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How do you know if your site was penalized by Google Panda or Penguin?

There is no simple answer for determining if your site has been penalized by Google Panda or Penguin.  Google has released 21 updates for Panda since its initial release in 02/2011.  Therefore, unless you noticed a drastic drop in your rankings around the time it was released, there’s no real way to determine if your site has been hit.  However, knowing that Panda was intended to combat content farming, if your site had any kind of duplicate or thin content on it and you saw a drop in your positions, there’s a good chance your site was affected by Panda. 

It might be a little easier to determine if your site was hit by Google’s Penguin update since there haven’t been as many updates released for this algorithm.  Penguin is also known as the “over-optimization penalty” and was designed to fight keyword stuffing and exact match linking.  If you noticed a dramatic drop in your positions around 4/24/2012, chances are you were hit by Penguin.  The best way to recover from Panda or Penguin is to stop doing the things these updates were designed to target against.  These updates were aimed to keep sites credible.  You will be able to recover from most penalizations your site may have incurred from Panda or Penguin by staying away from what search engines consider to be black hat SEO.

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