Penguin 2.0 rolled out today

We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.

This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh), we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally. For more information on what SEOs should expect in the coming months, see the video that we recently released.

Added: If there are spam sites that you’d like to report after Penguin, we made a special spam report form at http://bit.ly/penguinspamreport . Tell us about spam sites you see and we’ll check it out.

281 Responses to Penguin 2.0 rolled out today (Leave a comment)

  1. Thanks for the clear statement about launch timing.

    • Hello,

      Yes it is good Google (Matt Cutts) made a clear statement about launch timing.

      However as a person that owns Google stock since Google first went public, I am very disappointed in the poor search results this new update provides to searchers.
      I think Google would be better off to just go back to the previous search results and try to come up with better algorithms in the future that produce better search results.

      • Josh

        You are a shareholder, or just a blackhatter got slapped by this update ?

        • No Josh,

          My rankings and our clients rankings are not changed at all by this update.
          I am just commenting on results form hundreds of tests of Google search quality I did today.

          I am a whitehatter with great search results for over ten years now.

          Josh how come you do not provide a link to your site?
          Are you a blackhatter?
          Did you ever think that your comments might be considered rude?

        • Josh,

          Also if you read all the comments on this update, you see many people that think Google has made a big mistake and that the over all search quality as taken a big drop.
          Please read all the comments below, some people state the same things I am saying just in a different way. Some are smart asses, which I really do not like, however their point is this update harms Google’s previously excellent search results.

      • James

        Tom I don’t think you can preach that you use white hat methods, your company page has been shared on Twitter 43,000 times…. Kettle, Pot, Black-hat.

        • Hello,

          You can contact me at my web site and I can answer your questions.

          I do not know that much about Twitter, I did not do anything with it, I just ignore Twitter, so what you say does not make sense.

      • Wrhtwlms

        Somehow I don’t believe you are actually a stockholder who has been with Google since they went public.
        Please give some examples of these ‘hundreds’ of search quality tests you did yesterday that showed how poorly the algorithm is doing, and what would you be comparing the algorithmic quality to?

        • Hello,

          You can contact me at my web site and I can prove everything that I am saying.
          Why would you say you do not believe me?
          What reasons do you have not to believe me?
          How about we bet $20,000 and see who is correct?

      • I want to know why you brought the stockholder thing up. It’s not as you’ll have enough stock to be of significant influence in a boardroom in all likelihood, and if you sold it because you’re so upset about the “rankings”, that would have no impact on Google unless Google bought it back because they made their money on the initial stock offering. So what does it matter?

        I’d also like to see some of the “search results” you’re referring to and what makes them bad. Show us some that are objective…meaning you have no client stake or personal stake in the issue whatsoever…and back it up.

        As far as other people complaining…that’s meaningless. There’s always a group of people that complain whenever Google announces an algorithm change or a data refresh and usually it amounts to what the English call whinging. Don’t just rant…back it up. There may be truth to what you say, but none is assumed until you back it up and Josh’s question holds a lot more merit than you may realize.

        • I am not upset with Google,my rankings were not impacted at all.

          I rarely write comments on this site, only about once a year and last time I remember how unhappy I was with you and your lame comments and stupid troll attacks.
          You and the other trolls on this site should post your comments to Matt and stop snarking and sniping at other people. I got snarking from Matt Cutts.
          Many people will not comment on this site for the same reason.

        • Why don’t you contact me and we can set up a bet on who is correct?
          I notice trolls like you never like to phone me. Then I can share some of my other thoughts and comments with you. It would be fun for me for us to have a phone conversation.

        • @Tom Forrest: The reason I didn’t reply to either of your replies is because I can’t, so I did it here.

          First of all, I don’t know why you keep telling people to make a bet with you. What would we be betting on? Whether you’re “correct”? Correct about what? And how exactly would we make this bet in a way that ensures that the winner gets paid off, given that we’re complete strangers to one another? The whole “bet” thing is absolutely ridiculous, and no sane human being would take you up on that3

          I wouldn’t call you because it’s pointless. You’re full of it. If you weren’t full of it, you would have backed it up by now and posted an objective example publicly. It’s to your benefit as a “stockholder” (assuming that’s true, and I doubt that it is) to do so. Until you do that, you’re no better than the guys who post a comment and say “Google sux” and link to bing.com as their website.

