The Google Penguin Update
Google rolled out one of its most talked about algorithmic changes since the Panda update in February 2011 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.
Needless to say, this can be catastrophic for most businesses that heavily relies on traffic referrals from Google. But why were so many websites affected by the “Penguin update” and what is it exactly?
In some way or another, most of us use Google to find information 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. The latest update was said to be for 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. 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.
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. Based on certain criteria which assesses whether or not a site has been over optimised or been building spammy back links, the Penguin update is an algorithmic update which filters out sites.
It is pretty likely that you were hit by it if just after the 24th April, you lost pretty much all of your websites traffic from Google then it is pretty likely that you were hit by it. Sites appear to retain their page rank and continue to be crawled and indexed 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. A penalty is what this can appear to be but in fact is purely a natural drop in rankings due to a devaluation of those incoming links.
For us, clear is the future of marketing of your site. A different approach to your online marketing is what you will need to start adopting if you have been affected by the Penguin update.
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