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How Can Writers Beat Google Panda Or Penguin?

Updated on July 29, 2013

Stats Down Earnings Down

For most of us writing here on the Internet, it seems that we are constantly fighting a losing battle and no matter what we try to do to increase our ranking on Google or any of the other search engines nothing seems to work.

Is this the end of the road for writing websites as so many people seem to think?

You only need to look in the forums to see that things are indeed looking bleak for many writers and statistics are dropping to an almost all time low for them.

I too am struggling to get visitors to my articles and my stats are at their lowest in almost five years but I am afraid that instead of blaming Google or Hubpages for my poor rankings, I have to place the blame almost entirely on myself.

A Picture

Pictures do enhance an article and give it an extra heading but only if it is relevant to the article unlike this picture.
Pictures do enhance an article and give it an extra heading but only if it is relevant to the article unlike this picture. | Source

Why The Internet Needs Panda And Penguin

Forget all about Panda or Penguin for a moment because simply something had to be done at some point to try and improve the quality of search for users. Think about it, how many times have you carried out a search on Google or any other search engine for that matter and found that the pages that were displayed were a complete waste of time?

The information was not what you were looking for or it was so badly written that it was difficult to make sense of, the fact that most of the search results on the first page were almost identical in format and information was also frustrating to the searcher.

Panda and penguin although not perfect yet are attempting to deal with these issues to make the user experience less frustrating and more relevant to what people are actually searching for.

It may take a long time for Google to achieve their goal but when they do it will be of great benefit to everyone who will have a better user experience when they are searching for information on the web.

Google Panda

If you squint your eyes, my dog looks a bit like a panda.
If you squint your eyes, my dog looks a bit like a panda. | Source

How To Beat Google Panda And Penguin

Can you beat Panda or Penguin?

The simple answer is no, you can never beat Google because in reality you are not actually in competition with them.

Your actual competition is the millions of other writers out there who have had the same idea as you and have written an article quite similar to your own.

If you take Google Panda and Penguin out of the equation and then take a look at your articles and compare them to other peoples articles on the Internet, without bias, can you really say that your article is better written, contains different information or stands out from all of the other articles written on the same topic?

Learn To Embrace Panda And Penguin

When you know that Panda and Penguin were introduced by Google to seperate the wheat from the chaff on the Internet, then instead of sitting patiently waiting and hoping that your writing will suddenly move back to the top of the search results, you have to embrace the philosophy that they are trying to achieve.

They want their searchers to find the most relevant information that they are searching for quickly and easily.

If you want to top Google search for any topic then your article has to stand out from the others out there. You need to be different from the rest with better information and completely original content.

As the old saying goes,"If you can't beat them Join them,".

Google Penguin

My son likes to walk like a penguin sometimes
My son likes to walk like a penguin sometimes | Source

Does Size Matter In Writing?

There are a lot of misconceptions about how long an article should be for Google to rank it, some think an article should be at least 500 words, some say at least 750 words and some think that anything less than 1000 words is a complete waste of time.

The truth is your article should be as long as it needs to be so long as it gives the searcher all of the relevant information that they are looking for.

An article on How to open a refridgerator door could be written in less that 100 words and your reader would have a quick and easy answer to their question.

An article on the complete history of the world on the other hand would take you into many thousands of words.

Size does not matter so long as the reader finds out the relevant information that they are looking for.

Do Polls Really Matter?

Is putting a poll in this article enhancing it in any way

See results

What Can I Do About Panda And Penguin?

It may seem like Panda and Penguin are out to get you and maybe they are, all that I know is that they are trying to give searchers exactly what they want when they are looking for information and get rid of all of the rubbish that we mostly have today.

If you want to succeed and become Google friendly you have to become reader friendly too, you have to write articles that give your reader all of the information that they need in a format that is easy for them to read and in a way that is different from anything else that you can find online.

Articles that you have written and were once the toast of Google search but have burnt out may need to be re written in order to stand out apart from the other articles on that subject.

It is going to be a long road for everyone who writes on the Internet and it will take a lot of hard work to get back to the top but if you persevere and embrace Google you should reap the rewards once again.

I for one will not be publishing any new articles online until I have updated my existing ones to comply with the strict standards that Google Panda and Penguin are striving for.


