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A Guide About The Google Penguin Update

Google rolled out one of its most talked about algorithmic changes since the Panda update in February 2011 on the 24th April. Many lost rankings and in the process, most of their web traffic because it impacted so many websites which is why it has been talked about so much.

For most businesses that rely heavily on traffic referrals from Google, this can be catastrophic to say the least. What exactly was the "Penguin update" and were so many websites affected?

In some way or another, most of us use Google to find information and it is Google's job as the leading search engine to make sure that the results that it produces are relevant and of a high quality. Users maintain their faith in Google and continue to use the service that way. The latest update was said to be for webmasters that were over optimising their websites, building spammy back links and generally abusing the Google guidelines in order to rank better within the organic search results. Penguin was implemented to make sure that sites that over the years which had been gaming the system somewhat, would be penalised by the algorithmic filter and demoted in the search results, which was the primary reason for its implementation. Considering that Google receives hundreds of millions of search queries every day, millions of websites are being penalised and around 3.1% of search queries which are said to be affected by the update.

The Penguin update is not a manual penalty which is worth noting, where a human has followed say a spam report and taken action. Based on certain criteria which assesses whether or not a site has been over optimised or been building spammy back links, the Penguin update is an algorithmic update which filters out sites.

It is pretty likely that you were hit by it if you lost pretty much all of your websites traffic from Google just after the 24th April. One thing that is noticeable is that, appearing to retain their page rank and continuing to be crawled and indexed are the sites. If you obtained many low quality links or paid links, devalued are these sites meaning that the links that were pointing to your site previously have also been devalued. This can appear to be a penalty but in fact, due to a devaluation of those incoming links, this is purely a natural drop in rankings.

The future of marketing of your site, for us, is clear. You will need to start adopting a different approach to your online marketing if you have been affected by the Penguin update.

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