Google Penguin Update: SEO And Marketing Services Feel The Effects

    May 16, 2012
    Chris Crum

There’s been a great deal of talk about the Google Penguin update since it launched last month, and a lot of webmasters are still trying to sift through the rubble and determine if their sites were even impacted by Penguin or some other Google algorithm change. In addition to Penguin, there were two Panda refreshes last month, and over 50 other changes, which Google finally listed on Friday.

SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin tells WebProNews, “It’s done a nice job of waking up a lot of folks who never thought Google would take this type of aggressive, anti-manipulative action, but I think the execution’s actually somewhat less high quality than what Google usually rolls out (lots of search results that look very strange or clearly got worse, and plenty of sites that probably shouldn’t have been hit).”

SEOmoz, by the way, has launched an interesting project aimed at tackling Webpsam on its own.

Fishkin actually posted a new video discussing the Penguin update today, which is worth the watch, particularly if you’ve been affected. There are six main points he discusses, but one in particular that I found interesting is that there are a lot of sites in the marketing industry that appear to have been hit.

Fishkin says, “There appears to be a very disproportionate level of sites in the marketing/services field affected by this. What I mean is, we have seen more people write in about keywords like, ‘seo services,’ ‘seo company, you know, some particular city name’, or ‘web design services, some particular city name’. Those types of results seem to be hit heavily.”

“Now, I’m gonna throw out to things I think may be to blame here,” he continues. “One is: a lot of people who operate in these marketing services fields are also likely to have a lot of correlation with the people who are potentially getting the kinds of link spam to their web pages that Google hit in this update. So, it’s not necessarily [that] Google focused on these. It could be the types of spam they focused on and the types of links that these people had just happened to be correlated and connected. The other things is, this could merely a leading indicator…we’re obviously in the marketing and SEO field, and so it could be that we’re just getting a disproportionate number of those types of folks talking about it in Q&A, emailing, tweeting at us…all those kinds of things.”

“That’s also possible, though usually we see more balance across the board, typically,” he notes.

Beyond the obviously spam-heavy topics, like making money online and pharmaceuticals, we’d be interested to hear more about what kinds of sites have been impacted most by Penguin. Do you believe you were hit by Penguin? What industry is your site part of?