Penguin 2 update…the latest

Unusually Google announced warnings prior to the arrival of their 4th update to the Penguin webspam algorithm,

referred to as Penguin 2.0 and launched on 22nd May 2013.

In brief:

  • Google say the update has impacted on more than 2.3% of all English searches compared to 3.1% with the original Penguin 1.0
  • Matt Cutts – head of Google’s Webspam team recommends site owners clean up old links and ensure they are not using manipulative inbound links
  • Will businesses spend on Adwords increase as updates make it increasingly harder to rise up and stay up the Google rankings within organic listings?
  • Front Page Advantage uses reputable strategies as Google advises, building  and optimizing websites in line with
    Google policies and ensuring excellent content and organic links result in quality traffic

What is Penguin 2.0?

Penguin 1.0 (April 2012) aimed to penalize websites that use unscrupulous methods to rise up the Google rankings.
Several Penguin updates followed targeting webspam and ensuring that people obtain the most accurate, trustworthy and
relevant results for a specific search.  The past year has seen a huge shift in how Google delivers and indexes the
organic listings with these algorithm changes.  Penguin 2.0 is the fourth update and Google have confirmed it has
affected 2.3% of all English searches.
Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s webspam team is encouraging site owners to review their websites to ensure they are
Penguin proof.  The algorithm looks for link buying and selling, spam backlinks and manipulative inbound links.
Any site dependant on or using these strategies will be affected. Organic listing are becoming far more difficult
and expensive to achieve with little guarantee of consistent results as Google add in product images, Google plus
and various other randomisation elements, this of course drives more businesses to use Google Adwords as a solution.

Initial results, who are the biggest losers?

‘Searchmetrics’ have analysed data following the update to confirm which companies have lost traffic and rankings
since Google deployed Penguin 2.0.

HOME24.DE saw a drop of -59% in search visibility and with -28% following the update.  Delving deeper, had significant drops for keywords such as “cheap tickets” and “cheap flights”.

Other casualties include The Salvation Army with -31% and with -27%. analysis showed Penguin 2.0 to have “mostly targeted lower-quality content deep in the SERP
(Search Engine Results Page), making room for higher-quality content to enter into the top 10. also “the majority
of impact from this update seems to be concentrated deep in the SERP – third page and lower to be precise.”  They
also confirm that featuring more significantly in SERP are Google’s own products.

What you can do to prevent an attack of the Penguins?

  • Ensure your site builds links organically, inbound links from Google+ for example helps build rankings
  • Work hard to provide great quality content for your site to ensure users will bookmark and revisit
  • Create more landing pages
  • Run an active social media presence to direct traffic to your business rather than relying on Google alone
  • Develop a site map which helps guide search engines crawling your website
  • Use the ‘Domain’ operator to disavow all bad backlinks, avoid link farms and buying/selling links