Google’s Penguin Update Further Reinforces its Content Guidelines

Though most businesses won’t lose significant amounts of revenue following a major Google algorithm change, there are bound to be those that do. It’s hard not to think of images of businessmen throwing themselves out of skyscraper windows after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

On April 24, Google announced their latest major algorithm change — being called the Penguin update. The update was conceived as another step in Google’s quest to reward sites that provide quality content.

According to Google’s Matt Cutts, “The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs.”

Penguin strives to punish sites that have used black hat techniques such as keyword stuffing and link baiting. However, according to Matt Cutts’s recent apology letter on Google+, it seems as though Google may have been a bit loose with its trigger finger, and shot some undeserving sites down (on search engine results pages, that is.) From Cutts:

I saw a recent post where several sites were asking about their search rankings. The short explanation is that it turns out that our classifier for parked domains was reading from a couple files which mistakenly were empty. As a result, we classified some sites as parked when they weren’t.

I apologize for this; it looks like the issue is fixed now, and we’ll look into how to prevent this from happening again

Sites that did receive an unnatural link notice have likely already received a penalty from Google. According to an interesting article in Branded 3, these unnatural link profiles tend to fall under 5 categories.

Even if your site has been flagged by Google, there are things you can do to fight back. According to DemandResults SEO Director Ryan Spiegl, “If your site gets flagged by Google, get your site in compliance as soon as possible and then fill out a reconsideration request. If you think your site was wrongly flagged, it’s just as important to let Google know that there may have been an error.”

If your site received one of these notifications, we highly recommend you check out these helpful resources from SEOmoz:

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About Jesse Davis

Jesse Davis is a content marketing copywriter at DemandResults. He graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in history. In his free time, he blogs, writes fiction, plays guitar and spends far too much time on social media sites.

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