About Google Penguin
Google Penguin is an algorithm which was released with the aim of penalizing websites which violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. The Webmaster Guidelines are against the use of black hat techniques which people within the SEO community can use in order to gain rankings quickly, without any real effort. These websites are very quickly found out nowadays as most black hat techniques carried out are in relation to linking from high amounts of low quality websites.
Penguins Effect In Search Results
When Penguin was first released, Google announced that it would affect around 3.1% of the English search queries, around 3% of languages such as German, Arabic and Chinese and an even larger percentage of the highly spammed languages. Around May 25th, Google released an update to this algorithm, which was named Penguin 1.1. According to Matt Cutts, a member of the spam team at Google, this update was only meant to have affected less than one-tenth of a percent of English searches. The main reason for this update was once again to find those sites which were manipulating the search results. Although this was meant to be the case, the algorithm penalised many legitimate businesses and SEO companies.
The next Penguin update came about around the 5th October 2012 and only 0.3 of search queries were affected by this. Since then Matt Cutts has said that the next Penguin update will be known as Penguin 2.0, this was announced on May 10th 2013.
The Difference Between Penguin & Previous Google Updates
Before Penguin there were a series of other updates released, the most notorious one known is Panda which first appeared in February 2011. This Panda update had the aim of downranking those sites which provide users with a poor experience. The second Panda update to be release from Google was the “page layout algorithm” update, this update was released with the intention of targeting websites which had little content above the fold (the fold is the upper part of the website). The main goal for the Panda, Penguin, and page layout updates were to display the higher quality websites towards the top of Google’s search results. In the process many websites which were legitimately using white hat techniques were harmed as the result of the updates characteristics. Although this is a goal of the Penguin update, the main goal was spamdexing (catching out the websites who were deceiving Google using techniques such as link bombing).