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, causing many to lose rankings and in the process, most of their web traffic, it has been talked about so much.
Needless to say, this can be catastrophic for most businesses that heavily relies on traffic referrals from Google. But what was the “Penguin update” and why did the “Penguin update” affect so many websites?
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. That way, maintaining faith in Google and continuing to use the service are the users. 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 what the latest update was said to target. Penguin was implemented to make sure that sites that over the years which had been gaming the system somewhat, would be penalised by the algorithmic filter and demoted in the search results, which was the primary reason for its implementation. Considering that Google receives hundreds of millions of search queries every day, millions of websites are being penalised and around 3.1% of search queries which are said to be affected by the update.
A manual penalty, where a human has followed say a spam report and taken action is not what the Penguin update is which is worth noting. 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. One thing that is noticeable is that, appearing to retain their page rank and continuing to be crawled and indexed are the sites. If you obtained many low quality links or paid links, links that were pointing to your site previously have also been devalued means that these sites have now 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.
For us, clear is the future of marketing of your site. You will need to start adopting a different approach to your online marketing if you have been affected by the Penguin update.