          You’re also full of it because of the contact info on your website. You wouldn’t use multiple Regus virtual offices to make your company look bigger than it actually is.

          At least if you’re going to complain, be upfront about what you’re complaining about like the guy with the paintball site down below. I can emphasize with that guy a bit…he’s at least being honest.

          Call me a troll, call me whatever you like, but I’m not the guy with a hidden agenda and I’m not the guy who’s done nothing but rant and rave about how disappointed I am about the Google results. Put up or shut up already.

        • Do you think Matt Cutts is going to let me publish 100+ pages of test results on his web site?
          Do you think I have not sent anything to Google?
          Why in the world do you find it so had to believe that I purchased Google stock when Google first went public?
          This would be easy for us to bet on, now you put up or shut up.

          Adam we could have our Attorneys set up a contact and make the bet as big and as fair as you like.

          Yes you are a troll and you should not make as many troll like comments as you do for years now on this site.

        • Nice try, Tom. But I only gamble at Harrah’s properties.

          You’re full of it, and the only reason I’m a “troll” is that I and others who don’t speak up see right through you. You’re not fooling anyone.

      • Such a strange remark “Tom Forrest”. But you mention nothing precise about the “poor” in the “search results”? I have been using Google Search literally since it started… never used any engine after that… never needed to. I even tested few terms right now. The result sets are good.

  2. Pretty excited to see these new changes roll out, seen some pretty big leaps for “SEO”, jumped almost 50 places overnight. Nice to see our hard work pay off!

  3. Thanks! I have to keep my website ready for this update.

  4. Matt, are you expecting PR signal to loose significance in the future since more and more people express themselves in social media instead of building web sites and linking quality content?

  5. Matt,

    I thought at last my 25 years of hard earned knowledge and work will be paid off by you guys, however I still see spam dominating my market. You guys give no value to my authority and expertise on the topic.

    I have YouTube, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter. I cannot be more transparent and honest than I am already.

    Why others are still getting the benefit from cheating and my hard work is being punished?

    • Hi,

      If you have amazing content, maybe it isn’t being utilized correctly? I would make an SEO “to do” list using the info Matt Cutts has posted about for the past year or so. Tackle each item and check it off. Continue until you see improvement and I am sure you will:)

      Good luck.

    • I agree with Eric. I have not seen a lot of niches, but we fight pretty hard in a weight loss niche full of single page affiliate sites. We have been working really hard over the last year to do things right. We have a legitimate site with PR5, quality content, and an active social media presence. We are literally being outranked by a half dozen single page sites all owned by the same guy. All of his links are footer links from spammy theme sponsorship. None are relevant and all are keyword rich (though partial match). It is literally a link profile that would take 2K at most to build. Most of his links are coming from weird Russian language websites. Totally the worst most obvious spam you can imagine. This dude does not budge with this update, but most of our sites do!!!! You have to be kidding me!!!! How can you say that we need to invest in quality content and do things right when you let scummbags dominate the serps without doing anything about it?

      • I find the opposite is true as well. I have also worked hard and probably earned my PR5, even though my whole site is handwritten and there is no database behind it. But I don’t see spammy sites in my niche any longer. The clear winners are either wikipedia or site running on a same structure or sites who are here for a very very long time. They don’t do SEO at all, they just are… I find it hard to get on the first page because of either wikipedia or these oldtimers. But maybe this is just correct and I get enough traffic with long tail keywords, because of all the content I created and keep on creating. So even while I probably lost half of my traffic after penguin (before I used to be in front of wikipedia sites), I believe Google is doing the right thing. They have however tremendous power. I have had to search no ways of income after the drop in traffic, but hey… in the end not everyone can be on the first page. We all feel we deserve it. We probably all work 24/7 to get there.

      • Same here, it’s stupid. Small players work hard writing their own articles for hours per day and Google derank them in favor of higher sites with obviously paid editors and backlinks from other smaller sites linking to them. Sigh

        • sometimes I get the feeling we will be using reddit, metafilter, stumble and other means like facebook, google+ and pinterest to drive traffic back to our websites. Or will we all become wikipedia editors trying to link back to the original sources?

    • Bill

      Stop relying on Google to drive your business.

      There are plenty of places to get traffic online, where you don’t have to worry about constantly changing algorithms.

      • ^^^

        This. I don’t know who this guy is, but there are several people who could be well-served to read this particular comment.

