Panda and Penguin go sledding

I was looking at the peaks and valleys of traffic in Google Analytics, and thinking of the Google Panda and Penguin updates, and couldn’t stop myself:

A Panda and Penguin on a toboggan, sledding down a slope in Google Analytics.

Wondering how long it will be before Google runs out of black and white animals to name updates after?

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34 thoughts on “Panda and Penguin go sledding”

  1. There is the ZEBRA… and lots of other animals COULD BE black and white like cats and cows… So the updates can be endless :)

  2. Very clever using google analytics for the backdrop. Maybe they could do a Two Toed Sloth update: you know, to combat Caffeine? If Penguin broke the internet, the least Two Toed Sloth could do is slow it down a little :)

  3. You MUST have a PIN (from pinterest) that’s a funny picture.. did you actually draw it on a analytics screenshot?

  4. I didn’t think about that but your thoughts regarding black and white animals made me think. Maybe Google’s philosophy is to look at the websites and SEO only black and white? If there are no undertones we might get in trouble more often then we expect.

  5. While I am 100% sure you probably already know this Bill but the “Panda” update was named after the quality engineer Nanveet Panda and I suppose that the “Penguin” update was named on the mistaken identity of the other black and white mammal as opposed to their being another engineer or webspam team member whose last name is also an animal.

    Also Bill what are your thoughts on the lack of people recognizing the latest update as “Panda” as opposed to a webspam team update by Matt Cutts?

  6. My theory is that there is an inversely proportionate ratio between how harmless the animal they name the update after is and the amount of harm it causes… Beware the wingless butterfly update!

  7. Poor animals, there could be a looping, a wall, a hole or something dangerous and think of all those big and hungry animals (Orcas!)

  8. Hahaha, I couldn’t help but laugh at this. Watch out, Google will nerf you :D

  9. LOL, that’s really funny.

    But on a serious note, the Penguin update appears to be de-ranking genuine non-spammy sites for apparently no reason! They should fix it ASAP or many genuine sites are going to suffer.

  10. Hahaha that picture is great… I think that they could find many animals that are black and white, or the find a animal starting with a P, like Panda and Penguin.

  11. Haha, the sled rocks.

    Lots of dogs & cats to get through yet.. cattle, birds, siberian tiger, killer whale, and eagle. My vote, hands down is for Skunk though.

  12. Its quite funny that you have thought of this illustration, though Google and penguin updates were actually a serious thing for most of the site owner. As for me, 3 of my websites got affected by the latest updates and all the rankings in search engine disappeared.

  13. They are black and white animals because they are going after black hat AND white hat seo

  14. ha ha i always felt like to punch that panda in its face…and the penguin is an annoying guy too….y couldn’t they leave as alone…:D

  15. that is indeed a funny sketch.
    i was thinking about them using animals that are black and white predominantly and of course the connection with ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ seo, and it ocurred to me, quite seriously that there’s an error here in this kind of analytical thinking, no matter how complex or how many variables are taken into account, and the (philosophical and ethical) reason/s being that life is neither black nor white, and neither is seo no matter what a huge monopolistic for profit company such as google may say or think.
    in fact black and white are rather boring by themselves, it’s the colors of the rainbow and all the hues in between the black and the white that interest us. so google is perhaps going too far in one direction – at least that’s what I hear on the forums and such, with lots of good sites being downgraded and a pretty confused bunch of serps if you ask me (and danny sullivan has done a real doozie of a comparison between google and bing recently that points out some pretty obvious shortcomings of all these updates. i mean when are they going to slow down and let things settle a bit?) any way, no way is seo or life a matter of black or white…

  16. Ring-tailed lemur is the update I’m looking forward to as it is black and white and grey (the grey is for the area of how to stay on the right side of Google!)

  17. How about ‘magpie’ – the update that can’t help itself from stealing your shiny, valuable rankings :)

  18. I quickly went to all of my sites after I heard about the latest Google ‘update.’ Wanted to see if any of my ranking changed. None of them did. Yay!

  19. Hi Richart,

    When I first wrote about the Panda update, my guess was Biswanath Panda (see: Searching Google for Big Panda and Finding Decision Trees)). Unfortunately, Rand misquoted me in a whiteboard Friday, and pointed out Nanveet Panda instead. There are definitely more ties to Biswanath, and the research that he’s done for Google, but the truth is that we really just can’t be sure at this point.

    It seems like there were 2 recent Panda updates as well as the Penguin update, so distinguishing the impact of one from the other is going to be somewhat difficult.

  20. Hi TechChunks,

    It’s hard to attribute specific changes in rankings of some websites with specific updates from Google, but there have been a number of site owners who are claiming that they lost rankings and likely shouldn’t have.

    There is the possibility that there were some sites that lost rankings under Penguin that shouldn’t have, and hopefully Google is investigating those seriously. I somehow don’t think that Google would roll back the Penguin update, but chances are that they will take a close look at the changes it caused, and possibly make some tweaks and adjustments. I can’t speak for them though.

  21. Hi Stephen,

    I take every update from Google seriously. My illustration wasn’t to make fun of people who might have been harmed by them, but rather to start a discussion about updates and their impacts, both positively and negatively. I’m sorry to hear that you had websites that were impacted negatively.

  22. Hi michaelj72,

    I don’t thing that Google put that much choice into the codenames they came up with to name these specific updates. In the Wired interview with Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal, we were told that Panda was the “Big Panda” update, after the nickname of a Google engineer who contributed some key aspects of how the update worked. I suspect the Penguin update had a similarly mundane origin.

    I know (from the book “In The Plex”) that one of Google’s early algorithms for paid search was named PHIL, for Probabilistic Hierarchical Inferential Learner. Google had an engineer at the time named Phil, and he kept on getting blamed for it.

    I’m guessing that Google’s “Venice” update was named after some fairly new Google Offices in Venice, California.

    The black hat and white hat approach is interesting, but it might be giving Google more credit for symbolism than we should be. :)

  23. Well, one of my sites got whacked hard but I appreciate the analytics humor – and the levity is nice after trying to make some sense out of the patent in your latest post (which I can’t even attempt to address yet)

    It has been tougher than usual for me to spot patterns in how my different domains have been effected by Penguin. Mostly similar promotional strategies have delivered wildly different results.. and strangely enough, it is the more difficult keyword phrases that seem to be doing best. My current hypothesis is that they’ve figured out how to set the bar at different heights for different searches, and going too high over expectations in a niche might be a significant liability. In one particular niche prone to webspamming, really thin sites with almost no backlink profile are starting to dominate the top 30.

    In general, quality is definitely winning over quantity right now, but there are just enough weird exceptions that I can’t quite get wrap my head around this yet. Must be some big, stinky bugs left in the quality filters…

  24. Ha ha – very good. Wonder if anyone is taking odds on the next one. Poodle?

    I didn’t realise that Panda was named after someone, I just figured they were starting to use a naming system like they do with Android, except this time it’s animals rather than desserts.

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