Google Penguin Update: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

    August 18, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Last year, Google launched the Panda update, and wreaked havoc across the web on sites doing little to contribute to the quality of content appearing throughout Google’s search engine. This year, it’s been the Penguin update doing the wreaking (with Panda continuing to do its job at the same time). There has been plenty of panic among webmasters caused by the Penguin update, primarily in the inbound links department, and from the sound of it, that’s really just getting started.

Is Google’s Penguin update making the web better? Is it making Google better? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Now, some would say that an update like Penguin is good for Google and for the web at large. It’s hard to argue that an algorithm update designed to get rid of spam is truly a bad thing. At the same time, many webmasters feel they are being unjustly punished by Google, and are essentially bringing a rocket launcher to a knife fight in the battle to get back into Google’s good graces. By doing so, they’re trying to exterminate links, which they may even find valuable, if not for fear of Google.

Based on recent comments from Google’s Matt Cutts, I would not expect this mentality to change anytime soon.

Cutts appeared at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Francisco this week, talking about a variety of search-related topics, and of course touting Google’s Knowledge Graph.

Inevitably, the subject of the Penguin update came up. According to a paraphrased account of Cutts’ talk, he said webmasters could expect updates to be “jarring” for a while.

Matt Cutts commented on a Search Engine Roundtable blog post about it, saying:

Hey Barry, I wasn’t saying that people needed to overly stress out about the next Penguin update, but I’m happy to give more details. I was giving context on the fact that lots of people were asking me when the next Penguin update would happen, as if they expected Penguin updates to happen on a monthly basis and as if Penguin would only involve data refreshes.

If you remember, in the early days of Panda, it took several months for us to iterate on the algorithm, and the Panda impact tended to be somewhat larger (e.g. the April 2011 update incorporated new signals like sites that users block). Later on, the Panda updates had less impact over time as we stabilized the signals/algorithm and Panda moved closer to near-monthly updates. Likewise, we’re still in the early stages of Penguin where the engineers are incorporating new signals and iterating to improve the algorithm. Because of that, expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact. It’s not the case that people should just expect data refreshes for Penguin quite yet. Emphasis added.

Still in the early stages. Will have a more noticeable impact. In other words, Google is just getting started with Penguin, and you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Reader Josh Bachynski, responding to Cutts’ comment, said, “Matt, can you please tell us exactly what to fix now then so we are not caught off guard? Don’t give us the secret sauce, just be transparent and say ‘watch your linking text’ or ‘check your HTML for inadvertent alt attributes with keywords in them’ or ‘delete all your old links on ‘put-it-there-yourself’ pages (or nofollow them)’ or whatever this new penguin eats :-) That would be awesome transparency that does not give anything new away, just focuses our efforts.”

Cutts responded to him on Twitter, saying:

So, I don’t expect the mad rush by webmasters to have links removed anytime soon. I don’t expect to see less instances where people are charging to remove links. Yep, this is what the web has come to.

Of course, webmasters are still waiting on that tool that allows them to tell Google what links to ignore. That is supposedly still coming, and hopefully the next time the Penguin terrorizes its targets, the tool will be available. It would not only make things easier on the webmasters who are trying to clean up their link profiles, but for all the sites that have to deal with webmasters freaking out because they’re afraid of links.

Are you ready for more Penguin? How do you expect it to change Google results? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image: Batman Returns (Warner Bros.)

  • http://www.localguesthouse.com Martyn

    No doubt it will favour businesses spending more money with Google.

  • http://www.barplan.com Steve

    Google’s slash & burn tactics have destroyed many useful long time small businesses. Do a search for “home bar design pictures” and tell me that is a quality result. SEVEN consecutive results from the same photo spamming site. Google is loosing it when they consider that quality or good for the user! Oh wait, that site just received 20 million in VC. Don’t be evil!

    • Dogoyo

      I feel cheated – all I got was 6 listings for “houzz.com” and a few adverting notices, plus the only useful thing – pictures of bars. I think I will switch search engines – I don’t need redirection to places like “ask.com.” I know how to find it.

  • http://lots0cash.com lots0

    It would be great if Penguin actually worked…
    I mostly see SPAM sites moving to the top of the google SERP and good sites dropping.

    Penguin seems to me to be more about google trying to increase google’s income, rather than getting rid of “SPAM”.

    According to google, if google is not making money it is a “Poor User Experience”…

    New business model… create a huge spam network and then charge people to remove links… Way to go Google…

  • http://interactive-arts.com Chip Jones

    These are interesting times for Google. They are facing a variety of competitors in the search space AND more people are bypassing Google and going directly to their favorite web sites to search for products or information.

