Google Penguin and the impact on SEO
Google Penguin is the name for a continued public Google algorithm update, that first started back on April 24th, 2012. The goal with the Google Penguin update was aimed at penalizing websites that violate Google's Webmaster Guidelines by employing black-hat SEO tactics. This includes things such as stuffing keywords on a page, creating duplicate content, or using link schemes such as buying backlinks for their websites, instead of focusing on creating quality unique content.
Google Penguin 2.0
It has been rumored that another round of updates to the Google Penguin algorithm is closely approaching. When the Google Penguin 2.0 rollout completes which will be the first update of 2013, it's expected to be more thorough and in-depth than previous updates. Already Matt Cutts who is the head of the web spam team at Google has released one of their great Google Webmaster Help videos explaining what we can expect in the next few months for SEO and search engine optimization:
Google Penguin updates
Technically the Google Penguin 2.0 update is Google Penguin 4, in that it's the 4th update to the algorithm since first going live last year in April. Here is a rough break-down of previous Google Penguin updates with their release dates, as well as how many global Google queries were affected:
- Penguin 1 - April 24th, 2012 (~3.1% of queries)
- Penguin 2 - May 26th, 2012 (< 0.1% of queries)
- Penguin 3 - October 5th, 2012 (~.3% of queries)
- Penguin 4 - May 22nd, 2013 (~2.3% of queries)
For more information on the Google algorithm changes I recommend checking out these awesome sites as well:
- Google algorithm change history provided by Moz.com
- Google Penguin updates provided by SearchEngineLand.com
Things to do for Google Penguin
- Ensure your website is in compliance with the Google Webmaster Guidelines
- Use Google's Disavow tool to remove low quality links to your website
Bad SEO practices targeted by Google Penguin
These SEO tactics are typically referred to as black-hat SEO, in that they are methods for trying to cheat the system, rather than focusing on creating unique quality content:
- Advertorial spam
- Cloaking content
- Comment spam
- Doorway pages
- Link farms
- Purchased backlinks
- Scraping for content
- Unnecessary internal links
- Using hidden text on pages
We will continue to add on to this article with more information regarding the progress of the Google Penguin 2.0 update, as well as more in-depth explanations of what to do to ensure your website isn't negatively affected by this update.
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