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!
- How to Tell If Your Site Has Been Hit With a Link Penalty
- Link Issues Identified by Penguin
- Penguin Update Pushed Out as Some Sites Recover
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