    Google’s hands are tied, because they obviously need to provide more relevant search results (via Penguin or Panda updates), but they don’t have the ability to read an online users mind, and as a result do not have a reliable way to determine whether or not a search result is relevant for a user or not, especially if that web site does not use Google Analytics to measure conversions.

    Google may be able to determine if links are being followed or clicked on… but they don’t have the ability to determine if that link has produced a conversion or the answered questions that the original search involved. It’s all guess work on Google’s part and they are losing market share, regardless of Panda or Penguin updates.

    • http://booksandhealth.com kc

      Google doesn’t have their hand’s tied…They’re trying to play God. They’re trying to manipulate the results so that the searcher only finds those sites which pay Google big $’s. It’s all about Google’s $$$’s, nothing else. Don’t ever worry about Google. Whatever happened to the internet being for everyone not just the 1%?

  • Steve

    Google’s search results are really starting to suck! They used to be the search engine of choice but it seems the last few times they made a major algorithm change their results got worse and I have to search deeper just to find what I’m looking for.

    The spamsters and big corporations don’t seem to have much problem keeping up with, and manipulating to their advantage, all of google’s changes, but the legitimate small companies that are just trying to provide quality products and services are ending up lower and lower in google’s serps.

    I’m using google less and less these days!

  • http://www.kitchensfitted.co.uk Tim Foley

    We’ve suffered by a loss of traffic after the Google updates and I have to agree with a previous poster here in that poor quality content is winning out in search engine results. If this seems like sour grapes the you’d be right in thinking so. Seems to me that you can set up a page with several satellite sites pointing to your main web hub, hire a copyrighter to adapt some original unique content in any niche sector so that it’s less detectable, pay an SEO to provide quality backlinks and hey presto!! – you’ve met the criteria for Google to reward you with high placements regardless of whether you’re an expert in your field or not.
    Where once Google was a level playing field that saw the minnows able to swim with the big fish, it’s now becoming an exclusive path for those with the budgets to outsource their web ambitions to SEO experts.
    That’s a pity because good content is being replaced with bad and if you were unlucky enough to have had your content duplicated, as we have been, then you suffer more if Google recognises the plagiarists as the original authors.
    It would be a near impossible task to regulate and govern the search placements with a human touch but I for one don’t believe the updates did anything other than make things worse for readers seeking good content.

    • http://kercommunications.com Nick

      Sorry to single you out as an example, but I took a look at your site and I can see why the webspam algorithms would not like it.
      You have a heavily keyword stuffed homepage title (not even a company name in there), used “countertops” at least 100 times in the content, “kitchen worktops” about 30, lots of filler, an excessive number of keyword anchor links to internal pages and you have a high percentage of incoming links with “kitchen worktops” as the anchor text, many of which are from low quality directories.

      • http://kercommunications.com Nick

        Oops, I meant “worktops” not countertops, but I think you get the point.

        • Bill

          I don’t agree with you in this instance Nick…The keywords are used in context and describe the product in most cases. I can see a couple that might be pared [in the first paragraph for instance] but really, no one should be penalized for keywords in content if the word is used to give a visitor accurate product description, no matter how many there are.

        • http://www.kitchensfitted.co.uk Tim Foley

          Sure Nick, I get the point regarding keywords and I guess I’m as guilty as the next man in succumbing to the pressure of utilising them too heavily before the updates – It worked in maintaining our first page position for us for many years.

          Guilty too of having to outsource links from an Indian company who ensured that they would use only white hat quality linking techniques to repair the damage – fell for that one hook line and sinker but hey, they stated they did things by the book.

          Ironically, had I just concentrated on providing good quality content and wrote my blogs and articles in a natural way without one eye on SEO, then I guess we wouldn’t have suffered so much from the changes Google made.

          The sorry thing now, in most industries I guess, is that those with SEO skills are rewarded with higher placements when the real experts who can offer content based on experience will suffer unless they learn to master SEO as well as carrying on their specialist jobs or if they farm out work on their web presence to reputable SEO experts with proven results.

          Either way the the readers will be the losers because it’s a tough ask combining a day job with learning the new skills and dedicating the time required to improve your website rank.

          Failing that, in the main, only the larger companies have the big bucks to outsource continued web development necessary to raise their web profiles and as I said in the last post, many use copywriters with no industry experience to gain an advantage over those who do.

          Some of the articles and blogs that now appear in our sector and I guess most others are nothing short of worthless nonsense that is filling cyberspace with a skip full of garbage that readers must endure.

