Share This: RSS
May 01, 2012

What You Need to Know About Google’s Penguin Update

Not sure what to think of Google’s Penguin update? Whether your website was hit or not, here’s what you need to know about Google’s newest algorithm change.

What is Penguin?

Penguin is Google’s latest update to its search-ranking algorithm. Released in full on April 24, 2012, the changes are meant to level the SEO playing field once and for all. Penguin decreases rankings for websites that violate Google’s existing quality guidelines, which include spammy techniques such as keyword stuffing, article spinning and cloaking.

Am I affected?

If your website has great content backed by white-hat SEO techniques, you’re fine. In fact, if you’re playing by the rules you might even see a boost in rankings.

Google does report some spamming offenses through Google Webmaster Central, but it doesn’t tell you if Penguin directly affected your website. So if you’re unsure, it’s wise to do some investigating.

The Penguin update launched on April 24th, so if you see a major drop in search-related traffic immediately after that date, you’ve probably been hit. If your traffic dropped earlier, on April 19th, and never recovered, you’ve probably been hit by Panda, not Penguin. Panda was designed to penalize low-quality content, not spam.

To put the Penguin update into context, the initial Panda change affected 12% of search queries, while Penguin only affected 3.1%.

Are those link warnings related to Penguin?

In mid-March, Google cracked down on blog networks that existed solely to generate links. Later in the month, Google sent notifications from Google Webmaster Tools warning users about violations related to “artificial or unnatural links.”

So if you saw your traffic drop at these times, it’s not because of Penguin. Either you are no longer benefiting from the now de-indexed link networks, or Google has attached a penalty to your site.

How do I recover?

Get rid of the spam. Check Google Webmaster Central for violation warnings even if you’ve never verified your account, and fix anything that Google has flagged as questionable. If Google hasn’t flagged your website—and you’re 100% sure Penguin has hit you—correct whatever appears to be spam-like.

Is Penguin bad for business?

Penguin is still in its early days, so it’s easy to come away with a skewed view. The only people speaking up are those who have been harmed by the update; Google searchers haven’t complained that it’s suddenly gotten worse, and those benefitting from the update have no reason to make a fuss.

Of those who were hit, most probably deserved to be hit. And of those who were rewarded, most probably deserved to be rewarded. If you’re a real business that provides real services and conducts web activities in a real way, you should be just fine.

Prev article Next article
Share This: RSS

What People Are Saying About Us

What People Are Saying About Us

I absolutely love the new website, congratulations. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with you in the future.  Great job.

- Cloverdale Paint -

This is amazing and thank you again for all of your great work, we love it!

- Mr. Lube -

The site looks fantastic and is a piece to be proud of. Your team worked well with our management team. We would recommend Graphically Speaking in building a quality site.

- Squamish Terminals -

Bottom line... I would not hesitate to endorse Graphically Speaking, without reservation.

- Thomas FX Group Inc. -

Thank you so much, we are so happy with the design, and you nailed it first time. We wanted you to know we are really thrilled.

- PainPro -

You have completely impressed me with the depth of the work.

- Bezdan -

On behalf of the Webtech team, we want to say thank you for your efforts in the launch of our new website, and for helping us meet our rushed deadline.

- Webtech -

Graphically Speaking provides an expertise that never failed to impress. Their skillful team provided a level of direction that was both disciplined and creative. A very tough combination to find when collaborating in today's world.

- British Columbia Pharmacy Association -

Your team has provided us with excellent support in the areas of website strategy, design, and search engine optimization, usability testing and general ongoing project management.

- The Jim Pattison Auto Group -

I want to express my thanks for the amazing work you and your team put in.

- Absolute Software -

I am pleased with the design, UI and insights from the usability testing that has allowed us to develop an award-winning website. Job well done.

- City of Richmond -

I wanted to reach out to you to let you know how happy we are with the results of the work your team has done on our new website. Your team has helped improve our site while supporting us during this process.

- IABC Calgary -

I want to thank you for the custom development of our Product Information Management system. Well done to the architects, programmers, account, and project managers.

- Cloverdale Paint -

The new website is definitely a success. Once again, I would like to thank you and Graphically Speaking for helping us out.

- EasyPark -

You, and the teams behind you really do such amazing work and truly boost the capabilities of our team here at Canfor. Thanks for all your work!

- Canfor -