What is Google Penguin?
After the Panda update, Google announced the Penguin update as a new way to reward high-quality websites and make it harder for websites that use manipulative link schemes and keyword stuffing to show up on the search engine results page (SERP).
When Penguin was first put into place, it affected 3.1% of search engine queries in English. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 10 known updates to the filter.
It changed over time and affected how the SEO community understood the bad practices that Penguin was trying to stop. As of early 2017, Google’s core algorithm includes Penguin.
Causes of Penguin
Penguin focused on two specific things:
- Link Schemes: Link schemes involve making, getting, or buying backlinks from low-quality or unrelated websites to create a false impression of popularity and relevance to trick Google into giving a high ranking.
- Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing is filling a page with a lot of keywords or repeating keywords over and over again to try to change their rank by making them look like it is relevant to certain search phrases.
How Can I Discover if I’ve Been Hit by Penguin?
First, it is essential to distinguish between penguins and manual penalties for unnatural linkage. Briefly, Penguin is a Google index filter that applies to all websites, whereas a manual penalty is specific to a single website that Google has identified as spammy.
These human penalties may be the consequence of Google users reporting a website for spam, and it is suspected that Google manually monitors some industries (such as payday loan companies) more than others (like cupcake bakeries).
If your website’s analytics indicate a decline in rankings or traffic on a date linked with a Penguin update, then this filter may have harmed you.
Ensure that you’ve ruled out expected traffic swings due to phenomena such as seasonality (such as a Christmas tree farm in April) and examine whether your keyword optimization or linking techniques would be regarded as spammy by Google, leaving your site exposed to an update such as Penguin.
How to Recover From Penguin
In contrast to a manual link penalty, for which you must submit a reconsideration request to Google once your site has been cleaned up, you do not need to submit a reconsideration request to have a Penguin penalty removed.
Rather, taking action to rectify issues will frequently result in ‘forgiveness’ the next time Googlebot crawls your website. These recuperation measures include:
- The elimination of any artificial links within your control, including those you’ve created or caused to be posted on third-party websites.
- The rejection of spammy links over which you have no influence.
- The modification of your website’s content to correct over-optimization, ensuring that keywords have been integrated naturally as opposed to robotically, repetitively, or incomprehensibly on pages where there is no connection between the topic and the keywords being utilized.
In conclusion, Penguin was developed to address a serious flaw in Google’s system that allowed their algorithm to be “tricked” by massive numbers of low-quality connections and keyword over-optimized pages.
To prevent having your website penalized by Google for spamming, you must post only material written in natural language, and your link-earning and link-building methods must be regarded as “safe.”
Additional Details on the Penguin Update
- When Penguin was first introduced, it was a separate “filter” that search results went through. In September 2016, however, Google announced that Penguin had become a part of the main algorithm for how search engines rank results.
- John Mueller, a Google employee, called Penguin a “site-wide algorithm.” This means that if a lot of low-quality links point to one page of your website, Google may not trust your whole website as much. But some SEOs say that by the time Penguin 4.0 came out, the filter may have been softened a bit so that it doesn’t punish whole domains.