Google’s Amit Singhal: Penguin A Success

By: Chris Crum - May 26, 2012

Early this morning, Google Fellow Amit Singhal was interviewed by Danny Sullivan at Chris Sherman on stage at SMX London, the sister conference of Search Engine Land. Singhal discussed a variety of Google search-related topics.

We were hoping to get a some in depth discussion about Google’s recent Penguin update, but apparently that wasn’t a major point of conversation. Daniel Waisberg liveblogged the discussion at Search Engine Land, and Penguin only came up briefly. Here’s the relevant snippet of the liveblog:

Danny talks about Penguin and asks how it is going from Google standpoint, are search results better? Amit says that in the end of the day, users will stay with the search engine that provides the most relevant results. Google’s objective was to reward high quality sites and that was a success with Penguin. One of the beauties of running a search engine is that the search engines that can measure best what the users feel is the one that will succeed more.

From Google’s perspective they use any signal that is available for them, more than 200 of them. They have to make sure they are accurate and good. They will use any signal, whether it is organic or not.

“Google Penguin’s objective is to reward high quality sites and authors” Amit Singhal #smxlondon 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Panda and penguin update has gone really well… Can someone show amit the results for Viagra #smx 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPad ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@dannysullivan please ask Amit if he has any Penguin recovery tips apart from removing links #smx 4 hours ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Google’s Matt Cutts also recently said that Google has considered Penguin a success, though plenty out there disagree.

If you want Google’s advice on Penguin recovery, check out these videos Matt Cutts says to watch, these tips he endorsed on Twitter, and of course Google’s quality guidelines.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • Just my opinion

    It would be great if he could elaborate further.

    • John T

      When everything fails try PR.

      • Steve G

        That seems to be the plan of Google. Every time there is a problem they try and PR spin it like they’re heading in the right direction, instead of admitting they made mistakes and correct them.

        Google’s algorithms are like making soup. You add a little of this and a little of that until you realize you have so many ingredients in the soup that really it’s become stew and far off from what was originally intended.

        I think the next time Google wants to launch a major update they should create a live beta test and get feedback from the public. This way Google can do major changes to their algorithms and get real feedback from users who opt in to be beta testers and give Google feedback if their new changes will be positive or negative. Imagine Google having anywhere from tends of thousands to hundreds of thousand of people telling Google Panda or even Penguin still needs work before it was launched. Imagine Google collecting this information over a period of months and not weeks like Google typically does before launching major algorithm updates. Panda was launched on less than 30 days of actual testing and the worse results were a reflection of such.

  • jim

    Google is not going to accept their failure. Low quality search results is what we can expect from penguin. The bird which can not fly !

  • Raaj

    Google team has to learn that Self-praise is no honor. So many people have reported crappy one page sites on the top page of Google for competitive keywords .. and still Google is saying Penguin is a success ! Wow ! Congrats Google !!

    • Steve G

      Yes, this self praise that all Google employees are expected to do is ridiculous. Google simply rates things on a profit basis and if they make a change and profits are up, then they must be doing something right regardless of what other people think of it.

      Google has branded themselves so well that even with bad results people continue to search using Google, simply by habit. This gives Google a false sense that they must be on the right track, until the train eventually derails and they feel shocked that they didn’t see disaster before it happened.

    • jithin

      New algorithm is really tough for black hat seo . content is really filtered by new Penguin

  • Mark

    How can they say it is a success, they are not looking at any signals other than a sites link profile. Their not doing too good at finding spam links either

  • Alex

    my 2 cents worth? Google has lost the plot and over reached their remit.

    We used an seo comapny who put crap links out. Can i get them removed? Can I hell.

    I must have sent thousands of “please remove this link to our site” to people but only a handful have actually responded. I also think they (G) are flagging my site as keyword stuffing, only for the reason i have written about the same niche topic since 2002. (paint). what i am i supposed to do now, start writing about coffee????

    We lost rankings on all our main keywords, rankings that my world renowned resource was #1 for many years.

    we have 2000 pages ****all original****, and original videos, original images, about house paint. We’ve been in top magazines and journals, been on TV, the radio in many countries, and we’ve been written about in books and newspapers, even colleges and universities have based lectures around my research!!!!!

    What has google put in its place?

    A 5 page basic website, which is just an advert and thats it.

    and thats quality and progress for the user is it?

  • Amitabh Dixit

    I don’t think that anybody in this seo world is happy with the Google penguin update as many keywords ranking had been affected without any reasons.And still Google is praising himself that he is always right and whtever he is doing is right….

  • Rebecca Rachmany

    Google is a KPI-oriented company. What were they measuring to decide on their success?

  • jenX67

    The next time Google does a major algorithm update I hope they keep it faraway from a Blogger update. They’ve confused lay people like me using Blogspot.

  • Reeja Mathews

    Penguin is better for some blogs and other hurt by this update

  • Alex

    It’d have been great if Google/Amit Singhal specified on what basis they called Penguin a success. There are numerous crappy websites that continue to rank pretty high for extremely competitive terms— with very little useful content on their pages and lots of ads (mainly Google ads) on them. The day such sites get out of the search results will be when we can say that quality has really gone up for the average searcher.

  • Hadley

    I can only say I got hit on this latest update with Penguin, when before that, the Panda updates did not affect my traffic overall. I just hope there will be some additional update versions to Penguin after they figure out the flaws in ranking. I look forward to a comprehensive report reviewing what happened with Penguin, and changes that can help improve your SEO rankings if you’ve been hit.

  • jay

    I was ranked on the first page for most of my keywords for years. I’ve been hit by the last 3 updates and it has pretty much killed my site. The sad part is I have always followed the guidelines.

    I was noticing that I have around 600 back links in the webmasters tools. The problem is I never solicited nor posted a link to them myself. So I suppose the bottom line is I am being punished for other peoples decisions to add my site on their site.

    There is no way I’m going to contact each site and request them to remove the links, besides I have no Idea which ones are penalizing me. Bedsides Google’s “natural” link strategy is exactly how these links were generated, yet now I’m punished. Google is becoming the antichrist in my life.

  • David

    I would like to say F**k off Big G, they have punished quality sites for their profit.

  • Boris Benz

    I think I know what they meant by “success”. Making people head to Adwords and fork out the cash for traffic after they lost their rankings.
    I have compared post-Penguin Google serps and Bing serps under the same keywords and in my humble option Bing beats the pants of Google in terms of search quality.

  • Codex Meridian

    I can’t take this off from my imagination. Probably you agree with me or not with what I see…Amit Singhal do looks like a penguin in the above pic.

  • Lisa

    Webprownews need to counter the way Google has done with the SEO Industry. The fact is that many legitimate sites have been affected. It can’t be turned as success. Sites which are genuine have also been affected. This is not done. There has to be a way out to break the ice soon. Or else SEO would be a dying industry. Also business will lose trust on the SEO Industry.

  • Cliff Smith

    Horrible Google updates for the search consumer. Our health food site has great content, no purchased backlinks and plenty of high quality content. We are an authority site for very specific health food products. Now, searching for our products yields results that cover topics from jeep covers to hotels and the #2 site in Google’s top 10 for our manufacturer’s name gave me a “this site does not exist” message. Google has pushed the consumer to use Bing and Yahoo for better results.