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.
2013-05-23 2:46 pm
Thanks for the update. Matt Cutts from Google also mentioned that those involved in SEO will have many updates / algorithm changes affecting them. So it will be a Summer of SEO updates & changes.
2013-05-23 3:01 pm
Hello username, and thanks for the comment!
Yeah the search engine optimization (SEO) field has really changed over the last 2 years as we've been seeing. If you've been focusing your efforts on creating unique quality content for your website, you could actually see a boost in your rankings and traffic, if your competitors have been using tactics outside of Google's Webmaster Guidelines to try to game the system and get themselves to the front page of results.
If you have been using tactics to try to get your website to the front page of Google results, without the quality and helpfulness of your content deserving that position, you could be in for a very busy summer of updates.
A good way to think about SEO, is realizing that Google's goal is to place the top 10 pages from the entire Internet that would most directly answer someones typed in query. As Google's algorithms become more and more sophisticated, they will get better and better at only providing results that answer a query directly and correctly. So before trying to figure out a way to get your page to the #1 spot on Google, first stop and ask yourself, out of all the pages on the Internet that cover the topic I'm writing on, does mine really deserve to be displayed first above everyone else?
2013-09-11 5:56 pm
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it :)