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Has The Penguin Gone Crazy?

By vishy | SEO

Jun 06

Penguin 1.0 goes crazy leaving SEO forums in chaos.

If you visited online marketing forums, right after Penguin 1.0 was released – you would have seen several threads that went into pages and pages of innocent people who got slapped by the crazy Penguin.

You will see that the Penguin has hit countless of innocent people and destroyed livelihoods of many small businesses and individuals.

The truth is that the current Penguin update is currently broken and defective across several search keywords.

Google has essentially not focused on the “user experience” and the quality of its search results.

It looks like they just went after blackhatter SEOs and use its might to send signals across to the SEO community.

The proof is in the pudding.

Here’s a snapshot of search results for the keyword “viagra”.

mattcuttts-seo

 

You can see a university website ranking at #6

🙂

The algorithm update smells of shareholder pockets.

This update has been a cleverly calculated move by Google to fulfill the desires of shareholders. Immediately after penguin 1.0 came out – Google’s Adwords revenues went up by 50%. That’s steep jump almost overnight. As people got knocked out of the organic search results – they had no other option in trying to stay in business – but to switch over to the paid advertising model that fuels 90% of Google’s revenue and is its sole supporter for its very existence.

Take away Adwords from the equation and Google will be destroyed. Even though its not any more a “search company” – having moved into countless other areas… the revenue earned from Adwords is what fuels and drives it. Without it, Google, Larry, Sergei and their Gang – won’t be worth anything.

All in all, there seems to be NO LOGICAL explanation for the sudden and dramatic changes. There appears to be a LARGE element of LUCK involved and this is turning out to be like a lottery!

However, there are some factors that we are seeing across sites that have been hit and by putting them into practice for your site you can minimize your chances of getting a Penguin penalty.

Some of the factors in the Penguin 1.0 update that we are seeing on the forums, is as under…

  • A large number of random sites of absolute high quality content with only pure safe and only white hat link building methods have been hit
  • Other similar sites in the same niche, who have been doing similar on-page and off-page techniques have not been hit
  • Many poor quality sites with a few pages of content and no backlink activity have been bumped UP
  • Some dormant sites that have just sat for the last 5 years with almost no content, have benefited in a sudden rank boost
  • On in depth study and analysis, it appears that all the big name and big brand websites have not been affected and the smaller businesses have been targeted
  • Doing a search for Viagra shows up a registered .edu university site on page 1 high up in the results! (see image below)
  • Doing a search for “make money online” showed up an empty blogspot page with absolutely no content on Position #1

A few commonalities that we discovered across all sites that were hit are…

  • Your site focused too much only on one or a few main anchor keywords (money keywords as they are called) across majority of their backlink activity.
  • You have focused too much on link building schemes.
  • You did not use Spun content effectively, and your spins were of a low unique percentage and were also easily detected. Serious sites should not be using spun content to get easy contextual backlinks.
  •  You focused too much on only Article Marketing and used only one or two networks that were caught by Google and hence you also suffered. You might have also used the same article posted across multiple article sites.
  • You took part in a blog network which got discovered by Google.
  • You took part in a blog network which has sites that don’t belong to your niche and have general topical sites. This means your links were coming from site clusters that were not topically related to your site (same niche). Google is now closely watching backlinks coming from topical sites in the same niche.
  • Your site has excessive amounts of low quality links as compared to your quality links. For example, a site in a specific niche with just 20% low quality links – got hit. This was a random example, but it is happening.

All the above items were noticed as soon as the Penguin 1.0 update was released. There is still some information coming out for the Penguin 2.0 update – which I will post about shortly.

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