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Google Penguin: A Few Facts

As of late April Google released a new algorithm update entitled ‘Google Penguin’. The aim of this update is to decrease search engine rankings of websites using black-hat SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing, links from spun content and many more.

As a result many of our clients have voiced concerns over how the update will affect their site and what exactly the update contains. Let us set the record straight.

The Aim Of the Update

Google’s main aim with organic listing is to put the most relevant and quality pages at the top of a user’s search query. To do so Google have to constantly update their algorithm, sometimes as much 200 times a year. ‘Penguin’ is unique in that its main aim is to reduce the visibility of sites that are utilising spammy factors like links from pages of spun content, keyword stuffing and cloaking as well as ‘over optimisation’ which looks at historical linking activity to target those sites that have put a heavy focus on having solely exact anchor text links.

In theory this will affect your site if Google deems it to have engaged in spammy techniques at any time in its history. That said, Mediaworks does not employ such tactics and through a full and comprehensive check of all our clients historical information we are pleased to be able to tell you that 95% of our clients have seen nothing but positive results from the recent update – mainly because competitors who have engaged spammy techniques in the past. That 5% that have seen negative effects, due to historical link building by previous SEO companies, have requested our services to help overcome the issues as a reactive measure.

Unnatural Link Notices Are Not Part Of Google Penguin

One thing that is still not clear is whether the negative effects are considered a ‘penalty’ or ‘devaluation.’ In other words, did those spammy links carry with them a penalty or have they simply been devalued by Google. Whilst we wait for an official announcement, we can tell you that many webmasters received an ‘Unnatural Links’ notice within the webmasters tools – but this came prior to Penguin.

So why were our tactics unaffected? Simply put, we spend a great deal of time and effort building a variety of links from all corners of the web. Our lead SEO’s get together on a weekly basis and feed into our internal link development department to make sure that we maintain the type and quality of links that are required to keep them appearing organic and so that we stay abreast of Google’s many updates.

The unfortunate consequence of the update is that sites that now engage in ethical SEO but at one time used unsavoury techniques have seen a drop in rankings, but with future updates no-doubt in the pipeline that may be resolved.

As we move forward we will continue to monitor our clients sites and any warnings they receive (if any) in order to safeguard their campaigns in the long run.


Michael Finnigan

Posted by Michael Finnigan on 1st June, 2012

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