Last week, Google gave frustrated webmasters a place to complain if they felt they were unjustly hit by the Penguin update. While I'm sure Google has received plenty of feedback through that, some are gravitating towards a petition to get Google to kill the Penguin update.
For those of you who haven't been following, Google announced the Penguin update (formerly known as the "Webspam update") on April 24th, to target sites violating Google's quality guidelines.
Here's what the petition says:
Please kill your Penguin update!l
With the recent Google Penguin update, it has become nearly impossible for small content based websites to stay competitive with large publishers like eHow, WikiHow, Yahoo Answers and Amazon.
Countless webmasters have seen their livelihoods vanish with this update. Sergey Brin recently came out against "Walled Gardens" of the likes of Facebook. However, the Penguin update has created a similar garden that only admits multimillion dollar publishing platforms.
I'll sign off with the words of someone who has lost everything in this update:
"I got stuffed by it. I have a 7 year old website with SEO work done on it several years ago. No real SEO done in the past 3 years. So I have been penalised for SEO work done 3 years ago is all I can think.
My website “was” top of its niche, with several hundred multi million pound clients. In the past day we have had a 90% drop in traffic and all but a bare few keywords left with rankings. Over 250 rankings we did have that we monitor each day have gone. These were top 3 rankings, now not even in the top 200.
We have never done any bad SEO, we need to compete, but we have never done black hat. Saying that, what we did do was borderline, but then so does everyone else so we were left with little choice.
Overnight my business which supports my 5 children, 3 employees, pays for my mortgage and debts etc has been wiped out.
Thanks Google. At a time where almost every country in the world is suffering, way to go with applying a little more hardship to people whom have just tried to play the game as does everyone.
The petition, which seeks 500 signatures, has 289 so far. There are also plenty of comments from webmasters leaving their reasons for signing.
We saw plenty of stories about people losing their businesses and having to get rid of employees when Google launched the Panda update, and it appears that the Penguin update is having a similar effect.
It's still the early days for Penguin. My guess is that we'll continue to see more adjustments on Google's part. It's hard to gauge how well Google's update did from the outside looking in, in terms of getting rid of webspam and not penalizing the innocent. We have seen some examples where Google results were quite questionable, though Google quickly made adjustments. Of course, examples are always out there waiting to be pointed out, independent from the Penguin update.
Comic image courtesy: DC Comics: Batman Annual #15 (via alternity)