On April 24th 2012, Google launched their Penguin update. Unlike the Panda update that preceded it, which focused on the quality of webpages, Google Penguin was concerned with web spam. What is web spam? Well, many people would probably argue over the finer details of which online marketing activities count as ‘spam’, but with regards to Google, websites that tended to suffer negative effects generally had:
- over optimised anchor text
- links from low quality/spammy websites
- links from article directories and sites that were set up just to provide links
Google Penguin 2.0 goes deeper
The initial Penguin update only focused on homepage links, which meant many websites were able to slip under the radar if they had over optimised/manipulative links to deeper pages. This was all set to change on 22nd May 2013 with the launch of Google Penguin 2.0.
Matt Cutts had promised that this update would go deeper and it appears as though it has. Glenn Gabe over at hmtweb.com conducted a study after the first Penguin update and has now updated it with a look at effects post Penguin 2.0.
His data does appear to point to deeper links being analysed by Google Penguin and this is something that should be positive for Google’s search results. No doubt there are a number of SEO agencies out there that have been somewhat aggressive with their link building and their clients are now suffering the consequences.
Same types of web spam targeted
Glenn Gabe also mentions that the types of web spam targeted by Penguin 2.0 appear to be the same as those targeted in the first Penguin update. It seems there haven’t been any additional types of spam targeted in this latest update looking at Gabe’s data.
Google Penguin addresses SERP clustering
Brian McDowell posted an interesting article on business2community.com, which discusses clustering or host crowding of search results. This is when the same domain has multiple listings in organic search results.
In his article, Brian has noticed that since Penguin 2.0 was launched, the occurrence of SERP clustering has been greatly reduced for the websites that he looked at. For one of the sites reviewed, he noticed there had been a 75% reduction in natural search visibility, with the site going from 82 of the top 100 rankings for a brand query to only 7 results in the top 100 search results.
This could have quite an impact for brands, as this lower level of search visibility allows affiliates,partners and resellers to achieve good rankings and take some of the traffic that would have previously all been going to the brand’s website. Only time will tell what kind of effect this will actually have on brand terms.
Have you and your website been affected by Google Penguin 2.0?
The team at Built for Search would like to know if your website was affected by the latest Penguin update from Google. Please take the time to vote in the poll below and also feel free to leave a comment describing what actually happened.
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stignygaard/450667116/