          I’ve found many instances where our articles are being used on other websites and it would in itself, be a full time job having to report them to Google.

          There has to be a fair solution that really rewards good knowledgeable content but the Google updates aren’t it.

          Think I’ll tell my daughter to scrap that English Language degree and focus on SEO and copywriting cos that seems like a more secure future.

          Learn to write unnaturally my girl – it pays

  • http://booksandhealth.com kc

    We haven’t seen the full force of Greed yet? Is that what I read? Putting people out of business while they play tech God i.e. manipulating so results solely benefit Google’s bottom line? we are suppose to swollow that this is all about quality…hmmm wasn’t born yesterday.



  • Manny

    Hello, with all the changes that Google has made and still making, it has made a large effect on my small business website, which I had for 8 years.
    I built this website on the guide lines of Google Webmaster only. Without paying any eCommerce SEO company or Website developer and Link company, just spending hours of reading and applying the knowledge that I gain from the material I have read.
    My small company was averaging $300.00 a month when I started and built it up to average $1500.00 a month in the last 5 years, which it may not seem allot to some people, but I was happy with the outcome that it provided and I was proud of the fact my hard work and efforts has paid off.
    With all these changes that Google has made with all their SEO / Search / Google+ / Penguin programs etch, etch, it has devastated my website and income where I have earn $0.00 dollars in July and part of August. What I have notice when searching for the type of product I was handling, companies like ehow.com, Fixya.com, Yahoo Answers, Ask.com. These companies dominated that part of the internet.
    I don’t claim to be a web master, just a person who has learn a small part about building a website and making it work. I guess Google and it’s CEO’s has forgot about the small businesses who has put real efforts into their website, but how can Google know who has?

    • Zach

      I feel your pain. I was averaging 1000 hits per day. Panda dropped me down to 600 on June 25th. Then 200 on July 25th. Now when I search my niche its completely unrelevant results. I have been 100% white hat and have the most informing site in my niche. I hope Google cleans up their mess soon.




  • http://www.millionfactory.com/barocha Antonio Jorge

    Faced with so many fraudulent websites, so many people trying to take ownership of what not to belongs to them, is justifiable and aplausível Google search for protection.
    More aplausível still, will be, if it is available to access the honest people.

  • http://pandaseo.co.uk/ Mark

    Every blog post about Google penguin has comments criticising them and their search results have not improved, why is Google not addressing these questions?

    Why is it nearly impossibly to differentiate paid ads from organic results now?

    Does Matt Cutts really believe penguin has improved search results? Can he give us some before and after examples?

  • http://rs-geo.blogspot.com Sergey

    Interest causes this fact: Google has spoilt positions of a considerable quantity of sites in delivery. Under all laws of economy, action Google should fall in the price. They have not fallen. Means, for the market not important position of sites in delivery. Means, market development does not depend on search systems. Means, for market development other methods the marketing Internet are more important.

  • http://www.connectservices.biz Pat

    Anyone that says this good is just kissing up to google. It’s easy to see through the smoke screen that google has created. Just remember google is a business and there in it for the monetary purposes.

  • Dan

    The recent moves by Google have been destructive towards those who put blood, sweat and tears into getting it right. five years of non stop paying attention to detail and doing what was recommended and BAM!~ we’re gone!!!

    You told us what to do, we do it, now you don’t like it. Says it all in my book.

    I guess when you have a company like Google in a somewhat monopolistic situation you get what they want to give.

    The search terms (results) are not making sense. When you have businesses like Home Depot showing up on a non relevant search along with Wikipedia… doesn’t make sense. I for one am looking at Bing and Yahoo for my personal search.

    Something is really wrong with the Google culture.. When the public starts seeing it their days will hopefully be numbered.

  • http://www.papadanart.com Dan Fussell

    Google is a profit seeking business. Common sense says that any changes they make are not for you or I. Therefore,
    in my humble opinion, all changes are designed to lead to increased revenue only. It does not take an experienced webmaster to write a fat check each month for good search results.
    A task us small business people can not afford.

    • Dogoyo

      I think you stated it precisely. Advertising revenue is Google’s objective, not serving the public they once needed to establish the revenue.

  • JC

    Can you really take google seriously. They couldn’t identify a great site if they were slapped them in the face. google are the biggest pirate company on the web with YouTube how can their judgement of what makes a good or bad site be taken with anything but mistrust.

    With linking being penalized all over the web who does it benefit? Well let say nobody will share links with fear of being penalized, so it won’t benefit business owners. However it will benefit google as now the only place you can guarantee your links won’t be penalized is google adwords – so they’ll just siphon all you cash and suck you and the internet dry.

