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The Google Ostrich Update - Google Panda and Penguin Have Nothing on the Ostrich

Updated on July 6, 2012

The Google Ostrich Update - Google's Latest Algorythm Update Coming Soon!!

Here we go again. Google has another update coming in a few weeks that has internet marketers quaking in their boots. It's official folks - the Google Ostrich is on it's way. There's no point putting your head between your legs and bracing for an impact. There's no point burying your head in the sand. This is the Google update of all Google updates. This is the algorithm change that you don't want to be caught napping when it comes.

Keep reading to find out what Google Ostrich is, the steps you can take to minimize it's effects and how you can adapt and improve your chances of being passed over by the Ostrich.

Google's Previous Updates - Panda and Penguin

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Find out what really happens behind the scenes at Google!


Google really does love to keep internet marketers or SEO guru's on their toes. People make a living by ranking pages on search engines for keyword phrases and then making money selling advertising to those eyeballs, or selling products directly or through affiliate links. Even if you are a humble writer on HubPages, Squidoo or Wizzley then Google Ostrich could still seriously impact you. Afterall, Panda didn't care if you were an A class writer and neither did the Penguin. It didn't matter if you had your own websites or you wrote for a revenue sharing platform, the Google algorythms are there to knock people off their SEO perches. That's all they care about; how their search engine results are generated and the advertizing revenue they generate. You are not important to them. You are at their mercy and have to accept the potential of being whalloped by a kung-fu Panda or a diving Penguin.

Learn more about Panda and Penguin Updates

The Google Panda Update

The first Panda update came as a shock to the system. The Panda wasn't interested in recycling. He wanted new content and he wanted it now. Nothing copied, one hundred percent original if you so please. This knocked a lot of people off the first pages of Google's search results and many have never recovered.

Many internet marketers were affronted that Google could ruin their income literally overnight. When you go from ranking in 1st place to not ranking at all, it suddenly becomes crystal clear exactly how much Google can effect your bottom line.

Some of these people decided to change how their business operated. They decided to concentrate on gaining traffic by paying for it. Although they hated Google, they still needed them and increased their advertizing spend through Google Search and placing Ads on the Google Content Network. Others increased their advertizing on platforms such as Facebook and Plenty of Fish. There was a surge in PPV advertizers and also buying banner ads suddenly became the next big money maker. Another last ditch attempt to promote dodgy CPA offers arose, especially the zip submit. When these endeavours failed, people invariably returned to trying to rank in the organic results of Google, or gave up internet marketing all together.

Of course, there were websites and pages that were unaffected by the Panda and continued to keep thier rankings. However, Google continues to update Panda so just because it didn't effect you before doesn't mean you'll be safe in the future.

Learn to protect your sites from Penguin updates

The Google Penguin Update

Recently there was also the Google Over-Optimization Penalty. Google basically penalized sites that were supposedly keyword stuffing their content in order to get better rankings in the search engines. This was dubbed the Penguin Update and resulted in sites being penalized for telling Google what their sites are actually about. It also penalized over-optimized backlinks and unnatural backlinking practices.

Yes there are sites that deserved to be hit and were clearly just writing for search engine rankings and wrote something like the following for content consistently, "this is the review for keyword. This keyword will help you do everything you could ever imagine. Without this keyword you will die and you need this keyword to survive." You get the point. Not pretty, not helpful and pretty dumb. However, others were caught in the crossfires and have been unfairly penalized.

In terms of backlinks, people were trying to ran for one keyword and all their backlink anchor text was this particular keyword. It didn't appear natural and isn't how normal people would share your content.

Did I happen to mention yet.... Google doesn't care. In fact, searchers have been complaining that the search results are getting worse and not better. Immediately after the Penguin update people complained that some of the worst sites they've seen, with thin or no content, were now ranking in the first three positions in Google for highly competitive and high traffic terms.

Google's Other Updates

Of course there's been lots of updates. We are not solely limited to the likes of Panda and Penguin, and the upcoming Ostrich update. There was the Ads Above The Fold Update, which penalized sites that looked overly promotional. You've seen those sites where the top third of the page purely consists of ads. Well those were penalized as low quality sites. It was fairly easy to fix by removing some of the ads, but of course this had an impact on profits. Google doesn't care.

