If you haven’t heard by now Google rolled out a new Penguin update on May 22nd, 2013, which they are calling 2.0. Search Engine Land and other popular SEO sites are referring to it as Penguin 4 because it is the 4th update/refresh since it was originally introduced.
I used to follow SEO much more a few years ago than I do now. I do believe it is important to understand and educate yourself with what Google is up to. I just don’t dwell on it so much.
Obviously any time a major update happens there will be winners and losers. We all hope we are on the winning side, but that doesn’t always happen. There are also people that say that their website and traffic was negatively impacted with no just cause, e.g. they didn’t do anything wrong or against the rules. This may or may not be true. They could just be venting and blowing off steam because they got caught, but they could have been unfairly penalized too. We just don’t know without thoroughly analyzing the website in question.
As much as Google would like us to think that they are perfect I do believe that it is certainly possible to be unfairly affected by an update like Penguin. After all, an algorithm is only as good as the person that programmed or created it.
Don’t get me wrong I am all for reducing the amount of spam and other junk in Google as long as an innocent website doesn’t mistakenly get caught in the process. I just hope that they don’t say well as long as we caught most of the ones we were after we don’t care if a few little sites were unfairly affected.
I have been reading a few articles and forum threads surrounding the Penguin 2.0 update the past couple of days. Since it was rolled out mid-week it could be difficult to tell if your website was affected or to what extent yet. Generally weekend traffic tends to drop slightly compared to the first part, and you may need to wait a week or two in order to get a more accurate indication. This assuming that Google doesn’t make adjustments to it in the meantime.
I noticed that Matt Cutts vaguely replied to a few questions with a response that would seem to suggest we can expect more changes in the coming weeks and into summer. He wasn’t specific, but merely implied that there is more to come. Whether he was referring to more Penguin updates and tweaks or something else he wasn’t clear, and he kind of left everyone hanging. So we will just have to wait and see what they have in store for everyone in the near future.
At any rate if you saw a traffic change in one direction or the other you might keep an eye on things the next week or so, and do some additional research about the recent Penguin update.
I did see a report about sites that lost rankings and traffic, but so far I haven’t seen any of the winners yet. If interested you can check this article for more information about the losers:
Google’s Penguin Update 2.0: Loser analysis
Various SEO discussion sites seem to have the expected mixed feelings. Some are happy and others are ticked off. Although not as much as I would have thought considering everyone was touting this as having a major impact, but again perhaps there is much more to come.