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The Google Penguin Update

One of Google’s most talked about algorithmic changes since the Panda update in February 2011 rolled out 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. What exactly was the “Penguin update” and were so many websites affected?

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. 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. To make sure that sites that over the years had been gaming the system somewhat, would be penalised by the algorithmic filter and demoted in the search results 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.

Just after the 24th April, if you lost pretty much all of your websites traffic from Google then it is pretty likely that you were hit by it. One thing that is noticeable is that, appearing to retain their page rank and continuing to be crawled and indexed are the sites. It could be that these sites have now been devalued meaning that the links that were pointing to your site previously have also been devalued if you obtained many low quality links or paid links. 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.

The future of marketing of your site is clear for us. 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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