The Google Penguin Update
Since the Panda update in February 2011, Google rolled out one of its most talked about algorithmic changes 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.
For most businesses that rely heavily on traffic referrals from Google, this can be catastrophic to say the least. What exactly was the “Penguin update” and were so many websites affected?
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 when we use Google in some way or another to find information. 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. Penalised by the algorithmic filter and demoted in the search results are the sites that over the years had been gaming the system somewhat which is the reason that Penguin was implemented. The 3.1% of search queries which was said to be affected by the update, considering that Google receives hundreds of millions of search queries every day, it means that it equates to millions of websites being penalised.
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. 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 you lost pretty much all of your websites traffic from Google just after the 24th April. 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, links that were pointing to your site previously have also been devalued means that these sites have now been devalued. This can appear to be a penalty but in fact, due to a devaluation of those incoming links, this is purely a natural drop in rankings.
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.