  • http://www.abbasfun.com abbasdaryani


  • http://www.strategicrevenue.com John Colascione

    This whole thing is mess. It has created a system where webmasters who contributed to services related to the mess in the first place can now charge people to remove what they first charged to put up, they have created a system where someone can point links to a site and potentially effect someone else. A system where something you or someone else did long ago effects you or someone else now. The whole thing just seems backwards.

  • http://kercommunications.com Nick

    When will this hand-wringing and whining end?!
    Since penguin, I have worked with several sites that suffered a big drop. All but one of those had done SOMETHING that violated Google’s guidelines, whether they realized it or not. Usually it is overuse of keyword anchor text in crappy directory links. The one exception had a few site quality issues and its drop was in line with the timing of Panda updates, so it was not really a penguin problem.

    What I have been finding is that most webmasters really have no clue what white or black hat would mean, and many have never even skimmed the Webmaster Guidelines, much less the SEO Starter Guide. They assume that since they got away with something in the past, then it must have been approved by Google.

    I am also curious to know which niches some of these people believe are now nothing but SPAM (Sites Positioned Above Mine). Not saying that there aren’t some odd things floating to the top, but there seems to be much less of it than in the past.

    • Will

      Yes unintentional violation of Googles rules happens a lot. But it except for the spammy sites, it is usually irrelevant to the quality of the results. No small blog owner can possibly comply with all the SEO and Google rules, best practices without hiring someone. And virtually no small blog owner can afford to do that.

      When I do a search, I want those small sites included. I want results presented to me based on my search, not based on what some multi-billion dollar monopoly like Google thinks is best for me.

      As one example, I recently wanted to find out what people thought of a specific gopher trap I was considering buying a few of. I had a heck of a time finding results that gave me the honest results of homeowners like me who had actually used the traps. Instead Google gave me hundreds of pages from sites selling the traps, and a few useless, but big sites that were really not related. Even telling Google to eliminate sites with “for sale” and other things did not help. Finally I jumped 10’s of pages deep into the results and found a few blogs with people describing their experience with the traps. But I know there are many others out there that Google is not showing me because they do not comply with what Google thinks is “best practice” for site setup.

  • http://www.worldtravelingartist.com Alexander

    Webmasters are not particularly making smart moves when in panic and neither does Google when triggering a such reactions in first place. Google search results look now like shit… like Yahoo and Altavista used to look like prior to Google’s birth.

  • max

    The ONLY result of this updates was and is search results got much worst and noone benefits except it satisfy the ego of some people who obviously have nothing serious to do, if google keeps on going this way sooner or later bing / yahoo will take the lead there is no doubt about this. This are esoteric kids games not worth to be played by a serious company. Goggle has the advantage, until now, to dominated the ad market and they burn the money they get from there it will end rather sooner, trust me. I have seen several IT companies disappearing in the last 40 years and they all went south because they lost ground, google is already hovering lets see what happen.

  • Will

    It may be doing the job Google intended but it is not making my search experience better. Now when I search all the small sites with the interesting and often personal observations and opinion are nowhere to be found. Instead I get the huge corporate sites with their watered down, politically correct, pages. Or I get sites like Yahoo Answers, one of the most boring, unhelpful sites out there.

  • http://www.minishop.com webmaster

    Google has killed my company. From the top of page 1 to the bottom of page 4. And you know that they are doing this to push their pay-per-click advertising services. Why can’t google just admit it!

  • http://www.healthyfeetstore.com Marty Backer

    Penguin great, Penguin great, Penguin great….got rid of a lot of black hat websites.

    • http://pandaseo.co.uk/ Mark

      Messed business for a lot of good ones too

  • William

    Stop worshiping this narcissistic company.

  • http://www.alda-architects.co.uk Alan

    It is high time we introduced a degree of randomness. If I do a search for Indian restaurants in London There will be pages of them. In reality all about equal . So why not just band them and alternate the order they appear in. It would be much fairer and probably more interesting.

  • Adrian

    I have been recently seeing rather poor, amateurish websites appearing at the top of my search lists. How they got there I don’t know. Is it because they meet certain ‘mechanical’ or formulaic criteria and nothing more, such as ‘original text’, for example?

  • http://tehinterwebs.org JRandom

    “Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages.” – Simon & Garfunkle, At The Zoo

    Let’s see. When Panda hit the nables, it was the worst thing EVER. Posters at WPN screamed bloody murder. The sky was definitely falling. But meanwhile, back in the real world, the sites I maintain picked up an average of +2 points in site-wide page ranks over the course of six months. This change has been stable so far and is reflected in improved search placements.

