The Silverback Marketing Round-up from March 23 briefly touched on a new algorithm update that Google was in the process of integrating into its search engine. It was during SES New York earlier this year that talk about “SEO is dead” became a common topic of discussion, particularly with the rumors about the new Google algorithm.
It is official folks. Google has launched a new update to its search that is being referred to as Penguin. Last year Google gave us the Panda update, an algorithm that was designed to penalize content farms for posting poor content online, as well as penalizing websites that directly copied and pasted content from other established sites. The idea was to ensure that webmasters and content writers were being diligent about creating unique, new and relevant content. The effect was positive for some websites, extremely negative for others. Webmasters now had to formulate new strategies in order to effectively optimize their sites.
The Penguin update adds a new twist to the formula. Penguin is designed to penalize webspam while continuing to promote high quality content, all while working to rid the internet of businesses and websites that Google determines are cheating the system. The theory is that websites utilizing spam are more conscious about “over-optimization” of the website rather than focusing on creating a great site with great content.
Penguin appears to have officially launched on Tuesday, April 24. Owners of websites need to check their statistics and determine if there has been a significant loss in traffic and ranking since that date. The problem with the research is the latest update to the Panda algorithm appears to have been just five days earlier on April 19. This may cause some confusion for webmasters. However, if you can decisively determine that you experienced a drop April 24-25, you can feel pretty confident Penguin was the cause.
Take a look at your content and determine if the content is well-written and relevant. You also need to see if you have “over-stuffed” keywords within the content because that is one area the Penguin update looks for when scraping your site. SEO is not dead but once again the latest rules from Google are causing us to create new strategies.
Good luck and have a great weekend!
Local SEO Guide – Andrew Shotland – @MattCutts Did Your Penguin Just Break Google?
Search Engine Watch – Lisa Buyer – 17 Ways SMBs Can Survive the Google Penguin Update Effect
SEO.com – Claye Stokes – How to recover from the Penguin Webspam Update: Tips from SMX Toronto
SEO Moz – Dr. Pete – Penguins, Pandas, and Panic at the Zoo
SEO Services – Meenakshi – Google Launches “Penguin Update” to Target Webspam