Friday, 8 May 2015

What Is The Google Penguin Update?

What Is The Google Penguin Update?

Google launched the Penguin Update in April 2012 to better catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results, in particular those doing so by buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings. When a new Penguin Update is released, sites that have taken action to remove bad links (such as through the Google disavow links tool or to remove spam may regain rankings. New sites not previously caught might get trapped by Penguin. “False positives,” sites that were caught by mistake, may escape.


The Penguin Update launched on April 24. It was a change to Google’s search results that was designed to punish pages that have been spamming Google. If you’re not familiar with spam, it’s when people do things like “keyword stuffing” or “cloaking” that violate Google’s guidelines. 

What If Google’s Wrong!

Feel like Penguin has nabbed you for spamming incorrectly? As explained above, you can use the new Penguin Feedback form. As Google’s statement above also explains, you can post feedback through Google’s webmaster forum.
If you do this, my advice is not to go in with the attitude that Google has wronged your site. Maybe it did, but Google’s more interested in whether its search results that are doing wrong by searchers.
Give an example of a search where maybe you were previously listed. Explain the quality of your site. Explain what remains, especially if what remains seems to be benefiting from spam or is of low quality.
Of course, giving examples like this is also seen by some as “outing,” and there’s a belief among some SEOs that it should never be done. Others disagree. If this bothers you, then at least explain the quality behind your site and what’s being missed by searchers, not an emphasis on things like how much traffic or business you’re losing.

What About The Over-Optimization Penalty?

Google had initially warned that an “over-optimization” penalty was coming. This is the penalty it was talking about, but it has clarified that it’s not meant to target some hard-to-pin down “over-optimization” but rather outright spam.

What About Negative SEO?

Especially in the past week, there’s been a huge rise in forum discussions that “negative SEO” is now a serious problem. The idea is that if being in a blog network or having paid links could hurt you, then anyone could point bad links to harm another site.
This fear has existed for years. It’s not new. It’s even something Google acknowledges can happen in some limited cases. The fact that we’ve not had many sites over the years complaining that negative SEO has hit them should be reassuring.
For most sites, it’s not a problem because good sites have enough good signals in their favor that bad ones stand out as an oddity. It’s more a liability for smaller sites that haven’t built my authority, in my view.
I’ll be following up in more depth on the current round of worries, and I’ll try to get Google to weigh in more on the fresh concerns.

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