    Now along comes Penguin, targeting crooked SEO contractors, and that’s the new Worst Thing EVER. If anything, the comments are worse – Penguin is seen as nothing short of a vicious assault on all that is good and holy in the world of the Interwebs. Posters who describe the worst attacks from Google fail to mention the URL of any affected site, while those who do provide URLs seem to be running sites built primarily to manipulate search results for the purpose of presenting repetitive, simplistic sales pitches and high density ad content.

    I am seeing a pattern here. Standards compliant websites that present a lot of unique, original information of high relevance to the topics the pages are “optimized” for, generally get a boost and at least get left alone by Google’s attempts to fight back against the scumbag saboteurs known as the SEO industry. And the scumbags scream bloody murder, because publishing their rants here under a variety of names helps them make excuses to their customers when mean old Google stops cooperating with their cheating strategies. “Google is attacking you, it’s not my fault your revenue has dropped to zero!”

    How to gain advantages and avoid unexpected losses due to Google’s evolving pro-quality, anti-cheating ways? Write clean, compact, semantic markup that complies with a W3C Standard. “Search optimize” your text to accurately represent the content of your site. And yes, make sure that there IS content, that is, real information of interest to human beings, not just repetitive boilerplate sales pitches and/or scraped content from other sites and sources.

  • http://riverviewriseretreats.com.au MichaelC

    In the tourism accommodation game “Brand Name” junk sites featuring links from small providers sites have shot to the top in SERP leaving quality contents business to languish well below. The little guy now has little chance to shine even if on-page SEO is perfect. What the nest step is I don’t know and we have heard nothing from Google on any paid system that will help elevate SERP ranking results.
    If you hear of anything – we would LOVE to Know!

  • http://stalker-mods.clan.su/ Dmitry

    Catalog of modifications and additions to the game Stalker Call of Pripyat additionally, the site contains sections pictures, articles and videos related to the themes of Stalker.

  • http://www.thaifoodz.com Thaifoodz

    Have you ever got spamming comments posted in your contents? I remembered deeply an extremely terrible day, the day that I got about 1,000 automatic comments added into my website. Think if I approved these comments, guys who made these spamming comments would get backlink to their website. But I was tried to spend half a day to erase these comment. It’s just a worst time.
    Think if it is unnecessary for most web masters to spend a lot of time building links back to their website. In stead of doing like this, what happen if they spend these times writing good qualities contents and add in their websites

  • Grunj

    Problem is I have multiply sites and some of my articles are pertinent to a different number of these sites. So same article could be interesting to readers on three or four different sites, all for different reasons though. Now I can be penalized for using my own articles over-and-over as duplication/triplecation/quadrication.
    I don’t think Google has taken this into consideration. Imagine a doctor writing an article about some medical instrument which the medical or dental or ventrinary or nursing profession might all find interesting and want to each post it on their site. Will the sites after the original posting all be penalized for using duplicate copy?
    How can Google possibly regulate this kind of thing so a site does not get penalized.

  • http://www.macgames.info Penguinized

    The google results have been terrible since penguin, most members of our family switched to bing, because finally they can find what they are looking for !

  • Google is rigged

    Penguin has been great for Google’s bottom line, no matter what shills like Chris, Danny Sullivan and Barry Schwartz say. Matt Cutts is a doufus, not an engineer. Ask him about his Github page. Oh wait he doesn’t have one.

    Google is no longer a search engine, they are using their former status to make max cash while they can. They want users to leave Google only via a ad click so they manipulate search results and display to make that happen.

    Shame on Chris Crum that continues to spew Google’s talking points.

    • http://www.tombrewerjr.com Thomas Brewer

      I agree. Unfortunately Chris, Barry and Danny are talking heads for Google now. Anybody that believes it was blind luck and just all around good fortune for Google to have the most profitable quarter ever after Penguin is just not looking in the right direction. Quality has nothing to do with rankings anymore. Big Brands get it. I am in the Real Estate business and my serps are dominated by Trulia, Realtor, Zillow… no custom content and nothing that aids local search knowledge. The sites have domain authority because of newspaper article links however are they the best results to display. No and no. There results are in some cases over 5 years out of date and the foreclosure displays are on addresses that in reality do not exist. Google did not get this wrong. Google got this right in their wallet. The talking heard have lost all credibility for me until they start demanding hard answers to harder questions.

  • http://www.thefilipinoentrepreneur.com Manny|TheFilipinoEntrepreneur.com

    I was thinking now……what will be the criteria for a website to rank well in Google?

