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10 Feb 12

The Penguin Update – Happy Feet?

Irwin Hau | Search Optimisation

Last month’s Google Penguin update has received a wide range of mixed responses, from angry fist shaking “I’ve done everything the proper way and you’re still punishing me Matt Cutts….whyyyyyyyy!” to “bloody web spammers, you get what you finally deserve”. No matter which boat you sit in, you’ll never be able to please everyone.

For those who aren’t aware, when it comes to search engine optimisation, Matt Cutts is Google’s SEO guru, their Distinguished Engineer. On April 24th he released on Google Webmaster Central Blog a post on what changes were made with his take on the results and affects it would/did have. This has come after 2 Panda changes in previous months, and this time around it’s an attempt to reward high quality websites and to remove or demerit anything deemed spammy (i.e. keyword stuffing, dodgy link schemes, etc). As an interesting breakdown of the situation, CEO of SEOMOZ, Rand Fishkin, released a video a few days ago mentioning a few notable points to remember about Google’s Penguin Update.

Of the 6 main points that he lays out, its said that this latest update is not focused on “improving the quality of search results but is all about penalising and removing value” from sites which seem or are deemed manipulative and go against Googles guidelines. Fishkin also comments, “there appears to be a very disproportionate level of sites in the marketing/services field affected by . What I mean is, we have seen more people write in about keywords like, ‘seo services,’ ‘seo company, you know, some particular city name’, or ‘web design services, some particular city name’. Those types of results seem to be hit heavily.” Funny enough with any kind of Google update or amends, there are always a few curve balls or stuff ups to be straight.

A few humorous ones we found mentioned in this blog post. Poor old grandma looking for Paypal to France only to end up finding Viagra! So no matter if your website survived or not, the message has always been the same when it comes to SEO; keep your content fresh and up to date, write stuff that people will read (i.e. humans not Google bots) and stay within the Google guidelines when it comes to link building and the rest we’ll leave to Matt and the team at Google.