        I wish you could like/dislike stuff on WP comments like you can with Disqus. This comment deserves serious upvoting.

      • 90% of my traffic comes through Google… and it is so that betting on one horse is tricky, but if you are certain it is the best horse then you can go a long way. Google is transparent on what we need to do and change. I see SEO evolving to being ‘honest’ and just building a ‘good’ site, with ‘best’ content… not so difficult. And if you don’t want to spend your time on that, just do buy adwords ;)

        • “Google is transparent on what we need to do and change. I see SEO evolving to being ‘honest’ and just building a ‘good’ site, with ‘best’ content… not so difficult”

          and if I say I’m honest, my site is good with best content and I lost 90% of my SEO traffic, what would you say to that?

        • O same here… comparing traffic from last year to now brings me to almost half the traffic I used to have. But less traffic should not mean lower quality traffic. Look in your GA stats and compare amount of pages visited, time on site and bounce rate. OK, changes that Google are making today look towards giving answers from within Google itself. So once again taking away traffic. But instead of trying to fight each other over the little traffic left to us, take up the challenge and do start creating content that is unique and useful… traffic might get back to you.

  6. Thanks for the news, Matt.

    It will be interesting to find out exactly how sites will be affected. Do you plan on releasing any followup posts regarding Penguin 2.0?

  7. Hi Matt,

    Definitely seen a big change go through. I can see that authorities now have a much larger presence as opposed to much smaller sites, is this something that can be overcome by having a larger web presence with Google authorship? It seems that this update just allowed the big fish to forever hold their thrones, making it much harder for the rest of us.

    Marko

  8. Michael Reyes

    You F**ed up my rankings! Yet a scraper site is STILL in the #1 spot. WHAT THE HELL!!!

  9. Adam

    I hope this solves the recent weird results i’m getting when searching for education topics and science books.

  10. Matt do you consider this update to have an immediate affect on these English queries? I have been seeing some weird results in spam queries I monitor.

  11. Jim Cott

    Does this mean that the 120 high PR links I bought last week may have been a waste of money?

    • Not if you resell the links! I predict link reselling will be the next great SEO technique to counter the effects of Penguin 2.0. By buying a resold link, you didn’t buy from the original seller and therefore you can’t be penalized!

      It’s a win-win-win…win-win…winwinwinwin…win…I think.

  12. Interesting, Is penguin 1.0 still running or was it completely subsumed in penguin 2.0? The SERPs look like you didn’t rerun penguin 1.0. Some sites with massive blog comment anchor spam that would’ve been demolished in penguin 1.0 still appear to be doing okay.

  13. Dan

    Expecting big things to happen based on your “expectation video” Matt. Right now I have an excel list of around 400+ websites, who I’ve reported to Google for hidden/hacked links (very obvious ones), and who so far have not been penalised in the SERPs or had their visible high PR removed. Will be interesting to see if the Penguin 2.0 rollout hammers these obvious blackhat webspammers.

  14. I am curious if google’s ad revenues are going up as you kill off “feeder” and “product” sites ?

    I’m am specifically thinking of Bobs Beds and Curtains store who went ahead and bought bedsforsale.co.tld to advertise his bed range, only to find google has essentially killed it and forcing him to use adwords.

    So is this working (for google) ?

  15. Hi Matt,
    Anxiously awaiting the new Penguin 2 update. Thanks for your videos that you put up on your blog, always interesting.

    Cheers
    Dirk

  16. eyepaq

    Hi,

    Will there be, like in the past, a form for web masters to post possible “collateral damage” of the update ?

  17. Great. What do you mean by regular user? Can you define a “Regular User”? And “languages with more webspam will see a bigger impact”…are you saying all languages or just the English language? I also would like to read an answer to Serkant’s question?

  18. It’s good to see these changes going into effect and forcing SEOs to use good content in order to increase rankings instead of the spam. I’ve been an editor with Dmoz for 13 years, since Google used the RDF dump for indexing and gave priority to listed sites. It was a pretty effective way to combat spam since high ranking sites were manually reviewed.

    Of course, the amount of sites that need indexed has increased exponentially since then making quality and quantity a hard balance to find, but I think you guys are doing a good job and going in the right direction.

  19. I know this new update is extremely fresh, but could you give us some outlook on what kind of timeline we can expect for more Penguin related updates/refreshes?