  • http://www.whathenryvacuum.co.uk phil

    Google has everybody running around like headless chickens at the moment, how long will it be before it all settles down, or will google bring out another adourable little animal to wreak havoc

  • http://www.lots0cash.com lots0

    No love for Google…
    Just read every post in this thread… and several other forums. Not a single post in support for google or their ‘new’ panda update, could I find anywhere, except for google’s own blog.

    Google is no longer the webmasters friend.. Google is currently the Webmasters worst enemy.
    Change your personal search settings, right now, tell your visitors(whats left of them)to boycot google.

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    Future Pharmaceutical Company in Egypt
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  • http://www.gamezinfo.com Saurav

    This is really sad. The innovations done by google are really amazing but I do not understand why are they trying to destroy the web by maximizing profits ? Google has turn over in several billion dollars. How much more they want and for what ? This is really sad….

  • Tony

    Seems like Google is showing small business just how useless they really are to small business. Based on their actions it seems that if you depend on Google at all for traffic or to stay in business they think you are not important and they are going to put you out. Every small business I know or deal with has basicly decided to forget about Google all together and try web based ads on related websites that already have large amounts of traffic.

    When you change the rules everyweek and not publish them for us so we are just spending hundreds of hours per week doing what we guess Matt wants us to do. Maybe Matt is the end of small business as we know it. We once had a strong economy and that was oh yes just before Matts generation was born and now they are the experts that have this country in the worst sahpe ever. Oh yes blam everyone else but you like your generation does all the time as I have children your age. Everytime you make a change you cut traffic to businesses that have been aroung for 20 years. We cant survive any more changes for too much longer when you cut traffic to sites that people want. You may think we are out of date but we provide the lowest price for packaging and we cant do this if we are constantly having to change our site based on a company that was a nutral search engine once. Now I think all small businesses would charge you with unfair business practices or several other laws if we could. I wonder why Google wants to destroy what made the internet what it is. So when America totaly fails we can blam your bots then as I know you had nothing to do with the last 40 traffic drops to a site that every customer we talk to says

    “OH my I wish I had found your low prices sooner, I could have been saving money for years.”

    Im sure Google has a reason for not wanting us at the top of the organics, oh yeah we stopped paying them for ppc because we would have had to double prices to pay for the campaign that only brought in a fraction of the costs.

    Its my honest opinion that Google is the worst thing to our economy in the 50 years I have been around. Now they are starting pay listings for the free listings and it will not be long before you will have to pay google for your spot like ads. Big corps will afford to buy the first 2 pages so what will become of low prices or non profits on the web? I imagine we will have to wait for Matt to tell us how its going to be.

    • Denise

      I totally agree with you. If you have to pay Google for ppc which evidently increases your sites ranking then you have to charge more for your products to compensate. A win/win for Google, not the customer or the business owner. I am not going to play their games.

  • http://gardengrovefindhomes.com John

    This is all part of Google’s plan to maximize profits. The problem is it will not solve their greatest fear. AMAZON. More and more people are skipping Google all together and going directly to Amazon to search for their product. If Google keeps going down this path it will only drive more people off their site. This is a classic example of the sheer verses slaughter argument.

  • Rick

    Penguin has done nothing for local searchers. The number one site for “montessori gold coast” in google.com.au is still a spam site with an EMD. the second site is light on content and links but also has an EMD. Our site at number three has a couple hundred pages of great custom content, added to every week by another 1000 words, a vibrant Facebook page and plenty on Youtube. We do and did everything right and spammers still get above us.

    Oh, one spammer buys adwords ads – does that help? Frankly I can’t be bothered spending the cash to find out. And after penguin our site dropped from position two to three.

    Google is bullshit. Eventually it will be nothing but ads above the fold … screwem’

    • Tom Harper

      I agree fully – as long as I leave my Adwords account on wide open I rank high for many keywords, but when I cut it down to half my rankings immediately go down and I start ranking for completely unrelated keywords that are meaningless to my readers. When I cut Adwords out completely my rankings plummet – that is garbage, illegal and wrong. Maybe the government needs to get involved and take over Google or split it up under an anti trust lawsuit. Oh, I’m sorry, the government is in cahoots with Google because Google is slowly censoring the internet for them. This censorship is only going to get worse.

  • http://www.chicagosouthseo.com Johnny Rogers

    Although I don’t trust them (Google)… I think what I am hearing Google saying (subliminally of course) is not to stress so much on trying to figure out the system, just produce quality unique content, while following basic white hat SEO tactics and you should be fine.