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    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      4 years ago from West By God

      Great article. I have just come back from a long hiatus from HP and have written a few new ones and have revamped some older ones. My earning have never been what I want them to be but then there is another site that I do get paid for what I write daily. HP is for really intensive and informative so I think. I also think that the internet is saturated and I also thought that this kind of thing was going to happen. I do not think that there is anyway to get around it either. It is a dog eat dog world out here now. Things will change though.....they always do.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think this is a good arcle that spells the situation out clearly. I have been updating many of my old hubs also as I have been around for a while, but I have written very few new hubs recently. Partitaly that is due to my freelance writing as it gives me some much needed income, but I really want to write hubs that make a statement. I like to be able to help someone or at the least entertain them. I can never figure out Google, but I agree that the buck stops here. Very useful article and shared.

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Very interesting article Jimmy the jock. I write about health & fitness which is probably one of the most saturated topics on the Internet, but it's what I know & love most. I've done pretty well, however recently I've been have major issues with copied content/plagiarism, so it's more of an up hill battle. Thanks for putting this info out there, thumbs up on your hub.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      It's good to see this article again and get the reminder that maintaining high quality in our HP articles is the only way to succeed with Google, and rightly so.

      A bigger problem now is the continuous plagiarism of our work by lazy bloggers who can't write so they steal what others have already written and pass it off as their own. Actually, it's not only bloggers, but also legitimate businesses who help themselves to our writing to fill their websites without paying for the content. I think those make me even angrier. Why do these people think that anything on the Interet is fair game for their theft? The time required to track down these jerks, send DMCAs and monitor results takes time away from writing new hubs and updating older ones. I'm sure everyone else whose content is purloined feels the same degree of frustration (and, need I say, anger)....

      Thanks for sending this one round the feeds again for an important reminder to write quality hubs in order to have them 'blessed' by Google.

      Voted Up++


    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 

      4 years ago from County Durham

      Nice article. I have a couple of websites that were hit. But more so I was annoyed at the scrapers and the domain crowding that were being given preference. I have since recovered, but Adsense income is still down.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      4 years ago from North Texas

      Agree wholeheartedly Jimmy, a hub should be whatever size it takes to get the job done! Agree with the rest too. Writing about the same things that everyone else is writing about only means the competition is going to be stiff. But how does one find something unique and different to write about? Something no one else has ever done before? Or if it's the same old thing, how does one do it better?

      My recent article about Humperdinck contains more information than all the articles I used used for reference because it combines it all. I have recently found even more to add to it that will make it even more comprehensive, but will it be noticed that one can simply read my article and get all the info they would have to read all the other articles to get otherwise?

      I can certainly see the point of Google sifting through things because I do a lot of research and I do still often end up finding too much useless garbage on the first page, and as far back as 10 pages often times. Oddly some of the best stuff can be found further back.

      Up and useful! Also sharing for the benefit of my followers.

    • gardener den profile image

      Dennis Hoyman 

      4 years ago from Southwestern, Pennsylvania

      Hi Jimmy the Jock.

      Thank You for all the great information on googles and hubpages. I have been very sick the last 3 to 4 years . But start to feel better and started back writing on hubpages. So I haven't been on hubpages for a while because of my illness. But I started to update my older articles on hubpages and now have over 25 featured hubs. I am proud of that. I have been on hubpages for six years now and you have follower me about that long. I also been following you about as long. So if you would like to look up my articles and see what you think about what I am writing about on hubpages. Your opinion is welcome? You have giving some very good pointers. Thank You for everything. Gardener Den

    • ronakbhatia profile image


      4 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Some very good points in here. Content was always important in SEO, and its value has only increased after all the recent updates.

    • Rebecca Furtado profile image

      Rebecca Furtado 

      5 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

      Thank you for writing this article. It helped me understand the whole Panda thing. I really want to make a success of writing online, but realistically their is always someone who can give the information in a fashion better than you. At this point it is a challenge to create hubs that the administrator 's will accept.

    • Scott P Williams profile image

      Scott P Williams 

      5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Good advice, thanks

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      I like your approach here, although I'll admit, I don't know much about the standards that we need to adhere to in order to rank higher. I've never made much on HubPages, as I don't have all that much time to write, and apparently I signed up just as all this Panda and Penguin stuff really got going, so I don't think it's affected me as much as others. But it's encouraging that there's hope for those who write quality articles.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      5 years ago from USA

      Funny photos and captions Jimmy! You're right about millions of people having the same ideas we do and us having to compete with them. When we think we're coming up with more original ideas, we're not necessarily. Lots of good advice here. Voted useful and funny.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Such a great article. Yes, I agree. My traffic is crappy! I am on here now editing and trying to get the hubs that were taken down back up. I wish I could hit the $50 withdrawal, let alone the $800- $1200 that you have per month!!!!

