Are You Ticked Off About The Google Penguin Update

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GooglePeople sometimes use terms like cute, intriguing, mesmerizing, and even cool when referring to Penguins. That was until Google recently rolled out a new major update on or around April 24th, 2012. AKA “The Webspam Algorithm Update,” which Google later officially named “Penguin.” Now all of a sudden penguins are not as cool as they were a few days ago.

If you follow the world of SEO you have probably heard about the Panda Update, the more recent Ads Above the Fold Update, or even the Mayday Update. There have been quite a few major updates over the years, and even more minor updates than most people can keep up with.

Google will never please everyone when it comes to Algorithm Changes and updates, especially major ones. There will always be winners and losers. Everyone will not be rewarded, nor will everyone be penalized. You will have to determine for yourself where your site happens to fit in.

There are numerous blog posts and forum topics surrounding the Penguin update circulating. In fact, it would have been difficult not to have noticed. SEO and Webmaster sites have been on fire the past week or so with numerous discussions, and they will likely continue for a while.

Reported changes seem to vary, but it would seem as though there are a lot of people ticked off about this one. Some people say that their traffic decreased 50% to 90%, which is obviously a big blow. It almost appears as if there is a much smaller group of people that say their traffic either stayed the same, or increased. Maybe they haven’t noticed any significant change. They could be keeping quiet, or they just don’t have any input to contribute.

PenguinIf your traffic suddenly dropped on or around April 24th, 2012 it is very possible that you were hit by the Penguin Update.

People have been asking about how they can recover. I have seen a few tips and suggestions, but it has barely been a week since Google rolled this out. It would be tough to come up with a quick fix in that amount of time.

Some people seem to be focusing their efforts with onsite clean up, essentially tuning down onsite optimization. Others are more concerned with offsite optimization and shady backlink practices.

Google seems to have changed the tune they have sung for years.

Shaun Anderson from Hobo-Web pointed out in a Negative Seo Post:

Google went…

“Can competitors harm ranking? There’s nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.”

There’s ALMOST nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.”

Then To:
“Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you’re concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question.”

Google Says:
“If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.”


They have to be kidding right? You should contact the webmaster of a site in question and ask them to remove a link to your site! What if your site had 1000’s of backlinks? How do they propose that you find all of them?

Secondly, if you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove…You are supposed to provide Google with the details in a reconsideration request.

Again, you are supposed to figure out some way to track all your backlinks down, and let them know about the ones out of your control. Why do I get the feeling Google won’t exactly be prompt about this even if you did manage to provide all the details in a reconsideration request.

I am sure a lot of people and SEO companies are rethinking their strategies and the way they do things.

This should also serve as a reminder how easy Google can crush a site or business overnight. It also makes me wonder how easy it would be for Google to reward their own products and services. Food for thought anyway.

About: Jeremy LeSarge - AKA: Ray (209 Posts)

I am the site owner and administrator of I provide help and tips for Boonex Dolphin on the main part of this website where you will also find an assortment of other resources. Here, on the blog I write about a variety of topics surrounding WordPress, technology, social media/networking, SEO, and webmaster resources.


  1. Reply

    Hi DialMe, it is very frustrating isn’t it. You will find that even if you submit a reconsideration request that you will receive a reply in a few days that says the exact same thing again.

    That means that whatever information you sent in, no one bothered to read it before they sent the same exact message again.

    It’s just the way it is and people like you and I can do nothing about it – as far as I know that is.
    David recently posted..Getting More Traffic To Your Site Through The Disqus Commenting SystemMy Profile

    • Reply

      Google is such a big company or corporation raking in all this money, and yet they have such a poor method of communication. I have seen where they would tell people to ask a question in their support forums. Like people are going to hang out there waiting for a legit reply from Google. I know it would be difficult to answer everything and everyone, but you think that there could be a better system.

      • Reply

        I absolutely agree. You see communicating with people means that they would have to develop a help desk and staff it.

        That costs a lot of money. They want to have minimal communication with people.

        That is too bad for us. And ultimately, too bad for them.

        But until they wake up to the reality they will continue to ‘do business as usual’.

        I think that as long as their profits are high and they are the big guy on the block – they have little incentive to change.
        David recently posted..Monetizing With EcommerceMy Profile

  2. Reply

    I wrote about this myself recently, after stumbling on a sad cry for help in a forum.
    I had a negative SEO guy (from Fiverr) turn up on my blog and try to argue his case for negative SEO.
    It made me uncomfortable that this guy disagreed with what I had to say so I answered him very carefully.
    The fact is, decent, honest people are having their livelihood wrecked by scum like this and Google have created a new market for them.
    I don’t like web spam but I like the scum that peddal negative SEO a lot less.
    Steve recently posted..Negative SEO Join The Fight BackMy Profile

    • Reply

      I actually read your post, and I did come back and noticed the reply by the seo guy. The services and things people offer just to make a few bucks is almost unreal. What a crazy world we live in now.

