The Google Penguin Update
One of Google’s most talked about algorithmic changes since the Panda update in February 2011 rolled out on the 24th April. Because it impacted so many websites, it has been talked about so much, especially since it caused many to lose rankings and in the process, most of their web traffic.
For most businesses that rely heavily on traffic referrals from Google, this can be catastrophic to say the least. What exactly was the “Penguin update” and were so many websites affected?
To find information, most of us use Google in some way or another and it is Google’s job as the leading search engine to make sure that the results that it produces are relevant and of a high quality. Maintaining faith in Google and continuing to use the service are the users in that way. Targetting webmasters that were over optimising their websites, building spammy back links and generally abusing the Google guidelines in order to rank better within the organic search results is the latest update. Penalised by the algorithmic filter and demoted in the search results are the sites that over the years had been gaming the system somewhat which is the reason that Penguin was implemented. Around 3.1% of search queries was said to be affected by the update which does not sound like a lot, but considering that Google receives hundreds of millions of search queries every day, this equates to millions of websites being penalised.
It is worth noting, that a manual penalty, where a human has followed say a spam report and taken action is not what the Penguin update is. An algorithmic update which filters out sites based on certain criteria which assesses whether or not a site has been over optimised or been building spammy back links is what the Penguin update is.
It is pretty likely that you were hit by it if you lost pretty much all of your websites traffic from Google just after the 24th April. Appearing to retain their page rank and continuing to be crawled and indexed are the sites, which is one thing that is noticeable. If you obtained many low quality links or paid links, devalued are these sites meaning that the links that were pointing to your site previously have also been devalued. Due to a devaluation of those incoming links, this can appear to be a penalty but in fact is purely a natural drop in rankings.
The future of marketing of your site, for us, is clear. If you have been affected by the Penguin update, a different approach to your online marketing is what you will need to start adopting.
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