How To Understand Google’s Penguin Update

Never before has quality content been more important on the Web than now. With Google’s advancements in algorithms and the latest Penguin Update, many site owners and bloggers have the unfortunate question of asking: “What does this mean for my website’s ranking?”

Well, the good news is that it helps greatly, especially for those sites with quality content already established.

In fact, the Penguin Update rewards high-quality websites by improving search page results and rankings.



So, what does the Penguin Update do exactly?

in a tight spot with google penguin updateTo put it simply, it demotes websites that use over-optimization techniques and spam to increase traffic.

These sites normally promote low-quality content and overly abuse linking strategies to attract more visitors. Keep in mind that the update does not affect websites that practice professional SEO techniques.

Some of the Penguin Update targets include:

  • Duplicate Content
  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Comment Spamming
  • Spun Content


Black Hat Webspam
Known as “black hat webspam,” it refers to any technique used to find loopholes or shortcuts in order to propel a website higher in the rankings. For this reason, the Penguin Update seeks out and penalizes keyword-stuffing sites, paid backlinks and techniques such as comment spam. Therefore, anyone building backlinks on highly ranked websites and posting keyword-stuffed comments faces a harsh penalty from the Penguin Update.


Did Penguin Affect Me?

Finding out whether Penguin affected your website or blog is as easy as searching keywords in Google.

If your website ranks lower after searching popular keywords in the search engine, then Penguin did its job. Likewise, the update affected you if you see a drop or rise in web traffic. If you saw no change whatsoever, then your site most likely features quality content, and Penguin passed it by.
While the Penguin Update only reaches three percent of search queries, it is those queries that feature the most highly spammed “black hat” sites. Although the update is new, it already has had a substantial impact on top-ranked sites that implement “black hat” techniques.


Do White Hat Techniques Still Work?

The Penguin Update prefers “white hat” SEO techniques, which is why Google created the new algorithm in the first place.

“White hat” experts know how to implement the right keyword density into articles and rely on the content to establish the site’s presence on the Web.  Therefore, the Penguin Update rewards these sites by promoting higher rankings in the search results.

Google still has work to do, after all, some sites use keyword-rich domain names in order to beat the system.

However, as many website owners have seen with the Panda and Penguin updates, these advancements in algorithms work to return better search results and higher quality content for readers.
If you have been affected by the google penguin updates you might enjoy our recent webinar.


Google Penguin Update and The Future of Internet Marketing



Matt Haran is a professional inbound marketer who guest blogs for a variety of online publications. He is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites, including Reuters, and The Washington Post. Follow him @thatdoodmatt.




If you don't have integrity, you have nothing. You can't buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.
Henry Kravis


  1. Owen E. Richason IV says:

    “[Penguin] demotes websites that use over-optimization techniques and spam to increase traffic”. Matt Cutts warned about using these techniques months before the waddling tuxedo was released.

    • I think the crux of the matter is that sites shouldnt have even considered manipulating search results. But at the end of the day business need to get higher in serps and would do certain things to achieve those end results. I don tthink it helped when SEO companies sold themselves on promises of beating the system do you?

  2. Penguin actually BOOSTED my e-commerce store, which I had a feeling it would because we practice smart SEO and only put unique content on our site. Thank you GOOGLE

  3. Personally, I am so glad google has come out with an update. I am very much fed up with google search these days and the results are all so disgusting. Most of the websites are full of black-hat SEO like using overly stuffed Title Tags etc.

  4. Owen E. Richason IV says:

    Karen,I certainly would not disagree with you on your point! Trying to manipulate search engines is like trying to change the tides of the ocean–there’s no winning formula.

    • Hi Owen
      Do you know what I find hardest about all of this idea of poor inbound links with the penguin updates? Literally anyone can go round the web and add comments on dodgy sites with a link back to your site. Spam your site out in other words. You cannot possibly ever keep tabs on all of this if someone really wants to make life very hard for you. I really think this will all backfire very soon. It’s got to backfire by the very nature of it. Black hat SEo’s will sell their services to HARM sites. I can see it all coming can’t you? I dont mean to be pessimistic or anything like and I am ususally very trusting in people’s nature. But some just dont care who or how they tread on others do they?

  5. Penguin from Google is yet another step from Google to make the web a better place. Spamming spoils the taste of Internet users, atleast it is a threat for those engaged in such practices.

  6. Rachel @ Magic Webs says:

    The new update from Google shook the whole internet community. Our site was affected but now, it’s gaining it’s way back again. Though the results are not showing in great rankings, as before, through a slowly but surely approach, it is gaining its toll back again.

    I think Google did a great job in implementing this algorithm because it is actually helping the community to inject fresh and true contents.

  7. Some times penguin and other updates also effect legit websites. After all these are just algorithms made by humans so the probability of human error is always present.

  8. Penguin update shook the SEO world. They were unaware and caught off guard. This system algorithm was released to eliminate web marketers using rehashed or duplicate content, keyword stuffing, poor back links just to get rank on search engines.

Speak Your Mind