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Panda Reference in Google Earth Day Doodle

Animated Google Doodle Has Hidden Context

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Panda Reference in Google Earth Day Doodle
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One thing is clear, there are two Pandas in Google’s doodle for Earth Day today. Whether that is an intentional reference to the recent Panda algorithm update is debatable. There are two of them, and there have been two roll-outs of the Panda update – one in the U.S. and then one globally (in English).

Of course there are other animals that appear in the doodle – a lion, a couple of penguins, a koala bear, a brown bear, a frog, a red bird, and a fish (which gets eaten by the bear).

It’s a cool doodle. It’s another animated one (which they seem to be making a lot of lately). When you mouse over the Pandas they either get tickled or have fits (not unlike webmasters after the update).

For those of you who haven’t been following, the Panda update was Google’s attempt to crack down on low quality content appearing in search results. Many have applauded the move, but there have been plenty of complaints from webmasters who saw their sites slide in rankings. That’s obvious of course, but we’ve seen some questionable examples.

Some publishers feel that their entire sites (including good content) are being devalued because of some of the lower quality content on their sites. Sites like eHow, EzineArticles, HubPages are trying to substantially increase content quality by making changes to their design, and editorial policies. HubPages just announced it is cracking down on affiliate links, for example.

It’s possible that the Pandas in the doodle have nothing to do with the Panda update. But come on. Out of all of the animals on the Earth, it seems like a pretty big coincidence that two of them would make their way into a Google doodle, so soon after the much talked about algorithm update. At least one Googler (a Search Quality Analyst, at that) has pointed out the connection:

There are two Pandas in Google’s logo today :^) 52 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

See a collection of our Panda Update coverage here.

Panda Reference in Google Earth Day Doodle
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  • http://www.wordstream.com steve

    more earthday infographic fun: The Internet is killing the planet

  • KJ

    Google seems to be paying homage to the ‘sneezing baby panda’ video with the Earth Day animation. Got a good laugh this morning :)

  • riwaaz

    or the panda is representing the video on the sneezing baby panda which went viral?

  • kiyotei

    Yep- Sneezing panda. Missed it this morning but caught it 2nd time playing around. Good laugh – thanks Evil Google!

  • Arty

    You know, I think the pandas in this doodle are actually referencing that viral video of the sneezing baby panda.

  • http://www.singh101.com Nishi Singh

    Looks like the sole criteria for better visibility is pure quality content.

  • http://digitaldonproductions.com/nhc Don Hill

    I’m reminded of the old saying: “None proclaim their innocence so loudly as the guilty.”

    I suspect the majority of those complaining about Panda are people who learned diligently how to build “link wheels” consisting of mostly irrelevant and humanly-unreadable sites, as the IM “gurus” have been teaching over the past 5 years or so.

    For those who make a living out of “gaming” the search engines, it’s obviously frustrating when changes like Panda come along and upset their apple carts, because they now have to learn a new set of rules in order to figure out how to circumvent them.

    Rather than trying to second-guess the latest algorithm, I recommend to my clients that they try to “think through” the search process when creating content for their websites, presenting content that PEOPLE in their target actually WANT to find. While that may be somewhat more esoteric than applying an arbitrary “formula” to their SEO efforts, I believe that doing so will benefit my clients in the long run, making them less susceptible to changes implemented by the search engines in their attempts to weed out “marketers” looking for “short-cuts” to the top of the SERPs.

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