You might find it hard to believe but Penguin & Panda are not penalties, rather they are algorithms. Google is very adamant that we should not call these algorithmic changes as penalties. Penguin or Panda are something that is either on or off. It is something where we find the signals that we have and we endeavor to find the correct way to adjust for that.
What Is A Google Penalty?
It’s true that Google penalties do exist. Google can actually penalize a website for things like outbound unnatural links, inbound unnatural links, pure spam, thin content and more. The most common reason for a website to be manually penalized is because somebody has reported the website to Google. Majority of people also believe that Google manually analyzes the top websites in various competitive search results also; however we are not sure about it.
In case your website has a manual penalty, you will get to see this in your Google Search Console, earlier called as ‘Webmaster Tools’. To check if your website has a manual penalty, go to Search Traffic – Manual Actions. You might see a penalty like this –
And, if you haven’t received penalty, you will see this –
Note – You will not always get to see the proof of penalty in the ‘messages’ section of Google Search Console. It will happen, only you were added to Google Search Console for this website before the website was penalized, then you must see a message, which appears like this –
What is an Algorithmic Filter?
Google’s algorithm is truly a complex topic to discuss. There are various parts of the algorithms, which are continually evaluating websites and changing their ranking depending on what they are seeing. For example, Google’s keyword stuffing algorithm re-evaluates your website every time, whenever Google crawls it. There are several more parts of the algorithm, which are called as filters. Filters are alterations, which happen only when Google decides to apply them. Panda and Penguin are filters. If you website is evaluated as a low quality website then Google will change the algorithms to take down your website ranking. If your website is loaded with a lot of issues then it can be affected rigorously. If it has very few issues then you may experience a least deduction.
Shall we call Penguin & Panda Penalties?
Go to Google search for ‘Penguin Penalty’ or ‘Panda Penalty’ and you will get to see some brilliant, renowned SEO professionals using this terminology. However, if you are someone who really knows Google’s algorithms, it is probably best to refer Penguin and Panda as algorithmic filters and not penalties.