Nearly a decade ago, in 2012, Google designed a new algorithm known as the “Webspam Algorithm Update” that focused on spam links and incorrect link-building techniques. The Penguin Update is the more well-known name for this Webspam Algorithm Update.
What is Google Penguin Algorithm Update?
This algorithm, formally known as the Google Penguin Update, fundamentally altered how Google ranks web pages. Prior to its introduction, link volume played a significant role in the evaluation of a page by Google after it had been crawled, indexed, and evaluated. Due to a significant flaw in this process, low-quality webpages and content were able to rank higher in organic search results than they should have only by having plenty of inbound link volume.
Google intended to immediately address this issue—the disparity in quality between the search ranks. The Penguin update was created by Google’s webspam team as part of the initiative to provide the greatest user engagement and, accurate, helpful search results. Google’s Penguin update dramatically altered organic traffic. Google’s recommendations state that once the Penguin update went live, websites implementing black-hat SEO methods including keyword stuffing, cloaking, and the use of link schemes to gain links were negatively impacted.
The Impact of the new update
The official release date of the Penguin update was April 24, 2012. Google predicted that the upgrade will have a 3 percent impact on its search results. Only a little more than 2% of web searches were impacted by the upgrade. To put things in perspective, Panda had a substantial influence on around 12% of all Google searches.
Various webmasters using problematic link-building strategies experienced a sharp decline in organic traffic and rankings shortly after the Penguin SEO upgrade went into effect. The introduction of the Penguin update had a significant impact on several e-commerce businesses, significant B2B organizations, and nationally renowned brands. While some reported an increase in traffic, some noticed a decrease, some saw no change. Penguin assisted Google in preventing attempts by websites that used poor-quality and fraudulent links and engaged in too aggressive keyword optimization to fool its algorithm. The Panda upgrade focused on “thin content,” or how much content value is really there on a page. The Penguin update was a follow-up to the Panda upgrade.
What is the objective?
The primary objective of the Penguin update was to fully comprehend how to counteract the strength of Black Hat SEO tactics. At an SMX conference, Matt Cutts stated that they were searching for an improved method to deal with low-quality content. They first began with the Panda upgrade, but after discovering several bugs in the data, they decided to provide the Penguin version.
The Penguin algorithm upgrade simply addresses the inbound links to a website. Google doesn’t look at any connections leaving the site in question; it simply examines links heading toward it. It deals with and evaluates connections that are formed naturally, links that are real, and the relevance of the links acquired.
Penguin sought to ensure that organic, legitimate, and important links rewarded the websites they linked to, while manipulative and spammy connections were devalued through improving awareness, of the types of links that websites and webmasters were obtaining.
Google’s previous updates and the former one:
According to SEO experts, Google algorithm modifications occur at a very consistent rate, which is primarily responsible for search functioning as it does nowadays. In the nearly ten years since its launch, Penguin has seen a good amount of upgrades and improvements.
Here is a quick overview of algorithm updates in the past.
Google Penguin 1.1
March 26, 2012
In terms of the algorithm itself, Penguin 1.1 was only a data refresh. The changes had two distinct consequences. First, websites impacted by the first launch could experience some degree of recovery if they had made efforts to improve their link profiles. This upgrade turned out to have an influence on several websites that had initially appeared to have avoided punishment. This upgrade had an impact on websites that used black hat SEO tactics including keyword stuffing and spam links. According to Google, this had an effect on 3.1% of English search inquiries.
Google Penguin 1.2
October 5, 2012
Both English-language and foreign search queries were impacted by this second data update. However, it merely affected 0.3% of the English searches.
Google Penguin 2.0
May 22, 2013
The algorithm took a major stride ahead with Penguin 2.0, directly altering how the system prioritized search results. The initial upgrade sought out signs of spam links on many tiers, going further than a website’s main page and primary category pages.
Google Penguin 2.1
October 4, 2013
Although Penguin 2.0 was only updated once, with version 2.1, Google mostly kept the details of the update’s goals a secret. According to experts’ theories, the data refresh enabled for more thorough examination of the presence of fraudulent connections and extended Google’s attempts to scan websites at a profound level. Approximately 1% of US searching were impacted.
Google Penguin 3.0
October 17, 2014
this improvement was an additional approach toward eradicating common black hat link strategies The whole rollout of this upgrade took over 3 days, and it only affected less than 1% of English search queries. Websites affected by earlier upgrades were allowed to advance their restoration. This upgrade broadened Google’s reach and imposed penalties on additional websites that had thrived in using subpar link-building strategies.
Google Penguin 4.0
September 23, 2016
Version 4.0 of the Google Penguin algorithm was ultimately revealed, about two years after version 3.0. The announcement that Penguin has been permanently included in Google’s core algorithm has proven to be the most plausible aspect of the launch.
This represents a major shift in how Google views the algorithm itself, even if it doesn’t indicate the algorithm’s actual operation has changed. Furthermore, Penguin works in conjunction with the main algorithm to evaluate connections and websites instantly. This resulted in the unique capability to track, almost to the second, how the link-building or cleanup attempts influenced one’s search ranks.
Penguin 4.0 lowered the value of the links themselves as opposed to prior iterations of Penguin, which used a penalizing strategy to deal with websites utilizing spammy and low-quality links. However, that doesn’t imply that penalties are completely gone; using black hat SEO techniques might still result in your rankings being negatively affected.
Triggers For Penguin
Below are two issues that Google sought to address with the Penguin algorithm:
Attempts to buy or acquire backlinks from irrelevant or low-quality websites in order to quickly become popular were a kind of Google search engine optimization.
This activity involves deceiving viewers and search engines by stuffing the text with numerous keywords and duplicates in an effort to outrank competitors by seeming to be the most relevant website for a given search query.
How Do Google Penguin’s Algorithm Devaluations Operate?
Businesses and webmasters that had depended on unethical or low-quality search engine optimization techniques quickly saw a fall in their organic ranks and engagement once Google Penguin was introduced. Some specialized, niche keyword groups had been severely over-optimized, thus downgrades weren’t generally implemented to a side as a whole.
Since Penguin can shift between different domains, changing the URL (in an effort to redirect) is not an option. The usage of 301 and 302 redirects has been tested by a number of SEO professionals and enthusiasts, but they have discovered that they are ineffective in avoiding Penguin. No matter what Google Penguin does, meta-refresh redirects should generally be avoided. These can seem like an intended redirect and cause issues for both users and search engine crawlers.
How to Recover a Google Penguin Bite:
- Check the ratios of anchor text on your web pages. Visit Open Site Explorer, input the URL of the desired website, select the anchor text links, and then scan the list of results for group connecting domains.
- Examine the most commonly utilized links on each URL of the website. If commercial phrases appeared frequently in the top 10, it is vital to create stronger links to the site and remove too optimized connections. This method is used to deal with the over-optimization penalty.
To put it another way, ensure that the website appears authentic. Create authoritative pages on the sites you wish to rank on. However, do not over-optimize the anchor text. Regularly doing this activity will address any Penguin concerns and raise the ranks.
Disavow Tool For Mitigation
There is a disavow tool available to SEO professionals that can help them deal with a Penguin penalty. The negative consequences of Google’s Penguin algorithm upgrade can be managed by employing a disavow file. By taking this move, the search engine will stop giving any sites with bad links a negative review. It is quicker and simpler to use it than to make reconsideration pleas for relevant links.
However, Google advises against using the disavow tool unless in extreme cases.