If you've ever looked at a Google search results page you'll see what I mean. The first half of the page and the whole right column are paid ads. Is this not what the Top Heavy Update was penalizing. Another case of Google telling it's customer to "do as we say, don't do as we do." Very similar to the bully in the playground mentallity. Except Google isn't using cuddly toys, they are using the Panda, the Penguin and the Ostrich. I am sure there's a joke in there somewhere about what happens when they all go to a bar....

There was also the deindexing of all the major Blog Networks that thousands of people had been using successfully to gain high PR backlinks, in order to move up the rankings in Google. Why Google waited so long to shut this down is strange. Perhaps they wanted to piss off more people by getting people hooked on these Blog Networks, which allowed the Blog Networks to make a bundle in membership fees and allowed website owners to rake in the cash by ranking for highly competitive and lucrative terms organically.

Impact of Google Updates So Far

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In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

You'll be surprised at the way Google manipulates people into sharing the information Google wants.


From the Google Updates already discussed such as Panda, Penguin (Over-Optimization), Ads Above the Fold and the deindexing of the Blog Networks, people will be scratching their heads wondering what's left for Google to mess around with. They've messed with your on-page SEO by stipulating you must have original content, under no circumstances are you to tell Google what your page is about and you should limit the number of ads you have where people are most likely to see them and click on them. So tick, Google doesn't want you to make money from your website either. Not that you'll be able to once you are no longer ranked and you have no ads to monetize your site.

Off-page, Google are sending messages to people they believe have unnatural backlink profiles. They have effectively shut down the Blog Networks, therefore limiting the number and quality of potential backlinks you can get. In effect, these will also impact your potential and actual income. But don't worry yet. You haven't seen what Google have up their sleeve yet. They have the mother of all updates coming up. The Google Ostrich update is totally gonna kill it and most people won't even see it coming.

The Google Ostrich Update - How Many Google Products Do You Use?

Since Google are big bullies in the playground they can stipulate almost any rule they desire. There goals are to increase their profit margins and increase the flow of funds towards them. With Google Ostrich they can do just that.

What is Google Ostrich?

Google Ostrich is a way for Google to make you promote their products even further. They want to penalize sites and pages that have ignored them in the past. You might have dodged previous updates such as Panda and Penguin by keeping your head down and doing only white hat SEO, but you will have to take action now if you don't want to be penalized by Google Ostrich.

Google recently changed their Privacy Policy so that it is now almost one policy across the majority of Google products. Google is also doing their best to lock consumers into their products by making it necessary that you have to have a Google account to be able to use their services. For some services you are actually forced to set up a Gmail account if you wish to use the other Google services. However, Google is about to take this a step further with the Ostrich update.

Google Ostrich will measure how much interaction your pages and websites have with Google products. The more you show Google love, the higher your search engine rankings will be. If you continue to ignore Google, then you will be penalized.

How Can You Protect Yourself From the Google Ostrich?

The Google Way: How to Use Google to Do Everything!
The Google Way: How to Use Google to Do Everything!

This is Google's overall goal; get consumers locked into everything Google related.


Many website owners and internet marketers want to know how to insulate themselves from the wrath of Google. The answer is really simple; slap as many Google products onto your site as you possibly can. Here's a few examples of what we mean.

Look at your existing web page and try and figure out where you can incorporate the following Google components.

1. YouTube embedded videos - The more YouTube videos you can embed on your site the better. You can add these to hubs too and Google will give you a few points for doing so, which will help with your rankings. If you already produce videos and stick them onto your site directly, you may want to change your tactic. Upload the video through YouTube and then embed it on your site. This way Google will give you the credit for your videos.

2. Google Adsense - Sites that have Google Adsense on their pages will get bonus points and will be favored in the search engine rankings. If you have the maximum ads on the page and still make the page not look spammy then bonus points to you. This is extra revenue for Google so it's simple to see why they would reward you for this.

3. Google Analytics - If you use Google Analytics to measure your websites performance then this is optimal for Google. They want information about your websites. This gives them even more insight into what you are doing across a number of web properties. Google likes free information. They can use his information to design future Google updates and also for advertising revenue.

4. Link Your Google Accounts Together - Even more points are awarded to webmasters who join their Google Adsense accounts to their Google Analytics. This means you would also have added your websites to the Google Webmaster tools. Not only will you be able to see what your top performing pages are, but so can Google. This is valuable information to them. You wouldn't share this information with other people yet you share this information with Google everyday, and so do millions of other people around the world.