      • Reply

        I just noticed about 7 000 new links coming in from a number of Japanese websites. Leaves me wondering if I have been attacked.
        It hasn’t done any harm but you got to wonder if my post p***** someone off.
        Steve recently posted..Traffic Travis 4My Profile

        • Reply

          I was actually wondering if something like that might happen to Matt Cutts. Seeing how we tend to think of him when it comes to web spam and Google Algorithm updates. I was wondering if he might have ticked a lot of people off, and maybe he suddenly received a few million backlinks from similar sites.

  3. Yolly


    So this is the one my brother was raving about just the other day. Oh my! The unlikely Penguin any blogger wouldn’t want to encounter. It’s really frustrating especially to those who just launched their blogs. Can this be the start of the death of blogging industry? I hope not.

  4. Reply

    Yea penguins are no longer cool anymore. Google likes to use animals that are black and white in colors to name their updates, both pandas and penguins are black and white. I submitted my reconsideration request and got their reply just after 2 days. The reply was done on my Google Webmaster Tools informing me that my site is not affected by penguin. So I assume that all sites are actually more or less affected by penguin regardless of how good or bad the site is. Hope my site will recover quickly.
    Peter Lee recently posted..New Technology allows for Smear-Free Touch ScreensMy Profile

    • Reply

      I never realized or thought about pandas and penguins being the same color. Now I am sitting here trying to think of another animal that is mostly black and white for the name of a new Google update.

      From what I have read there was a panda update around April 19th, and the penguin update around April 24th. I don’t know if you have looked at your stats that closely or not. Some people have been saying you could be affected by panda, penguin, or both depending on the timing. I did see a site where traffic went up quite a bit around the 19th for a few days, and then on the 24th it dropped substantially.

    • Reply

      I just thought of one for you Peter. How about the next big Google Algorithm or Update code name: Orca – The Killer Whale

  5. Alexander


    This has really been the talk of town lately. I just hope that there will be an update against those competitors who deliberately employ tactics against you.

  6. Leo


    It’s hard enough getting enough backlinks to my site to increase Google rankings. Now I have to worry about competitors possibly harming my rankings as well. Fortunately, I have yet to see any negative effects from the Penguin update. Thanks for the heads-up though.

  7. Reply

    Dialme, you have pointed out the disturbing evolution of Google’s position. It is clear the “Negative SEO” is alive and well. I don’t know why, with all of Google’s supposed “brainpower” and “best minds in the business” that they can not figure out a way to simple de-value a link that they deem inconsequential. You have also pointed out quite bluntly that Google simply lied over time. I hope that they figure out a way to get it right.

    Cheers for the great article,
    Richard recently posted..SEO Over-Optimization PenaltyMy Profile

  8. Reply

    The main purpose of this update is to avoid unnatural and spammy looking links. I think the future of Google’s algorithm is biased towards quality links and contents, which we should work hard to achieve both of them, instead of buying links and concentrate on just link building. Obviously most people are ticked off about the latest update, but what we have to do is just adapt and adapt..

  9. Reply

    I’m not pleased with these changes, but you will be amazed to hear that some bloggers, even though their traffic decreased, they’re happy. Why? Because they have more targeted traffic. So they have less visitors, but the time on site and pageviews have increased, while the bounce rate has reduced.

  10. Reply

    Google penguin is a new algorithm launched by a google.the purpose of penguin is to changes in a google search penguin will penalized your sites,if you make a backlinks in a low quality sites,make a backlinks in a targeted keyword.

    • Reply

      I still see quite a few posts about the Google Penguin Update going around and what you can do about it. I still see complaints, but now it seems like they are more along the lines of coping with it.

  11. Maya


    As expected, Google is getting more strict when it comes to rankings. In promoting our websites online, we only need to think of one thing – QUALITY. That’s what Google is after so that’s what we should offer.

    • Reply

      We never know what Google is going to change and hit us with next. If you follow and abide by the rules you should be alright.

  12. Mukesh


    This is good news for anyone that was hit by the Penguin. When Google makes updates like this it can hit webmasters like a ton of bricks, but it’s also good to see that they are offering some suggestions as to how to recover, and that like Panda, the Penguin updates should be able to show you if you’re in compliance or not with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

    • Reply

      We all know we are supposed to follow Google’s Guidelines, but I think there are some people that try to push the limits as much as possible. Then, one day Google makes some changes and it catches up with them.

  13. Reply

    That’s quite the information you gave here. I think this new algorithm will bring some important changes in SEO process.

  14. Reply

    I like it and hate it at the same time. It is cool that google cleaned the SERP’s but they made it so damn hard for us small business guys to compete with larger companies.

  15. Cristian Stan


    You’re right. It’s hard to find 1000 blogs that linked to your site and ask them to remove the link. On the other hand, let’s face it. Only celebrities (I’m not referring to Hollywood stars) in certain fields have this problem. If you are a “casual” blogger and you write about something very interesting, you’ll probably get up to 100 backlinks.

  16. Reply

    Yes, but link popularity is different thing, you have to request for those links which are posted on junk site, spam sites etc. Now you can use disavow tool to remove the unwanted links.

  17. Nate


    Well, I think some people use negative seo as a way to do rep management, and in cases where people have been slandered or maligned, I don’t know what other option is available.

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