of the brand. You need to consider the mention of the brand. You also need to consider how many times it’s been cited, along with the relevancy. Is a specific brand being used a lot, when it comes to the keyword search? No matter what type of search you are doing, you want something that has a high volume factor.

4)THE CONTENT: You also need to have good content. If the content is not that great, it should never be included on your site. This is one of the jobs for the Hummingbird algorithm . The Hummingbird will search and find only the best content. Most Google searches only display the highest quality. The Hummingbird will go in and give it that extra kick. If your content isn’t written or designed well, your stuff will not get a mention.


This is one of the tools that Google uses in the search query. It was developed to help maintain that high quality in the search engine. The Panda was created to help make the Hummingbird’s life easier. Panda keep the rules in check. Here are some of them down below.

  1. Can you trust the information being presented?
  2. Does the information sound redundant? Does it overlap?
  3. Would you be comfortable with giving out certain information, if requested?
  4. How do these pages rank, when compared to others?
  5. Is the content relevant and interesting?


What is the Google Penguin Algorithm and how can it benefit companies out there right now? Google has over 200 factors to go through before it can determine a website’s ranking.

The algorithm of Google is complex to say the least because it not only looks hard at factors, but it also weighs which factors are important as well as the ones that will negatively impact the ranking of a site.

More than 500 times per year, Google runs different tests of algorithms for certain users. Inside these algorithms are different parts that search for specific items. The most popular algorithms that search for specific items include Hummingbird, Panda, Payday Loans, Penguin, Pigeon and Pirate. But, one of the most successful and important of these is Google Penguin.

How? Well, Google Penguin is the Google algorithm that targets link spam. Beginning in 2012, Google Penguin started targeting automation tactics, link schemes and poor quality link building. Google Penguin is there to catch tactics on anything gaming the site rankings through link building. Tactics including article spam, blog or comment spam, buying links, link networks and many others violate Google Webmaster Guidelines. Penguin is mainly associated with links, but it also takes a look at other items.

The Penguin Algorithm is basically webspam oriented, taking various webspam issues into account. It also takes into account unnatural links or spammy sites, but does not solely focus on links. When a website has been spamming links for a while, most likely other activities are occurring that border or completely go against webmaster guidelines. Penguin helps the user make sure that he is cleaning up all the webspam issues as thoroughly as possible.

The Penguin algorithm also looks for keyword stuffing as a technique of webspamming. Other items looked at by Penguin (and that are referenced in the Webmaster Guidelines include:

• Abusing rich snippets markup
• Automatic generated content
• Cloaking
• Creation of pages with malicious behavior
• Doorway pages
• Hidden links or text
• Installation of viruses or trojans
• Loading of pages with irrelevant keywords
• Pages created with little or no content
• Participating in link schemes
• Participating in programs with no real value
• Phishing
• Scraped content
• Sneaky redirects

Officially released on April 24, 2012, Penguin 1.0 impacted 3.1 percent of queries, because there were some false positives and missed results as it started out. For those who believed they had been mistakenly hit by Penguin, Google had them fill out a form. Then, about one month later, Penguin 1.1 was released, and it in fact impacted only 0.1 percent of queries, rendering 1.1 as a simple data refresh.

In October of 2012, Penguin 1.2 came out dramatically altering search results. Penguin 2.0, released in May, 2013, impacted 2.3 percent of queries This major release of Penguin penalized websites more than ever that had bad practices, while at the same time rewarding sites that boasted great user experience. Penguin 2.0 dug deeper than just on the homepage, actually venturing into internal pagers, drilling down even deeper.
Penguin 2.1 came out in October 2013, and impacted about 1 percent of queries. This update did affect a large number of queries, even though it was consider a refresh only.
In October 2014, Penguin 3.0 came out, still impacting about 1 percent of queries, but continuing to roll out and confirmed by Google

One of the hardest parts of recovering from a penalty put down by Penguin is the period of time between updates. The Penguin Algorithm was a separate running entity from the main Google algorithm, only updating in intervals. This latest 3.0 update now appears to be updating more frequently while Google has insisted that they are shifting to more continuous updates of the Penguin algorithm.

What does Google Penguin really affect? It affects a company’s rankings – plain and simple. Some may call it an adjustment to where your site should be ranked and don’t see it as a penalty at all. But others would consider Google Penguin as a penalty because it does not just discount negative factors, but will also analyze them and ultimately lower your site’s rankings.

To most, Google Penguin will most assuredly be a penalty, in algorithm form. But this algorithmic penalty can trigger manual review of the links and then give you a manual penalty. Both of these penalties could affect the site at the same time. With algorithmic penalties, different tactics affect sites more strongly than others.

In conclusion, the most important thing to know about Google Penguin is that it affects sites based on what the site did wrong and to what varying degrees the wrongdoing was. Google Penguin is not a one size fits all program. Overall, it is a penalty that can add up to the overall ranking adjustment.