On April 24, Google rolled out its latest algorithm changes dubbed “The Penguin Update”.  However, many web-masters say the Penguin update is a massive failure and there may be ulterior motives from Google who seem set on world domination of the internet. Webmasters saw their income vanish overnight despite claims that they were sticking within the recommended guidelines.


Matt Cutts posted an in-depth explanation on the official Google blog about the Penguin Update. A majority of the 700 odd comments left are hardly positive about the recent change.

Richard writes “JUST FANTASTIC!!! I am jumping for joy Matt. Now you have left a whole new can of worms open for Negative Seo. So all you have to do is hire a service to to get links from unrelated sites, point them to your competitor for a few months and watch them fall like flies. That’s awesome”

Compudioc writes “My website tanked today I dont have adwords. I talked to two of my customers today, and asked if they had seen any changes to their ranking, and they said “no”, they were both on page 1 still. I then asked if they had adwords, and they said yes… Hmm… so a question for google is .. is not a gazillion dollars in your account not enough?!!

What Was The Update Meant To Target?

The update aimed to target pages stuffed with keywords and sites considered as over optimized. Despite this aim, many webmasters who claim that they were not over optimizing received penalties. Many circles also suspect that backlinks were analysed, even though Matt Cutts has not clarified this.

This could well be true, considering the recent de-indexing of blog networks like BMR. Estimations were that prior to this update and after the de-indexing of the blog networks, Google also sent 750,000 webmaster messages accusing them of unnatural link building. If back linking is included, the goal posts have now dramatically altered. All a webmaster has to do is obtain spam backlinks to their competitor’s site and the competition is gone.

Was It Penguin Or Panda?

Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine land is asking webmasters to reviews stats after a conversation with Matt cuts. There was a panda update 5 days before the Penguin Update, therefore Matt Cutts is suggesting that some webmasters who claim to have been hit by penguin could of in fact been hit by Panda.

Have You Been Unfairly Targeted?

Whatever the reason for your drop in traffic, the first thing you should do is check your webmaster tools for an unnatural link message. If there is none, head over to this form and fill it in.

So Is Google Admitting They Have It Wrong?

Well according to SEO Book  Google only released the form for feedback because they know they messed up.  SEO Book also make another good point…

“Originally leading up to the update, the update was sold as being about over-optimization. However when it was launched it was given no pet name, but rather given the name of the webspam update. Thus anyone who complained about the update was by definition a spammer”.

A day after declaring that the update didn’t have any name, Matt Cutts called the update the Penguin update.

Is Google Trying To Get Rid Of The Small Man?

Read the rest of the article linked above which shows proof that Google messed up the search results. This was proven for a number of search terms that are commercially based.  Many internet marketers make their money from commercial terms so the question has to be asked if Google is trying to get rid of the small man, in favour of the big companies and sites that show AdSense.

Are they getting greedy and going after a bigger piece of the pie?

After all, they are brave enough to take on Facebook with Google Plus, and they do have numerous products related to shopping, storage, image sharing and of course ads.

The Future

Well, many webmasters are now beginning to hate Google vigorously. The company wants to reward sites that use no SEO techniques, but the simple fact is that good content and a great website design is simply not enough. Who knows what tricks Matt Cutts will pull out the bag next but as internet marketers we all need to keep our eye firmly on the game plan. If you’d like to know how you can recover your search rankings from the recent Penguin update, click here for our Penguin recovery program.