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      5 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Good article, Jimmy. My traffic is way down.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Informative and helpful. I need to read it again and again as it contains such vital information. Thank you for sharing some wonderful knowledge.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think this is excellent advice. I have delted numerous hubs as they just weren't pertinent anymore. I have updated sseveral but have a long way to go. I don't know if Google's motives are so pure or not, but it makes sense. Over the years it seems that there are times the views suddenly go up for no apparent reason, and then down. However, I agree upgrading the quality of your work is a win-win situation for all. Very useful hub.

    • CMHypno profile image


      5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Interesting hub Jimmy. I think the thing that most of us writers don't take into account is the sheer volume of articles that are now posted on the web daily. There is only one top space on a search engine page and the competition is only going to get fiercer, especially as many hubbers write about already popular topics.

      I've had so many traffic ups and downs in my time here that I really can't get too excited about it any more. All any of us can do is our best at the time, keep writing and keep learning and adapting.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


      This is a very useful and interesting article. What you say makes great sense. Everyone thinks it so easy to write and make money. No, it isn't! You have to know what your readers want, and you have to present it and market it in a very skillful manner. Voted up and sharing with followers.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Very educational. I didn't even know about Panda and Penguin so definitely learned something today. Thanks for posting.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      5 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I would chase Google Panda and Penguin with a stick in hand, lol. Even if we rank on page 1, the Google paid ads make organic search results almost invisible. On top of that Google has given Internet Marketers a shock by classifying auto-responder emails as 'promotional'. I am now looking for more baskets to put my eggs ... preferably places were I do not have to be dependent on Uncle G.

    • BeatsMe profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice advice. A good advice like this is probably what I need right now for all the disappointments I'm feeling.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I agree on all points. Of course, my traffic has dropped along with everyone else's and I want to blame Google. Never having written for the internet before I came here, I had and still have a lot to learn. I have been and will continue to be editing my hubs and trying to improve them. I would really like to get back to getting a monthly check from here! Good luck with your work and hopefully we will all learn how to improve our hubs.

      OMGosh! Your son is so cute! :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I like this! Yes, we are in competition with many others, and we should always strive to provide great content. It's a good idea to take time to improve hubs. One thing I like about HubPages is that we can go back in and edit our posts. The longer I am here, the more I learn. The more I learn, the better my articles become.

      Thanks for sharing this with us. The photos were cool, and I like the "almost related to the topic" silly comments under them.

      Have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • bac2basics profile image


      5 years ago from Spain

      Hi Jimmy.

      Very sound advice and apt at this time when so many writers are in a state of panic and anger. Being quite a newbie at this I have of course noticed fluctuations but as I haven´t yet reached the stage where I get a monthly income I just take it as it comes and think that there will be times when there is less readership to certain topics and more to others. The bottom line I believe is to try and write the best articles you can and not worry about anything else.

      By the way I loved the picture´s of your dog and your son. :)

    • Scribenet profile image


      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It is a learning experience and one would hope the longer we remain here, the better we get at writing Hubs readers search for. Practice makes perfect.

    • macteacher profile image

      Wendy Golden 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you for the reminder: Unique, quality writing will persevere, average or below average writing will not. Thanks for an excellent hub. :-)

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      5 years ago from Jamaica

      You made quite a number of key points. There is a huge misconception about word count, photos, polls, maps and other media in content.

      What people, especially on HP misunderstand is the difference between what HP terms as a stellar hub and what is relevant for search. The most important thing to Google is relevance and quality. Search engines want to know that you are giving exactly what you say you are and that the quality is exceptional.

      It matters not to Google if you have polls, videos or photos so long as the information is correct and not padded with fluff. I find a lot of writers fluff their content to make it longer and readers have to scroll to far to find the info they need. Articles like that will rank very low in search.