5. Gmail - In order to open many of these Google owned accounts already mentioned you have to have a Google email address, more commonly known as Gmail. This is how Google plans to increase ad revenue further as the number of Gmail accounts opened will continue to grow, Inside Gmail, near the top of the page are further ads., earning further revenue for Google.

6. Feedburner RSS Feeds - When you burn a RSS feed, you'll earn a lot more ranking points in Google if you use Feedburner, This is another Google owned product and you will earn even more points if you monetize your feed using the Feed ads in Google Adsense. Again more revenue for Google.

7. Mobile Enabled Sites - Make sure your sites are mobile enabled and load quickly on mobile devices. Google wants your content to be viewable everywhere. Even more points are awarded if you then serve Google ads on the mobile platform, especially if your sites are optimized for Android devices. In case you didn't know, Google owns Android too.

8. Google Search Bar - You might have a search bar on your site, but if it's not the one provided by Google within Adsense, then not only are you missing out on potential revenue, but you will soon be missing out on bonus Google ranking points. It's really simple to set up and can replace the existing search bar you have currently.

9. Load Speed of Pages - The speed at which your web pages load is a factor in being ranked in Google. If your page loads too slowly then you can be penalized for this; especially if people are clicking away from your page before the adverts have even loaded. Needless to say, Google dislikes this. For this reason, they will continue to monitor your page load speed using Google Chrome.

10. Google Chrome - Make sure your website looks good in Google Chrome. More and more people are switching to Chrome from Firefox as it continues to get slower.

11. Google Wallet - If you have an online store then make sure your site is Google Wallet enabled. This was previously called Google Checkout.

12. Google+ - If your site isn't Google+ enabled then you are going to suffer greatly in the search engine rankings. Google wants it's users to share content with each other. The theory is that only good content will be shared. The more shares you have the more popular your page will become and Google will see it as an authority that people trust. Google doesn't care about how many Facebook likes your page has. This is outside the realm of Google and is therefore irrelevant. The plan is for Google+ to continue to grow and have more members than Facebook.

13. Blogger - The more backlinks you are able to accumulate from related Blogger web pages the better you will rank. This is because this is another Google product. It's easy to do this by opening up your own Blogger account and then participating on other people's pages. They will in turn look at your page and make sure you have a link back to your main website. This will encourage people to link to your homepage and your Blogger account. Bonus points are added if you add Google Adsense units to your Blogger account.

There are other Google products that you can add to your site or help in terms of off-page SEO, but I have tried to stick with the most vital ones. These are also the ones most people are able to implement on their site quickly and make a serious impact.

Remember folks, points equal prizes. In this case the points will move you up the Google rankings. Ignore Google Ostrich at your peril!

Of course, Google won't tell us which of their products will earn you the most points, but it's simple enough to add a broad spectrum of their products across your web properties.

The Google Ostrich Hit You and You Don't Know What to do Now

Search & Destroy: Why You Can't Trust Google Inc.
Search & Destroy: Why You Can't Trust Google Inc.

Find out why you shouldn't share your information with Google and what it is they have planned for your data.


Do You Think Google Has Too Much Power?

See results

For those that got to this hub too late and the Google Ostrich has already hit, I sympathize with you. However, it should be relatively simple to fix the dilemma you are in.

Perhaps you just weren't aware of what was coming your way. In that case, make the changes suggested above and when the Google Ostrich comes running past again your site will be rewarded with great rankings.

If on the other hand you don't agree with the required changes and feel upset that Google is dictating how you do business it's really nothing new. The bigger Google get, the more power they will wield. You will have to chose to stick with your morals and suffer the consequences of not doing as Google wants you to do. This will result in rubbish placement in the search engines and a significant drop in revenue. Otherwise, you'll have to swallow your pride, bend over and accept what Google is doing to you. Welcome to the Google Ostrich.

What Would You Do if the Google Ostrich Hit?

Of course the Google Ostrich doesn't exist. This hub was written as not only a joke, but also to highlight the power Google wields over millions of people. Also remember that Google can change the rules at any time. Although you may have not been affected in the past, you have very little power to dictate what will happen in the future.

