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.
Needless to say, this can be catastrophic, to say the least, for most businesses that rely heavily on traffic referrals from Google. 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. Users maintain their faith in Google and continue to use the service 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. Penguin was implemented to make sure that sites that over the years which had been gaming the system somewhat, would be penalised by the algorithmic filter and demoted in the search results, which was the primary reason for its implementation. Considering that Google receives hundreds of millions of search queries every day, millions of websites are being penalised and around 3.1% of search queries which are said to be affected by the update.
The Penguin update is not a manual penalty which is worth noting, where a human has followed say a spam report and taken action. An algorithmic update which filters out sites based on certain criteria which assesses whether or not a site has been over optimised or been building spammy back links is what the Penguin update is.
It is pretty likely that you were hit by it if just after the 24th April, you lost pretty much all of your websites traffic from Google then it is pretty likely that you were hit by it. Sites appear to retain their page rank and continue to be crawled and indexed which is one thing that is noticeable. 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. Due to a devaluation of those incoming links, this can appear to be a penalty but in fact is purely a natural drop in rankings.
The future of marketing of your site is clear for us. If you have been affected by the Penguin update, a different approach to your online marketing is what you will need to start adopting.