      Well presented hub, sorry for the long comment.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Very wise advice Jimmy, and yes we can take the blame for it. I know I have to update some of my hubs, well, a lot of them to be honest! lol! thanks for the info, nell

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This IS a very sensible hub and strangely comforting. My traffic and views are also way down. You make a good point re: having content that is different from others out there. I know I have some quality hubs, but I also know that they could be better. Many of them could be revised. I think I will start on a list, revising a few a week to get started.

      Thanks for looking at this different from all of our negativity and complaints in the forums. It's hard to not be discouraged. Your hub helps. I'm sharing this one! OH--and I loved your funny captions for your random photos. :-)

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      5 years ago from USA

      Great hub. I did see a video by Matt Cutts a couple of weeks before this last Panda. In it he said that the next change would be that links from social media would no longer be counted if they appeared unnatural. I wonder if this is the problem.

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks for visiting everyone, I just hope that all the work will be worth it in the end and I am sure that we will all get back up there soon.....jimmy

    • twoseven profile image


      5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Great hub. I love the focus on what you can control as a writer. Why bother worrying about anything else! The mental energy is far better spent improving current hubs or writing new ones!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 years ago from Chicago Area

      You are so right, Jimmy! As painful (and seemingly never-ending) as this whole process is for writers, it is a necessary part of the Internet evolution. Once a Panda or Penguin change occurs, it can take months for content to recover to an acceptable level. But it is good advice to review earlier content (especially "evergreen" topics) to see if they can be improved. Hang in there, hubbers!

    • Austinstar profile image


      5 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Since many writers write for the sheer joy of writing, trying to figure out how constantly changing search engines work is a real waste of time. As soon as you try to write for a business (a search engine), then you are 'working'.

      If your goal is to be discovered as a writer, or make money as a writer, then this is useful information and thank you for writing this interesting hub on the topic.

      Every day is a learning experience. The more you learn, the more you know, right?

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Well written and you nail the problem well when you say that it is quality that counts and these Panda and Penguin are like a sieve to separate the worthless chaff of which there is no dearth on the internet.

      I believe good times are for those who persevere and make their articles stand out as unique. Though as you point out that may a lot of time. Good things can't be held down for long.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      5 years ago from California, United States of America

      I tend to agree with you, Jimmy. Google needs a search engine that is useful for people; they can't have that kind of search engine with badly written, spammy content that got up to the top by manipulative means. I can definitely see why they're doing what they're doing at Google. Very good points here that you are making. I do understand writers' frustrations, but I see why Google is trying to knock out superfluous, low-quality, spam content too. Though, I will say that I'm too new to all this to feel the sting of Panda and Penguin; I've never quite climbed to the top in the first place; I might be feeling differently if I'd taken a fall, I suppose. Thanks for this piece, very informative and enlightening, and, actually, inspiring.

    • profile image

      David Thompson 

      5 years ago from Kingman Arizona

      Good article Jimmy

      I bekieve in this article you said what had to be said. If the quality of the article is good, the ranking by google will follow. However a certain amount of what I have read is not of the quality to even be printed. I would never think of writing a hub, using the editor. You should always write , edit and then transcribe, using the editor. That way when you edit, you can check your ideas, to see if they make sense. The best way to do this is in a quiet, unhurried fashion.

      As I said before, good article. You really brought out good points. Thank you!

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks for your input Gordon, My own traffic has bombed here on Hubpages, but I really do have faith because in a recent experiment I created a new account and the traffic to it is rising steadily.

      I am sure that if I apply the changes to my Hubs in this account I will also make progress with the search engines. It will take me a while but it hopefully will be worth it in the end.....jimmy

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 

      5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Well written and sensible viewpoint, Jimmy. Personally, I think too many people are panicking and blaming everything but the kitchen sink for the present situation. I have a couple of points to add (if you don't mind) that are - I promise - relevant.

      Firstly and most importantly, although my Hub Pages traffic has been decimated to some extent, my Hubs are probably the least affected by the changes over the last year, taking in to account the various different places I write online. My biggest drop? Blogs - hosted by Blogger/Google. Traffic and income down 95%+ across the board since October/November last year.

      Although my Hub traffic is down, in many instances I've checked and found that I still hold the same position in the Google searches as I did previously. There just seem to be fewer people clicking on the link. This is the bit that puzzles/worries me the most...

      Good luck with your updates. I'll gradually be doing the same and will complete as soon as I get that 25th hour added to the day :)


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