What Just Happened on Google This Week?
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Another Penguin update… that’s what just happened on Google this week. That statement may have you yawning, but it should cause you to sit up and take notice instead. The changes afoot at the most influential search engine in the western hemisphere are not insignificant, even for solo information marketers.
Founder Marcus Tober posted on the Searchmetrics blog this week, explaining his expert analysis of what’s going on, and his understanding of Google’s basic intent:
“It’s not the update I was expecting. I thought that this Googles Penguin update would have had a bigger impact similar to Panda 1. But that didn’t happen. My first analysis shows that many thin sites, sites with thin links and especially untrusted links face the problem. In addition, some small business sites were hit because they haven’t taken SEO serious enough. Google itself confirmed that the impact wouldn’t be as high as many thought – maybe this is just the calm before the storm and the big update is really coming in the future. We will see.”
Tober provided examples of sites that were hit by the ranking changes this week, and they included double-digit ranking losses for sites such as lifed.com, cheapoair.com, dish.com and salvationarmy.com. None of my blog readers probably have websites with as much traffic as those listed above, but Tober’s point in his post should be clear to us all.
He’s saying, “Looking back at the first release of the algorithm in April 2012, the focus was primarily around webspam. Since then, there have been only iterations; with the bases being more like “data refreshes” as seen in the most recent update in October 2012. Now with Google Penguin update 2.0, the update is specific to the search algorithm of Google…”
In other words, the first iteration of Penguin was devastating to many small businesses, and what happened at that time is going to continue to happen in some form if our SEO does not meet Google’s changing expectations.