Are you Aware of Google Penguin
The latest algorithm change in Google search engine was officially announced on 24th July, 2012 by Matt Cutts, the head of webspam team at Google. This latest change has been termed as ‘Penguin’, which is specifically aimed at detecting and eliminating webspam. According to Matt, this algorithmic change is targeted at webspam and is an improvement in the team’s efforts to reduce spam and promote better quality content on the web so as to improve user experience. In order to achieve this, Penguin will decrease search engine rankings of websites that are believed to be violating the existing quality guideline put forth by Google.
Each year, Google makes numerous changes in its algorithms, most of which are minor changes that you might not even be aware of. Penguin, however, is a major change which is intended to decrease search engine rankings of websites that are found to be using black-hat SEO techniques such as cloaking, keyword stuffing, creation of duplicate content and link schemes etc. It emphasizes the use of white-hat SEO techniques to naturally increase the search engine rankings of websites.
Effect on Google Search Results
The latest Penguin update called Penguin 1.1 was released by Google on May 25th, 2012. According to Google’s estimates, Penguin affects almost 3.1% of all search queries in English, while approximately 3% of those in other languages such as Chinese, Arabic, German etc.
Penguin has been received with mixed opinions and reviews by critics, with many of them questioning its effectiveness in terms of whether it actually improves search engine results or not. While many people on the web have been affected by this algorithm change, it is still hard to say whether it has actually led to significant improvement in search engine results. The Penguin update has raised concerns for those in the SEO industry by also penalizing the use of techniques that lead to ‘over-optimization’.
According to Matt, the aim of this update was to ‘level the playing ground a little bit’. What he means by leveling the playing ground is that Penguin update is designed to provide equal opportunities to everyone out there who has been using over-optimization and more importantly, spamming techniques and those who have been actually coming up with great and high-quality content using white-hat SEO techniques, so that no one has an unfair advantage over the other.
What Webmasters Need to be Aware of
Since this update is specifically targeted at eliminating webspam, webmasters need to make sure that they do not use unethical, black-hat SEO techniques such as excessive backlinking, keyword stuffing that looks unnatural, and poorly written articles with bad grammar using article spinners. Moreover, you need to change and correct anything and everything that has been flagged by Google as spam in the past. Google might have sent you messages regarding spam activity on your site that you need to check. If you’ve never verified your account in the past, it is a good idea to do it now to check any waiting messages that might be there in the Google Webmaster Central.
What To Do in Case of Penalization
If you have already created high-quality content using ethical techniques that conform to the guidelines of Google, then there’s not much for you to worry about. However, if your site got penalized as a result of the Penguin update, then there are several steps you can take to recover the damages. First of all, you need to carefully go through the quality guidelines of Google and then make the necessary changes to your website that are consistent with those rules and guidelines. After that, you can submit a ‘request for reconsideration’ to Google by logging in to your Google Webmaster tools account and get on with it.