    Not sure if I completely buy that…

  • http://www.vesta-tech.net Philippine Website Designer

    Shows unexpred result most of the time.

  • Charles

    Here is how we can demonstrate to Google exactly how much of a detrimental effect the Panda update has had to the quality of search results, and by using their data. Prior to Panda, the Google Analytics search queries table showed me that I was ranking very well for keywords strongly related to the content of my website. This is in fact a good thing for the people searching for the given keywords: highly relevant websites appear at the top of the results. After Panda, the Google Analytics search queries now indicate that my website is ranking very highly for keywords that have NOTHING to do with the content of my website! This is a clear indication that the user performing the search now has to plow through a number of irrelevant websites in the search results. This is an improvement? Google says we “over optimized” but the solution was to dilute the accuracy of the query results. Hey Google, maybe we weren’t trying to cheat the system, maybe we were trying to be focused and targeted, which isn’t a bad thing for the end users!

  • John

    Nothing wrong with them trying to get rid of the garbage sites, but I think they are going a little to far, I think it will back fire, I think Bing will soon be the leader in a couple of years.

  • Bill Glosse

    I have the best proof that the update is dissolving Google users: the performance of all my Adwords campaigns has plunged since the update. One would think paid advertising would rise, but in fact it is sinking for one reason or another.

    Also, ever since Google decided to “brand” by putting the domain name on the first line of the ad in lieu of the the first description line, performance has fallen. Small businesses dont need to “brand” Google!

  • Denise

    The Penguin picture from Batman made me laugh, a much more appropriate visual than the cute animal.

  • http://www.computerfutures.com/ Tom

    Personally, I think that as much as it is good to get rid of all the spammers and over optimized websites, I’m pretty sure that Google does all these algorithm updates to make SEO harder and harder and get webmasters to get on Google AdWords instead…

    • Tom Harper

      I fully agree – where is the FTC on this one? Google is clearly exerting pressure and influence on the internet to drive people to their expensive advertising program (Adwords). Its so friggin obvious. So, where’s the FTC? Last I heard they were doing lunch at the Googleplex (can we say corruption? unethical business practices? illegal business activities?) Where is the federal gov’t on this – oh, I’m sorry, they are happy as long as Google continues to censor the internet hiding behind these Panda and Penguin updates. Exercise your rights and switch to Bing, DuckDuckGo or anything other then Google. I don’t use Google anymore either. I used to spend over $1,000 a day on Adwords and I cut it off completely. I want nothing to do with Google anymore. Boycott Google everyone! If everyone would do this then these updates would be meaningless and Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Israel’s influence on world affairs would go in the crapper.

  • http://www.computerfutures.com/ Tom

    Personally, I think that as much as it is good to get rid of all the spammers and over optimised websites, we know that Google does all these algorithm updates to make SEO harder and harder and get webmasters to get on Google AdWords instead…

  • http://www.atoznetventures.com A to Z Net Ventures (in Houston)

    I’m an SEO and I find I am using Bing for my own personal searches more then I did 3 months ago when I was using Google about 95% of the time. This tells me plenty of others must be doing the same! I wonder if Google is seeing a backlash following their Penguin updates. The guys at Bing must be quietly smiling to themselves.

  • http://www.bredbaand.me/ Bredbånd

    They have define the Google What on earth this new penguin eats would be awesome transparency that does not give anything new away, just focuses our efforts.

  • http://www.convurgency.com/reputation_management.html Online Reputation Management

    According to me Google takes an action against spammers but what about quality website, previously some good website was also affected by the Penguin. Google must reveal the complete details about the update so webmasters can avoid those practices to avoid penalty.

  • Oliver

    I really hope they GET TONS OF FTC complaints, their search engine is a joke right now. I’m done playing catch-up with them

    I dont have any bad backlinks, nor do I optimize for keywords, yet I lost 50% traffic, how is that fair in any way? From nearly 60k+ to 30k visitors per day — how is that something someone can build a business upon? No, I for my part will not spend another dime on AdWords and support Google. They lost a lot of trust and I hope a lot of others will stop spending money on Adwords so their stock price declines and they take the company private, because that would save the web

  • Jamie

    Google’s frowning of suspect links will create a whole new industry whereby people organise to have links to their competitors websites published within thousands of link farms in order to push them further down the SERP, thus making room at the top for themselves. Anyone noticed lots of new links to their sites as competitors try to attack their rankings?

    • http://www.teknohabercim.com gökhan

      Penguen 😀

  • Toni

    Is Google’s Penguin update making the web better? Is it making Google better?

    The answer to both of those questions is NO!

