History and future of Google’s Penguin algorithm

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Google’s Penguin algorithm shocked the SEO world when it first launched – effecting over 3% of online search results according to Google’s estimates. The Penguin algorithm is aimed at deranking websites with a lot of low quality links pointing to their site, including links from low authority websites and links with a lot of spammy anchor text.

In the early days of Google one of the most common ways to get high rankings was to put out hundreds of backlinks throughout the internet, on websites including web and article directories. With Penguin, Google decided to lay the hammer down. After Penguin’s release,  if a site is hit with a penalty, it could take several months, or sometimes over a year, to repair the site’s Google ranking.

This year a webmaster at Google – , John Mueller, confirmed that it was necessary to have a Penguin update in order to recover a website’s Google ranking. The search engine company also launched a disavow tool, aimed at giving webmasters the option to disassociate their website from any unwanted links pointing to other sites. To recover from a Penguin penalty, it is necessary to delete as many low quality links pointing to the website as possible and disavow any backlinks that cannot be deleted.

One of the bigger problems with the Penguin algorithms is that it requires an algorithmic refresh to recover a website from a penalty. When a website is hit by a penalty it can go from page 1 to page 8 or higher on an average users search, depending on keywords.

Being reduced that low in Google’s rankings is equivalent to having a dark covering put over a storefront on a street so people don’t see a store when walking by. For small businesses this can be a big problem because Google is the number one source of natural search engine traffic – and small businesses don’t have the millions of dollars to throw into advertising that most big businesses do. Many webmasters, who have waited months to recover from penguin penalties, are still frustrated with Google. It took more than a year for Google to update Penguin, keeping webmasters waiting over a year at times, to see the results of a website cleanup.

The future for SEO and Google may be more promising if we can believe Google’s Gary Illyes, who said recently at a search engine marketing conference that Google’s next Penguin update would make webmaster’s lives “easier a bit” and website updates “a delight”.

Most promisingly, Illyes said Penguin refreshes should start to become more frequent now, meaning that legitimate websites, whose rankings tanked from bad SEO work and bad links, may be able to recover faster now. The benefit of this on Google’s side is that high quality websites will have a chance to rank on Google after being hit and other sites, trying to rank high through spammy backlinks, will tank faster and be penalized more frequently. As a result, regular updates can be a benefit to both Google and its users.

 

Article by: Alex R CEO itestcash.com