Search Engine Marketing

Pandas, Penguins, and Hummingbirds…Oh My!


What do these three animals have in common? Better yet, how do they relate to your website by any stretch of the imagination? Well, it’s actually quite simple: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird are the names given to three notable updates in Google’s search algorithm, each representing a change in the way Google results are filtered and indexed.

While pandas, penguins, and hummingbirds may not seem as daunting as say, lions, tigers, and bears (yes, we realize pandas are in fact bears, but don’t act like they’re not adorable), it would behoove you to heed the significant, and potentially devastating, effects this trio of animals can have on your site’s ranking and visibility in Google search results. Let’s take a closer look at each.


First introduced in 2011, the Panda update is designed to detect and penalize unoriginal and low-quality websites, particularly those that copy content from other sources (“scraper” sites) and those that produce mass amounts of “shallow” content (“content farms”). In order to avoid penalization from Panda, you must generate fresh, quality content that can be considered a viable resource for visitors seeking information.


Originally launched in 2012, the Penguin update is intended to decrease Google rankings for websites employing manipulative link schemes (basically, excessive and spammy linking strategies). To avoid being penalized by the Penguin update, you must consistently utilize and adapt to the ever-changing rules and regulations of “white-hat SEO” linking strategies while steering clear of everything considered to be a “black-hat” tactic.


Implemented in 2013, the Hummingbird update aims to return better search results based on what is specifically typed into Google search bars. For instance, suppose someone types, “Which dermal fillers reduce wrinkles?” Thanks to Hummingbird, your site’s page on dermal fillers should now appear higher in the results, when in the past, your homepage would most likely have appeared first, and patients would’ve then had to navigate to the correct page themselves. While this probably sounds like great news (and it is), the tricky part is to successfully optimize each of your internal pages to better match what people are searching.

What Can You Do to Stay Ahead of the Game?

Well, you can either devote an exorbitant amount of time to remaining up-to-date on each and every change Google makes to its search algorithm (while still maintaining a successful medical or dental practice, mind you), or you can leave it to the professionals and let Rosemont Media spend our time ensuring your website is fully equipped with the latest SEO strategies, as well as fresh, quality content that serves as an excellent resource for your patients.

For more information, or to let us help you stay ahead of the game in the world of search engine optimization, contact us today.

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John Lewis


John is a Senior Writer at Rosemont Media. A native of Marietta, GA, he migrated to nearby Auburn University where he attended football games and happened to earn his degree in the process. From there, he ventured cross country to live in San Diego just long enough to curse any temperature dropping below 70 degrees. He currently resides in Washington, DC, and in his spare time you can find him cheering on all Atlanta sports teams, showcasing a wicked slice on the golf course, or vicariously living “The Dream” through rock stars’ biographies.