Disclaimer - No Google animals were harmed in the writing of this article including the Google Ostrich, unfortunately I can't say the same about internet marketers and webmasters. I expect they will continue to hurt as long as Google is in the drivers seat.


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    • tom_caton profile image

      Tom Caton 

      6 years ago from The Desk

      haha... ostrich... great hub, and such a twist at the end :)

    • Lauryallan profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Yeah @ B leekley - you gotta love that! Basically google has so much power and they pretty much just said yeah go on, continue to do the things you do.

      Also thank you for reading the whole article. Many people don't and miss out on the whole point of something.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      6 years ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      Up, Useful, and Interesting.

      I thought the upcoming Ostrich update was for real until you revealed that it isn't and that you were joking to make a point about Google's power.

      In actual news, the US government Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has dropped an anti-trust court cases against Google. A recent online New York Times article by Edward Wyatt said, "By allowing Google to continue to present search results that highlight its own services, the F.T.C. decision could enable Google to further strengthen its already dominant position on the Internet."

    • Lauryallan profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      I don't think I necessarily agree. There have been a number of times after a Google update where the sites listed on the front page are even worse than b4 the update.

      Is it really in Google's interest to have the best results ranking organically? Or is it better to have ok results and therefore encourage site owners to pay for ad spots and to encourage users to click on these relevant ads?

    • Denmarkguy profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 

      6 years ago from Port Townsend

      It's a fun read about "The Evil Empire" taking over the world!

      On the whole, I agree with thephoenixlives... Google's primary objective is to find ways to uprank positive user experiences because that ultimately serves their own purpose of generating revenues. Specialization and niche focus is an important part of this-- as online marketing guru Seth Godin pointed out many years ago, "creating a site about 'music' is meaningless, while having a site about 'how Mick Jagger braids his nose hair' is where the future lies." Metaphorically speaking. Specialization. Expertise. Everything else is "noise."

      So much of the content hit by Panda and Penguin had no business being any part of search results, ANYway-- domain squatters, link and content farms along with the profusion of "flimsy content" primarily created/copied by people who were (ostensibly) there to Make Money Writing Online while not caring one WHIT about the actual content. Most web users are not stupid-- and they are NOT looking for the 97,347th iteration of "The Hobbit is a movie based on a popular book by J.R.R.Tolkien... blah, blah, blah..." in 400 words or less, but some ORIGINAL content and insight created from scratch that leaves the reader going "wow, THAT was cool!" and wanting more.

      Yes, we may never be quite sure how the next Google update will affect us... but it's a good bet that if we focus on creating content that is a "crisp signal" rather than "noise," we won't suffer too much.

    • Lauryallan profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thx Kaili!

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Google it! Great choice of animal :-)

    • Lauryallan profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      lol no problem Mike, glad you actually read to the end.

    • M A Williams profile image


      6 years ago from New Hampshire

      Great article Laury. Embarrassingly, you had me punked right till the end!

    • thephoenixlives profile image


      7 years ago

      While I agree that it was a good read, I do not agree with everything on it, even with Panda and Penguin. These were updates I have longed for to happen. Google is not changing the rules by any means when it comes to their T.O.S. They simply now have the ability to enforce them with what is called machine learning.

      If you remember correctly, Panda started out as the "Farmers update" and was then renamed as Panda because of the engineer that developed the machine learning algorithm. His name is "Navneet Panda".

      There is a reason so many Hubbers have been hit with panda, and the reasons are pretty obvious, because of what this new algorithm has "learned" over the last year plus a few months.

      With the push of Google Plus, Chrome and other metrics they gather, they have been able to model relevance, user interaction, and distinguishing between fake tweets ( its not tweets that count, it is re-tweets), fake links from facebook accounts that do not fit the profile of an active account user and so forth.

      You can have beautiful content and still get hit by panda, because as I have said, content is not king at all, it is great content, great site structure, great internal link structure, great social interaction.

      Everyone is focusing on one aspect instead of the machine that drives marketing and content, and that is the people.

      On Hubs, your site is your subdomain, it needs to be niche in nature, the content needs to have internal linking that is made to educate the visitors. If you write about eggs today and politics tomorrow and skateboards the next, your "site" is not themed and there is no common sense way to add value for the customer unless you share traffic with other hubbers through linking to them as resources within your content that is related. Do you think hubpages put the suggested link tool there for no reason? I think not.

