My views of the Google Penguin Update

Have you heard about the Google Penguin Update?

Google Penguin UpdateIt’s one of the hottest topic on the web now. A few days ago Google rolled out an algorithm update targeted at webspam.

Here’s an excerpt of what Matt Cutts (Head of Spam @ Google) said about it:

Effective search engine optimization can make a site more crawlable and make individual pages more accessible and easier to find. Search engine optimization includes things as simple as keyword research to ensure that the right words are on the page, not just industry jargon that normal people will never type.

“White hat” search engine optimizers often improve the usability of a site, help create great content, or make sites faster, which is good for both users and search engines. Good search engine optimization can also mean good marketing: thinking about creative ways to make a site more compelling, which can help with search engines as well as social media. The net result of making a great site is often greater awareness of that site on the web, which can translate into more people linking to or visiting a site.

The opposite of “white hat” SEO is something called “black hat webspam” (we say “webspam” to distinguish it from email spam). In the pursuit of higher rankings or traffic, a few sites use techniques that don’t benefit users, where the intent is to look for shortcuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be to be ranked. We see all sorts of webspam techniques every day, from keyword stuffing to link schemes that attempt to propel sites higher in rankings. Read more….

Big Gee is one company I love so much and I have said this consistently for as long as I can remember – a few days ago, I urged a class of 40+ aspiring entrepreneurs to all open a gmail account. So, irrespective of the situation today, I can’t but give them credit over a number positive developments on the Internet.

However, I think Google got it all wrong this time. No doubt the giant had good intentions but unfortunately the present results are not justifiable.

Below are 3 known outcome of Google Penguin Updates

  1. Millions of high quality sites have been hit.
  2. More spam filled websites are popping up in the SERPs.
  3. This update if not tweaked or reversed has given birth to “Negative SEO” – this simply means that your competitor can easily get your site de-indexed by sending or pointing millions of spammy links to your site and Google’s new algorithm will perceive your high quality site as being spammy and automatically de-index you. (I just hope we are wrong about this).

Negative SEO is something I would not engage in due to my Christian faith and values but I am weary because a lot of unscrupulous webmasters will readily employ this tactics to kill competition – how does this help Google create a better and more organized web?

For now, looks like this blog escaped Google Penguin Updates but has also seen a drop in traffic which means something went wrong somewhere. Our emphasis has always been on good content, enhanced user experience, high quality and acceptable SEO /content optimization – therefore we believe we should not have been affected in anyway.

Who are we to complain? Believe it or not, a number of affected site owners are freely talking about committing suicide because according to them everything they lived for is gone.

Google's Penguin UpdateLet us also assure clients of One Stop Shop for your Internet Solutions that we build only high quality one-way links and all our activities are in accordance to Google’s webmaster guidelines which can be found here.

Unfortunately, with the way things are at moment (except there is a change), your competitor can hurt your rankings with Negative SEO.

Life after Google Penguin Update (My Suggestions)

1. Keep building high quality links to your website(s).

High page rank (PR) links are still very relevant because they play a very important role in Google’s search algorithm and I believe it will be so for a long time to come.

2. Focus on Effective, High Quality SEO

SEO started with Google but it does not have to end with Google. Remember, there are many other traffic sources. Infact based on the report from Google analytics there has been a steady increase in the number of visitors brought in buy Bing and Yahoo.

3. Focus on Social media big time.

This is a trend we typically encourage at CFA Leverage because it is simply powerful. We have all sort of social media packages that can help your business advance online.

4. Create an adwords budget.

There is a school of thought that says the latest update is aimed at removing many small businesses from the SERPs and then make them rely on adwords alone. Another, school of thought posits that Google wants to reward multinationals who have big adwords budgets. I really don’t know the exact situation but I will wholeheartedly suggest that you create a PPC budget.

Contact us if you wish to hire a professional PPC company to handle your pay per click ads otherwise you may end up spending more than necessary.

If your site has been badly affected then I suggest you do any of the following;

  1. Start using other search engines. I just discovered a new search engine called http://duckduckgo.com (already installed their firefox plugin) and I intend to use them more often as my way of showing Google that I hate this update.
  2. Complete Google’s webspam form 
  3. Sign up a petition against Google at change.org. Who knows?
  4. Or take it a step further and have this issue reported to FTC and her counsel who have been looking for ways to penalize Google. According to a New York times report, the FTC has hired Beth A. Wilkinson (bwilkinson@paulweiss.com) to investigate if Google has manipulated it’s search results in anyway.

Final words: Google’s search algorithm has become so complex and therefore any change or tweak has the potential of producing far reaching consequences. So, what really matters now is how Google handles the issue and the truth is that they have handled it rather poorly.

With almost 700 comments mostly negative, Google has not said a word but has been busy deleting some comments that find too daring.

What do you think about Penguin or even Panda? Was your site affected? Do let us know if you have any tips and suggestions. Don’t forget to share this post with others.