Penguin – the much anticipated (feared by many) update in the Google algorithm might be a game changer in the search engine optimization industry. Since webmasters these days, take unethical SEO tactics too far with practices like keyword stuffing etc., the Penguin update is designed to address ‘over optimization’. The update was first speculated when Matt Cutts, head of web-spam at Google, mentioned at the SXSW last year that they were working on an update that would make optimization more unbiased and fair.
What does that mean for an SEO expert? It simply means that you cannot make a website with practically useless content and get it to rank high on Google search results through optimization. It comes as a welcome news for people who have good content and great websites but were lagging behind because they didn’t bother to push all their resources into SEO.
To understand the implications of the Penguin update, it is necessary to first have a brief idea of how the Google algorithm works. The algorithm is a mixture of highly complex parameters, which take into account hundreds of on-page and off-page factors and then determines the website’s rank on the SERPs (search engine result pages). The major factors, which can make a website rank high on the SERPs, include links and keywords. Thus until not, every big and small SEO expert has been putting all their efforts into beating their competitors by attacking these factors. The result is that a lot of webpages end up being stuffed with keywords and the search engine results are filled with spam.
While the Penguin update was a major change, not many people know that Google updates its algorithm as frequently as multiple times in a month. This is done in order to counter the manipulative tactics employed by SEO experts. Bigger updates like the ‘Penguin’ or ‘Panda’ have code-names. Since the ‘Panda’ was released in 2011, Google has begun regularly releasing or ‘refreshing’ its algorithm updates. As we can see ‘Penguin’ is following a similar trend, wherein it is refreshed to deal with different elements of unethical optimization.
Matt Cutts first announced the Penguin Update as a basic date refresh that would affect only about 0.3% English queries and 0.4% non-English queries.
Original Tweet – Here
The update was implemented the same day and people were surprised to see a major change in their analytics within the period of a few hours. Most SEO experts saw a drop in their search engine rankings which led to decline in traffic to their websites.
Past Penguin Updates include the Penguin 1 on 24th April, the Penguin 2 on 24th May and the Penguin 3 on 5th October, 2012.
There have also been some other major updates on Google. Some of these updates were so close together, it may not be very easy to discern which one caused the specific change that you may have noticed. The EMD and Google image updates were released on consecutive days, September 28th and 29th respectively. The Panda Algorithm updates stretched from 27th September to 6th October, while the Penguin refresh came out a day earlier on the 5th of October.
After the Penguin update, it is very clear that only an SEO expert should handle the optimization of your website. Any frivolous tinkering might put you at risk of losing all traction that you have gained online.
Don’t forget that the new Google algorithm also takes the social media signals into account. The way you engage with your ‘fans’ or ‘friends’ on social media platforms like Twitter, Faceook, Pinterest etc. will have an impact on your standings in the search engine results. Even though Google + has been unsuccessful until now to gain any lasting popularity, don’t forget that it is Google’s own baby and Google will not let it go very easily. Google + is integrated heavily into all other Google services so make sure that you give it due importance.
James is a young and enthusiastic SEO expert who likes to stay ahead of the game by keeping up with the latest news from internet giants like Google and Facebook. He shares the news through his blog and also likes to give tips and advice on how it will affect the users. Also he writes for http://www.seo-optimization-experts.com/