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Google Penguin Update

Google Penguin Update

Penguin is the name given by search engine giant Google to its update in algorithms. Google Penguin was launched in April 2012 and there have been several updates of Penguin since then. The major motive behind the introduction of Google Penguin update was to penalize webmasters and bloggers by decreasing the ranking of their websites and blogs if they were found using black hat SEO techniques. These techniques can increase the ranking of a website with the use of artificial links pointing to the site. Google Penguin and Google Panda are names that are known to bloggers and SEO experts, though they dread these names because of the setbacks caused by Penguin and Panda to the ranking of their websites and blogs.

It was common for Webmasters and SEO professionals to stuff keywords in the content in a bid to catch the attention of the search engines. They also duplicated content by making cosmetic changes here and there. This helped them to give an impression of rich and varied content and they benefited in the form of a higher ranking of their website. But Google Penguin update introduced in April 2012 came as a blow to these webmasters as it penalized them by lowering the ranking of their websites when they violated the guidelines set by Google for webmasters.

Google Penguin aka over optimization penalty

When Google Penguin arrived in 2012, it was also known as over optimization penalty. There have been only three updates to Google Penguin since it was first introduced in April 2012 with the first one coming out in May 2012 and labeled as Google Penguin 1.1.  This update affected only about 1/10th of a percent of the searches conducted in the English language. The last Google Penguin update to come out was called Penguin 3 and it was introduced in October 2012. The last and the latest update of Penguin arrived in May 2013and it was labeled as Google Penguin 2.0. The basic purpose of the updates that have been announced so far is to bring websites with good content at the top of the rankings and to penalize those that engage in black hat techniques of SEO.

How does Google Penguin update work to penalize webmasters and bloggers?

There is no way webmasters and bloggers can avoid or survive the effects of Google Penguin updates. This is because this algorithm update is smart enough to pickup irrelevant and meaningless content. It also picks up the old strategy of creating doorways; a huge link building that is not genuine, and stuffing of keywords. If you are a blogger or content creator, the only way to survive the onslaught of Google Penguin updates is to avoid these black hat techniques of SEO. If you want to avoid being penalized by Google Penguin, you must refrain from

  • Excessive link building
  • Over stuffing of keywords
  • Useless or meaningless content
  • Doorway pages


There is no way but making use of white hat SEO techniques to survive

If your blogs or websites have been penalized by Google Penguin update and you want to recover, Google has left open a window in the form of a tool that it has labeled as ‘disavow links tool’. You have to remember that Google has introduced Penguin only to penalize websites that are making use of unnatural links to force changes in search results to improve their rankings. You have nothing to worry about this algorithm update if you are not using any black hat SEO techniques to rise in the rankings of various search engines.

If you have been hit by Google Penguin because of spamming or building a large number of unnatural links, the best way to recover is to disavow these bad links or by removing them altogether. This is a strategy that works and shows results, but it takes time and you may find the rank of your website improving by the time next update from Google Penguin comes out.  Start on a mission to collect high quality genuine links as otherwise, Google Penguin will surely catch you and penalize your website. High quality links are the links that belong to government and other authority sites.