Penguin is Google’s latest update to its ranking algorithm. It was originally dubbed the ‘webspam’ or ‘over optimisation’ update, and lives up to its early names by focusing heavily on these areas, penalising sites which employed these methods to increase their position in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Since Penguin’s release on 24th April, Google claims 3.1% of search queries have been affected.
To minimise the chances of your site’s ranking being affected by the Penguin update, you will need to ensure that all of your web content is original and engaging. You need to avoid keyword stuffing and duplicate content, and instead prioritise high quality copy with keywords that are relevant in their particular context.
Google also analyses how many links there are to a particular site, and the more links that there are, the more the search engine views that site as an ‘authority’. It is therefore important to build a link profile of genuinely pertinent and useful links, as this will have a clear correlation to your site’s ranking.
Penguin is a more fine-tuned version of 2011’s Panda update, which similarly aimed to lower the rank of sites with little to no original content. It is important to mention that the most recent Panda update since the original roll-out last year was 19th April 2012, so if your site’s position in the SERPs has altered, it may be difficult to decipher which update affected you.
However, if you maintain your site to the highest standards, and focus on generating high quality original content that attracts an increasing network of genuine back-links from other authority sites, you stand a good chance of benefitting, rather than suffering, from Penguin, Panda and any future algorithm updates.