    I only ask because it doesn’t seem like there are obvious winners and losers like there have been for other major updates. Is that just because it’s too soon perhaps?

  20. payday spammer

    Thanks Matt, im retiring. you’ve burned me out, I thought I could stand up one more time, I was wrong. I no longer have the willpower to fight with your search engine. You won. Now live a happy life while I and my family starve.

  21. so when do we expect the panda ?

  22. Hey Matt Thanks & I seen that video you released earlier that’s also very informative.

  23. Will the data refresh be run more often like Panda or will Penguin be included in the main Google algo ?

  24. This is truly a horrible news Matt?

  25. And spammers complaining about how Google screwed them over in 5…4…3…2…

    • You should call yourself “must always have the last word Adam” or aka Troll.

      Adam you do not even know what a spammer is.

      Or are you the only non-spammer in the world?
      Did a first grader design your web site?

    • Hello Adam,

      I see your web site is for sale at auction for $900 and no one would buy it.
      You are quite an impressive businessman and I think everyone on this site should read all of your many thousands of spam comments because you are so important to the world and we need a leader for all the trolls.
      Maybe if you are nicer some adult spam site might buy your ugly web site for $100.

      Have a nice day.

  26. is this will kick out the keyword priority???

  27. James Herd

    Matt,

    Do you think penalising links and websites for Webspam is actually creating better results for search? Rather than concentrating on rewarding websites for things that the search engines like?

    I was always told growing up that positive things dont come from negative thinking.
    Negative SEO was created by Google for punishing bad linking. It has now become a reality.

    People can negatively impact others rankings. As they can do their own.
    I would have thought creating a better search engine would be from rewarding websites and not punishing them.

    Id like to see your thoughts on why negative filters are Googles concern at the moment rather than positive ones.

    People who work on their site are being penalised at the moment. While others than dont, are rewarded for not trying to develop their business. I dont understand?

    • I agree with you James,

      I think boosting the websites with positive factors is better than penalizing the negative one. It might encourage people more to follow Google webmaster’s guidelines and focus on building quality sites. It might also remove the threat many webmasters caring of their competitor might hurt them by following this negative SEO practice for their site and get hurt for competitors. I haven’t experienced it yet but I think there can be such aggressive competitors who can misuse the Google’s policy of penalize the websites. So better option can be to boost website rankings up with positive factors by being positive ;)

      • James Herd

        There is nothing but positives if Google changes its negative thinking practices into positive ones. Reward users, webmasters and business owners. Stop placing filters on links…as some people have no choice.

        If I was a search engine..and I could no longer rely on links, I would just ignore their power or disable them. Not rank sites lower for the quality of the links. Negative SEO is dangerous and is now a reality. Thank you Google for making the world a more unstable place.

    • The problem with that thinking, and it is understandable, is that the removal of a prior positive can be taken as a negative when it really isn’t. For example, if Google discounted all the links from a.com and b.com had 1000 links pointing to it from a.com, then b.com in theory would suffer a ranking decrease that could be interpreted as a penalty when it was merely the effect of the removal of the value associated with the 1000 links.

  28. I know in the video you had mentioned you were looking for ways to deny value to web spammers. I hope it is not merely an afterthought that part of the value the web spammers are bent on gaining is PageRank. Just now I checked my list of sites that had hacked to gain PageRank 6 or higher, with lots of 7s and a couple of 8s. They hacked into well known sites that have fixed the hack months ago but they are still displaying the high pagerank in the toolbar. I hope denying value includes denying pagerank to hackers or other obvious spammers. If you want my list, let me know. I reported them a couple of months ago.

  29. Peter Watson

    I’m still seeing cluttered listings in Australia for my main term ‘business for sale’ (and many other terms).

    At least 3 sites at any one time have multiple listings, and this is only new. It was never like this before.

  30. Ali

    google first page: spam sites
    4. …blogspot.com
    6. …blogspot.com
    7. …blogspot.com
    8. slideshare.net

    result: this is Google webspam ! ı hate google.

  31. I think PR will be there, just that some algorithms of providing PR will be change. Six month before I went for interview, I got questioned that how significant “Social Media” links are?

    Somehow I managed that question but later on when I gave a thought I came to conclusion that why not?
    Since the link building has become much complex, not working out for everyone, people has tends towards social media. Likes and shares has good impact even on ranking perspective.

    So, I think natural links (no spam) from social media sites should influence your PR.

