seo experts in leeds

Google Hummingbird, Panda & Penguin Algorithms Explained

Explaining Google’s Menagerie Of Algorithms


If you spend any time on the internet, you’re probably no stranger to the word ‘algorithm’ or, to the fact that different companies use different kinds.  One of the most prolific creators and users of algorithms is, of course, search giant, Google.  Google uses a number of algorithms within its mysterious work but three in particular; Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin.  Despite the creatures they’re named after, there’s nothing cute about these three clever systems.  As SEO experts in Leeds, we’re often asked to explain what the various algorithms are and, how they work and so, here, we delve into the ins and outs of Google’s three musketeers – and what to do if you suffer a penalty because of one of them.




Google’s main search algorithm, Hummingbird is responsible for helping Google to better understand its users.  In short, Hummingbird is all about figuring out what it is a user wants from the words used in a search.  The algorithm, which includes the mysterious RankBrain AI feature, uses intelligence to decipher the user’s requirements; for example, if somebody searches ‘Best coffee place in London’, Hummingbird will automatically figure out that, by ‘place’ the user means cafe or restaurant.


How to fix a Hummingbird penalty


Penalties on your site due to Hummingbird will usually manifest themselves in the form of a loss of ranking.  The way to fix this is to, plain and simple, produce better content.  Try using higher quality content which answers frequent questions by searchers and you should see your ranking begin to improve.


The first of Google’s algorithms to be created, Panda was designed to highlight high-quality sites in search results.  Named after one of its creators, Navneet Panda, this algorithm was originally known to target sites known as content farms and penalise them where necessary for stealing content or information.

How to fix a Panda penalty 

The Panda algorithm is usually updated monthly and applies penalties where necessary – usually to sites whose ranking has seen unusual activity.  To avoid a Panda penalty, keep an eye on your content and your ranking.  Should you find yourself falling foul of Google’s Panda algorithm, you’ll need to contact Google to ask for a reconsideration of the penalty.  As this can be a lengthy process, avoidance of receiving such penalties is the wisest course.


Created in 2012, the Penguin algorithm effectively reduces the trust that Google has in sites which have gained ranking through illicit means such as unnatural backlinks. This algorithm regularly examines links on sites and applies penalties where it deems that ‘illegal’ links are found.

How to fix a Penguin penalty

In order to have a Penguin penalty removed, you will need to identify the ‘bad’ links on your site and then convince Google that these were not placed on the site intentionally.  You will need to submit a penalty reconsideration application which can take time.  It’s a good idea to keep a running spreadsheet of all links on your site and social media to avoid this issue.

As SEO experts in Leeds, there’s not much that ExciteBrand doesn’t know about Google and it’s algorithms.  ExciteBrand’s experts can help your company to benefit from these algorithms as well as avoiding damaging penalties.