What Is Google Penguin And What It Means To You

The past two months have been busy ones for Google, with several updates to their search algorithms. Google is getting better at identifying quality content that users value and Penguin is their latest attempt to shift closer to that ideal– changing the playing field once more.

The Biggest Google Penguin Updates

The latest round of updates have been game-changers on several fronts; the main thrust of the Penguin update revolved around improvements to Google’s ability to identify and reward content that is useful to users, not search engines. This includes “over-optimized” content, keyword stuffing, and cloaking, although how Google is defining those terms and the extent to which they are penalizing them is still up for debate. To combat blog-spam, Google de-indexed blog networks that duplicate blog posts across multiple sites. In article marketing, duplicating posts used to mean more link-juice bang for your buck. No more. In fact, it may even mean penalties. It’s not clear whether Google has simply devalued the links or has culled them outright.

But Wait, More Penguin Updates

Perhaps most challenging, Google came down hard on what it calls ‘unnatural links’, the over-prevalence of the valuable keyword-rich links. This was a long-time staple in an SEO tool kit, but Google knows that regular users don’t often use these sorts of links, and as a result has started to weight them differently.  As if this weren’t all confusing enough, there was a Panda 3.5 update in April as well, tweaking the algorithm to filter low-quality or duplicate content.

Penguin Updates – So What Can You Do About It?

In the wake of all these changes, the counter-intuitive best step is just to gather data and wait. Google’s engineers will be monitoring the effects of Google Penguin, too, and making minor tweaks, so it’s best not to change anything too quickly. Testing smart changes and taking note of the results is the best way to learn the new rules of the game.

Is your web traffic feeling the effects of Penguin and Panda 3.5? Contact our team of SEO experts today to identify the flaws in your SEO tactics and formulate a strategy to overcome them.