The recent Penguin update, first launched at the end of April, has been causing much consternation among website owners and SEO firms alike, with many reports of dropping rankings, reduced web traffic, and similar problems.
Although Google claimed that only a fraction of sites and searches were affected, the update has caused many sleepless nights, even among people who use only approved methods of enhancing their sites visibility and relevance to search engines, given that Penguin appears to have affected some legitimate sites as well.
Penguin Updated To 1.1
Several rumours persisted about a potential update to Penguin, all of which were refuted. Last Saturday however, Matt Cutts, the public face of Google’s spam fighting efforts, tweeted that the 1st “data refresh” for Penguin had been rolled out. His tweet also mentioned that the update affected less than 0.1% of English searches on Google.
Beyond that, details are scant. One leading theory is that the update addressed legitimate sites that suffered from the original Penguin update.
Penguin was originally designed to target web spam. In other words, low quality sites that carried out SEO practises such as keyword stuffing and bad link networks to try and manipulate search engine rankings. Since part of this involved the way that Google treats back links, it turned out that being linked to by a poor quality site could easily affect your own sites credibility as far as Google was concerned.
Whether this update will help remains to be seen, but Google certainly isn’t releasing any details.