    They have however succeeded in making a poor economy worse however. Million of websites are taking a hit from Google and 3/4 of those millions are good sites which shouldn’t get hit. Google however figures that if they can catch one crook among the millions of victims they have done their job. It’s almost like taking away the right of millions of Americans to vote so that the one guy is Battan Rough Louisiana voting illegally can’t do so any more.

    Good work Google. You the cop ! But, I’m the guy that just sold your stock, stopped using your advertising “and” your search engine. Pass it on.

  • http://e-cigaretguiden.dk/ Ecig

    We must accept that things are getting harder. Seo is’t for quiters

  • http://www.converthtmltowordpress.co.uk convert html to wordpress

    It does seem that they are trying to pave the way for a lot more adsense customers really and it is worrying the amount of control they have over the incomes of so many people to be honest!

  • http://www.excelcompressors.co.uk Steve Eyres

    We are an “SME” in the UK, annual turnover circa £2M. We have all our SEO carried out by a local specialist company, in addition we also spend a reasonable amount monthly on Pay Per Click.
    Over the previous 18 months we have steadily improved our organic listings on Google, arriving on Page 1 in our particular industry for the last 6 months or so.
    We continue to employ the SEO company.
    After the recent update took place our website disappeared from Page 1 overnight, ending up on page 3 & 4 initially.
    The situation seems to be slowly improving, over the last month or so we have moved back toward the top of Page 2
    The problem?? – we have seen a 24% REDUCTION in sales revenue as a direct result of the update.
    This is very frustrating, I am told that over time and with a different approach to our SEO the results will continue to improve and hopefully we should get back to the position we were in previously on Page 1
    As a service provider, if we went onto a customers site and made adjustments to a customers system, with or without their permission and it reduced the plant production output by 24% overnight??
    We would not be invited back to site again.
    I have always been a big fan of Google but the recent updates and the promise of further updates to their algorithm really worry me.
    In the meantime ……….. watch this space

  • http://forums.techhowl.com Tech Forum

    nice article, thank you so much for this great post

  • http://www.makemoneyteam.com Raymond

    It seems that Google now considers any incoming link that you somehow “made happen yourself” 100% proof that you are spam. Problem is, sometimes, one persons “spam topic” is simply another persons website. There is strong evidence out there suggests that Google is NOT applying certain filters to everyone, rather to specific targeted niches. So if Google doesn’t like “diet supplements” because they’ve seen a lot of spam in that subject area, then that area gets hit hard by the updates and anyone with a REAL dietary site and has created “too many” links themselves gets tangled up in the update along with websites which are totally inferior to their quality dietary website.
    So now, it appears to be a good time to start a blog and do nothing to it but add a post each day. Then as they kill off all the hard working webmasters, your blog might float to the top like all the lame ancient forum posts are doing now.

  • John B

    A site about a specific keyword is now cause for being kicked out of the organic listings for that keyword and is called ‘quality’ results? No way in hell is this better.

    The insinuation that, if you are hit by penguin you have a spam site only adds insult to injury. I have done exactly what I was told by google, build keyword links to my keyword site.

    In my opinion, one should be able to make a good site with quality content and that be enough, not have to spend years as a de-facto unpaid Google employee building out content elsewhere to game the listings on ‘social’ (and that is exactly what they are demanding if you want to rank) rather than building my own site as I should.

    Now ‘poof’, 13 years of work gone. In its place are large corporate gas giants that are very well known and get great traffic under their company names; they do not need the keyword searches too.

    NOBODY goes onto a search looking for something to buy thinking ‘gee, I sure would like to see a results page full of large corporate stores I already know about’.

  • http://www.billigelcigaret.dk/ El cigaret

    Yes link building isn’t getting any easier, googel is making it hard to these days..

  • http://elektronisk-cigaret.info/ Elektrisk cigaret

    Thanx for sharing this great info.

    Much appreciated

  • SallyMae

    Hell no, I had quality sites that I made from tons of research. The only reason I did seo like meta tags, link building, and keywords in title is because thats what was needed to improve my ranking and get my site found. That does not mean my content was not of quality.
    Really Specific keywords and terms suck at google now. No wonder more people are turning to Bing. If you search for anything really specific you will find results that are completely unrelated. Google you are just making it worse for your self by discouraging people to make content filled sites by creating such a risky environment when one day your site is in search engines and the next it is gone. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

  • http://www.connect-media.dk Jonas Jørgensen

    Just an update:

    The disavow tool from Google is now live, and have been for 3 weeks.
    Its easy to use, but not easy to see if Google have made the recuested action.