Google’s Penguin Update Impacts

penguinThe latest release of Google’s Penguin Update, an updated algorithm is live. This new release of Penguin is estimated to impact roughly 2.3% of English queries conducted through Google’s search engine. This is the fourth update of the Penguin algorithm which targets black hat web spam and is far  more powerful than earlier Penguin updates.
Penguin 1 on April 24, 2012
Penguin 2 on May 24, 2012
Penguin 3 on October 5, 2012

What should we expect in the next few months in terms of SEO for Google?

Matt Cutts addressed this on May 13, 2013


Matt Cutts, of Google says the Penguin Update is the next step in spam-fighting technology and he announced webmasters and SEOs should expect a major change to search results.

Quality guidelines – specific guidelines:

  1. Automatically generated content
  2. Participating in link schemes
  3. Cloaking
  4. Sneaky redirects
  5. Hidden text or links
  6. Doorway pages
  7. Scraped contentParticipating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
  8. Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
  9. Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
  10. Abusing rich snippets markup
  11. Sending automated queries to Google


Cutts added: If there are spam sites that you’d like to report after Penguin, we made a special spam report form at Penguin spam report. Tell us about spam sites you see and we’ll check it out.

What The Hell Did Penguin Do? Was I hit by the Google Penguin Update?

A few of things we did see were 1) a definitive boost for perceived authority domains, 2) some kind of adjustment to the freshness algorithm and 3) a drop in authority for sites that had used the disavow tool extensively. None of this has been confirmed, but here are a few examples of the kind of thing we have been seeing: What The Hell Did Penguin Do? Was I hit by the Google Penguin Update?.

It doesn’t appear my rankings on either blog were impacted at all. Were yours?

13 thoughts on “Google’s Penguin Update Impacts

  1. Black Hat Spam… hmm. I could be wrong, but I think it was what the villain always ate when I watched Saturday morning TV westerns when I was a kid… : )

  2. Thanks for the news. It’s always interesting to know what’s going on with Google but fortunately this update shouldn’t affect me at all.

  3. Thanks for the article & links – I don’t pay any attention to the link schemes and such – just try and write original stuff that people want to read – not quite sure why some of my older articles (one from two years ago) suddenly picked up traffic – but what the heck – I will take a visitor to a two year old article – maybe they will look around and subscribe

    Sent the link on to some friends that run a boating news site that takes a feed from my site – they are always fighting the put new content on battle and not get whacked by Google as they have many sites that they do sort of like the reblog thing with – i.e. here is a good article on “fill in the blanks” –

    Thanks again for the info & tips

    1. Hi there,
      You’re welcome. Thanks for sharing the link and best wishes.

  4. As you know, I’m a great admirer of your energy and technical knowledge but I hardly understood a word of this because I don’t know what an algorithm is, or black-hat web spam. Don’t try and explain. Even coming across the terms makes me smile and what could be nicer than that.

    1. Hi there,
      After I read your comment I realized there was a need for greater clarity in my post. I added the Google Webmaster Quality guidelines – specific guidelines links section to my post so readers know what black hat SEO practices are and be aware that the Google Penguin algorithm will detect them.

  5. That last paragraph, is the double negative really necessary? It really confuses the syntax.

    1. Thanks for the correction. I’m visually challenged and it slipped by me.

  6. None of my rankings were affected.

    1. I didn’t think they would be as you aren’t into blackhat stuff ie. willfully violating Google’s rules to improve your ranking nor am I.
      I’m sure there’s major revenue loss to the sites that were detected.

      1. Ah, there you go. Now I do know what Black hat Spam is. Brilliant

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