Penguin, Panda and ___________: Predicting Names for Google Algorithm Changes
Photo Courtesy 20th Century Fox
Google might be a monolithic corporation marching toward global domination, but at least they’re having a fun time doing it.
They have some well-publicized quirks, from the propeller caps given to new employees to the little Easter eggs they’ve hidden around their homepage. For those of us in SEO, we’re treated to occasional updates to the Google search algorithm, always rolled out under esoteric names.
From Buffy to Bourbon, Caffeine to Penguin, what do the names mean?
As you might expect, the naming convention is a little quirky. Some updates are named to honor employees, some are given based on the project (ex: Caffeine gave a “jolt” to search engine speed) and some, well… we don’t know.
That brings us to some of the latest algorithm updates that have gone live. There’s Pigeon, Panda, Hummingbird and Penguin. We’re always trying to figure out what’s coming next, so here are our predictions for upcoming algorithm updates.
Porcupine — Penalizes malware-infected sites, as well as legitimate businesses who don’t have malware.
Pdairy Pcow — Google engineers will roll out this update on a week in which they have trouble thinking of an animal that is both black and white and starts with a P. This update will integrate Yahoo! Answers and WikiAnswers results into the SERP, so users can save themselves a click when trying to figure out if stepping on a rusty nail can get you pregnant.
Albatross — Google gives up on thinking of “P” animals and just decides to go with one that’s black and white this time. Albatross will introduce a totally new feature that all SEOs will have to set up and spend hundreds of hours maintaining to keep domain authority high, all before it is eventually abandoned in mid-2015.
Papa Bear — Image search update removes pictures of individuals after they have children, preventing users’ kids from finding archived party photos they had put online in 2006.
Piñata — New button added next to “I’m Feeling Lucky” on the search start page. When clicked, a Flash animation shows the page exploding open with search results from random queries, with the goal being to click as many as possible as fast as you can (surefire ad revenue builder!)
Cave Spider — Named after a happy blind crawler, the Cave Spider update will remove auto-suggestions from the search bar that are depressing.
Pony — Improves user experience by streaming Ginuwine in the background during searches.