The Penguin Update

May 11, 2012   //   by Prescott Titus   //   Blog Posts  //  2 Comments

Google's Penguin Update: What It Does and Why

On April 24, Google released the newest update to its search algorithm, dubbed Penguin. This update specifically targets websites with bad "link profiles," or a collection of incoming links with over-optimized anchor text or simply coming from an untrusted domain.

While in theory this is a good update to help clean up search results, in practice it has hurt many websites. Affecting about 3% of English search queries (this might not sound like a lot – but consider Google fields over 1 billion searches a day), many webmasters noticed drastic decreases in traffic from Google as well as a decrease in keyword rankings fairly quickly. Together with the Panda updates over the past year, SEO companies and professionals have had a lot to learn – and in many cases have had to completely reverse previous efforts. For example, link networks used to be a popular way to get lots of links to a website. Search engines would then read these links as "votes" for the popularity of websites. The Penguin update specifically targets these, forcing webmasters to try to get their websites off them – not always the easiest thing to do. While it is certainly good for Google to continuously improve their search results, it can take time to recover from if you have a website hit by one of their algorithm updates; just one more reason it's important to stay ahead of the curve and always try to follow best practices!

Further Reading


  • […] identifying some of what it did. Google later confirmed a Panda refresh. As if the previous Penguin update wasn't enough, continued Panda refreshes can throw SEO professionals for a curve – yet […]

  • Hello Heimir I total agree with your advice about bunildig your website ranking in the search engines by increasing the amount of visitor comments left on your post. After viewing your video I’m now in the process of removing the CAPTCHA requirements on each of my sites. Thanks for the video and education on overcoming Google’s future algorithm changes.

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