Google has recently release a new algorithm change on April 24th, 2012 in an attempt to prevent webspam from flooding the first pages of Google’s search results. This new algorithm change has affected many webmasters from various niches such as websites for veterinarians all the way to large scale e-commerce stores.
What Google Says About The Penguin
First We need to start off with a clear understanding of this update by reading Google’s Webmaster blog; which states:
“The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.”
So from what Google says, it seems like they are cracking down on low quality content or spun content that is illegible to humans as well as keyword stuffing and a websites on-site optimization. As usual Google is vague with their description so testing is inevitable and lots of testing will be occurring in the upcoming weeks. Some other important points from the blog post are that high quality sites with good user experiences will rank at the top of the Google.
Upset Webmasters Towards Google’s Practices
Many websites have been impacted by the recent changes to the search engines algorithm, which has caused rankings to fall in the search engine results pages (SERPs). To be precise exactly 3.1% of search queries were actually impacted by the update, but these are very popular queries that have been impacted. In an attempt to counter the new rankings methods by Google, many SEO gurus and webmasters have petitions against the Penguin update in an attempt to regain their websites SERP’s.
Right now Google is under fire from the Federal Trade Commission for abusing their power and manipulating the search results in their own favor. This is the largest shakedown between Silicon Valley and the FTC since they took on Microsoft nearly 14 years ago. It will be interesting to see what rolls out in the courtroom and how Google responds. Right now a spokeswoman from Google declined to answer questions about the pending FTC lawsuit against the infamous Google.
What do you think of Google’s algorithm change and has any websites you know been affected?