The panda from Kung Fu Panda… the Penguin from Madagascar… what’s next? The mouse from Ratatouille?
The panda in Kung Fu Panda was a blubbering fool initially but, with a few tweaks and modifications, he became a world beater. A person would have to be blind or completely out of the world of SEO to not see similarities between the Panda in the movie and the Panda update of Google. The story, unfortunately, is the same with the Penguin update of Google.
Penguins in the movie Madagascar were an overconfident lot who kept making mistakes but never admitted to them. The Penguin update from Google, according to many SEO experts is a big, fat mistake that Google would not admit to. Or is it?
Understanding What the Penguin Update Is
Writing content or buying content is an intrinsic part of online marketing. However, the content, whether purchased or self composed, needs to be of high quality and this is exactly what Google has been trying to enforce with its previously released Panda update and the recently revealed Penguin update.
While the Panda update was the carrot in that it focused on rewarding websites with great, unique and innovative content, the Penguin update is the stick as it aims at punishing websites and web pages practicing the fine art of spamming or over optimization.
In conjunction, these two algorithm updates from Google are supposed to encourage webmasters to follow the “quality guidelines” specified by Google. Google, with respect to its recent algorithm update, stated that the modifications are aimed at reducing the rankings of websites that tend to violate the specified guidelines from Google. In other words, all webmaster employing black hat SEO techniques will suffer from this update.
Was the Penguin Update Effective?
The big question, as is obvious, is simply if the Penguin update was successful. In one sentence, the jury is still out on the Penguin update. Now, it is likely that you are wondering that how can Google, the demigod of search engines, mess up. Well, the answer is that it has not.
The algorithm changes that Google has made have ended up doing exactly what they were made for i.e. punish the web spammers who target SEO more than high quality content. The problem is that the Penguin update has not gone down well with webmasters who have been writing content of high quality but have also been using these black hat SEO techniques.
The Plight of Webmasters Using Great Content with Spamming Techniques
As is obvious, these webmasters make noise on the fact that they are writing content of high quality, which, according to them, means that they follow Google’s quality guidelines. The majority of these webmasters are niche website owners. Niche websites are websites with a single objective of making money. Even though there are niche websites that are genuine content providers, the majority have been using spamming techniques to get Google ranks and visitors.
Needless to say, Google’s new algorithm changes have pinpointed these websites and snuffed them out. While the intention may have been good from Google i.e. to promote writing content of high quality or people who buy content from serious professionals, the fallout is that certain high quality websites have taken a beating as well.
Websites that have taken a beating despite writing content of good quality have most probably suffered this fate because some part of their SEO strategy includes spamming. This could be spun content distribution, blog comment spam or even link purchases.
Madagascar Penguins Had Multiple Movies, Penguin Update Will Have Multiple Revisions
As mentioned above, the jury is still out on the Penguin update of Google and the reason for this is simply that there would be multiple tweaks and modifications to it in the future. The Panda update took time to become relatively perfect and so will the Penguin update. One can expect a number of updates or refreshes to the Penguin update in the following few weeks.
In fact, owing to the hullaballoo that many webmasters have made on forums everywhere and the sheer number of complaints that Google has received, the search engine giant has come forth with a special feedback form. Google has, basically, provided suffering webmasters with a lifeline by asking them to fill up this form if they think that the Penguin update has hit their websites wrongly.
Genuinely wronged victims will fill up this form and may even get some relief but it would also be safe to assume that, of the number of people who are actually making noise about the Penguin update, only a small percentage will actually fill this form. Only time will tell how many umbrages were genuine and how many were feigned.