      Your site (subdomain on hubpages) is like a car. But if you remove one tire, it is worthless, give the tire back and remove the gas and it is still worthless, fill it up and remove the transmission and again, it is worthless.

      This is not rocket science, so let me ask you a couple of questions.

      When you do a search and you land on a horrible site, what do you do? You hit the back button.

      When you land on a great article, well written and thoughtfully put together with words, but there is no "other" information that is related to the subject of interest, what do you do? You hit the back button.

      That is a bounce, and a bad bounce ( yes, there are good bounces). If this happens too much, Google looks at it as a trash page because of the metrics.

      You must have other interesting links to within your "Site" to keep your time on the page, site and page-views up or you will be slapped by the Panda.

      Stop and think and you will never have to worry.

    • Lauryallan profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Yeah I see your point Greekgeek. However, everything in the top half of the hub is accurate and true. It's not aimed to be misleading, it's more a case of what I feel is actually happening with Google and I didn't want to put it across in a boring standard way.

      It's not really a case of inventing things that are not true. it's more a case of exaggerating what Google is up to and also to make the reader really question what it is that they share with Google and what it's gonna cost longer term. It might seem fine just now but what credentials do Google really have to hold so much info on people? What are they doing with this data and where will it lead?

      Unfortunately, I have to agree it is a slippery slope, but I really think they are free falling down it. They are so geared towards making a Google land where you can do everything inside Google and never have to leave. If any other company did this off line they would be brought before the monopoly committee. However, nothing seems to happen with them. Microsoft got taken down a peg or two ages ago and yet no one even seems to see the threat with Google.

      I can see you know a lot about the Google updates and what they are up to but they are constantly changing the arena. They always said that they would ignore links from "bad neighbourhoods", but now you are actually being negatively impacted by them. If you follow Google's rules and these are organic links that you didn't create, there's little you can do about these bad links. What's to stop your competitor from spamming your link in bad neighbourhoods?

      Also, although this hub might sound preposterous, Google have already taken steps to show this is their thinking. You even gave some great examples yourself in the comment above. If Google could make these changes tomorrow and get away with it it would. Will these things happen overnight - Of course not.

      I called it Google Ostrich to get people's attention. To make them raise their heads and pay attention to what is going on, before it's too late. I'm sorry if you found it misleading as that was not my intention. I will think about how I can adapt the hub to make it clearer.

    • Greekgeek profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Sorry, my bad. Wading through all the conspiracy theories, I couldn't make it to the end of the page without going, "AUGH! MORE MISINFORMATION!" and losing patience.

      Again, apologies. But I'm afraid a lot of people are going to read this and think it's real.

      There are better ways to make your point, I'm thinking. If it's a legitimate argument, there has to be a way to make it without inventing things that aren't true.

      But I definitely do agree with you that Google's veering away from its "Don't Be Evil" philosophy (which was partly a marketing ploy, but it was part of their corporate ID as well). I have not been very happy with most of the Search Plus Your World related algo tweaks, which are tainting their search results by giving perks to listings connected with Google membership (like that shiny author profile icon which is only given out if you link your content to a Google account). It's a slippery slope, and they're inching down it.

    • Lauryallan profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      thx webberzone.

    • webberzone profile image


      7 years ago

      Loved reading the article. Very interesting. :)

    • Lauryallan profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Greekgreek, please read this hub again, especially the last headed section. I think you will find the answer in there.

      It wasn't my intention but I guess it just proves that people don't actually read hubs from start to finish. Don't feel bad, you clearly aren't the only one. The point I am trying to make is how ridiculous Google is getting. They could make up any rules they wanted and what could people really do about it?

    • Greekgeek profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Have you got a source for any of these claims? I follow SEO industry news closely, and I have not seen any reference to a Google ostrich update on the web.

      While Google is getting too big for its britches and is indeed integrating some social signals, what you're describing doesn't seem to match what my own research into Google algorithm changes shows. I predicted the Panda launch about two months before it happened, and was pooh-poohed for saying that Google was about to add ranking factors based on an evaluation of domain content, so I'm not completely naive, here!

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 

      7 years ago from Olney

      Interesting hub....I was always puzzled as to why my articles dropped off the Google I know why.

      Thanks for the info.

    • peeples profile image


      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for putting all the info on the 3 in one place for me and others.


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