  32. Will the Penguin data refresh run more often like Panda or will it soon be integrated in the main Google algo ?

  33. Hopefully this Panda update actually target spam websites and bring some cheer to “real” hard working webmasters. Come on Google!

  34. Looking good so far. Thanks for the update Matt.

  35. Timmy

    Yeah well done,

    You’ve just moved contextually irrelevant content higher up for a broad keyword and my site to page two…

    I have more happy customers that have come through more site than most… and you choose to rank a wikipedia article above me…

    thanks for making it more difficult for my staff to serve the british public.

  36. Matt,

    what are the languages with more spam? and the one with less?

  37. Great Job Guys…. I am looking forward to seeing a much cleaner Algo, with less junk. Thx

  38. I think it would be interesting if you were to share a sample set of the queries that you use as indicators that this is/was an effective update.

    • Hello Corey,

      I agree with you.

      I doubt Matt would ever do that, and my research shows a big drop in search quality, too many weak, lame sites ranking at the top now. Sites with little or no good content and sites that I can see are violating Google Guidelines with low quality spammy backlinks, and it appears Google is giving more credit to crappy, unproven, risky, non-authoritative sites with poor or no content, however they have the keywords in their domain name.

  39. Still it needs to be more strong, I can see that most of the results are spam.

    • Sumit, we can adjust the impact but we wanted to start at one level and then we can modify things appropriately.

      • It means you accept the update has laps and it’s affecting quality sites too?

      • Peter Watson

        So are you saying that we can expect to see fluctuations continue even though the Penguin refresh has completed?

      • Matt

        Do you mean it is just a beginning and still more to come? so it’s a hanging sword on our head there even if we are practicing the white hat SEO. Because as the feedback are coming out many of webmasters are complaining that the update has not affected spammers or may be ranked spammers up.

  40. Great news Matt. A step ahead to have cleaner search results. We have actually seen a positive affect of it on our sites. So good for us.

  41. Yes! Content truly is king!

  42. Rankings actually improved for us a little bit. Goes to show posting great content can do wonders for SEO as well.

    I’m just more and more inclined (after your statement about ‘authority sites’ getting better rankings) to believe that Google is going towards a “one page” search results display per query.

    In any case around 95%+ people click on the first 10 links in SERPS – seems like a logical thing to do.

  43. this penguin update has a serious effect on my tech site igadgetsworld but the thing is my alexa rank raised around 2 lakhs(increased) why.i don’t know…earlier it was low…but day by day it is increasing with increase in traffic….but it suppose to decrease!!!! any suggestion??? MATT??

  44. Gerry Nicodemus

    Since it rolled out today, should we see immediate impact in SERP fairly soon?

  45. Hope this algo will hit on webspamers , not the genuine bloggers :)

  46. After check rangking from google, I Shock for result and hurry up to search what happend. Now I Understand this is a new algorithm. Thank you for more information.

  47. OMG.. Matt.

    Its again..? Little scared but now going to see what happens to my sites..

    Hope my sites are very well in content and SEO.

    Btw, Thanks for the Video Tips :)

  48. Hi Matts,

    Thanks for informing us, I think it is going to be the big update as 2.3% of English-US queries will affected. SEO is going to be complicated day by day. Thanks for making Search Engine more and more smart. Will wait for your next videos on this. :)

  49. hi
    Will it show it’s effect in few days? or it has been completed so the affect is already there. I mean to say will it gradually show the effect in 2-3 days or week, as I am not able to see any effect right now.

  50. Hope your well Matt.

    Quick question, the “Denying Value Upstream For Link Spammers”, was that incorporated into today’s update? Or will that come later?

    May the force be with you.

  51. Tom Forrest

    Hello Matt,

    I know Google is working very hard to make search better, however from what I see so far of the roll out Google did today the results are poor.

    Sorry.

    Of all the changes I see and I have been doing a lot of testing today, Google now has useless, unimpressive, and weak web sites ranking at the top.
    Generally when Google does a major update like this I do not see such change and the top ranked sites seem to stay at the top.
    This is not true for what you have done today. If I thought Google search results were a 9 on a scale of 1-10 yesterday, today I give Google search results a 5.
    I suggest you just go back to the previous results and try a different update in the future.
    In the last 5 years this update yields the worst negative change in search results I have ever seen from Google. On some keyword searches I have to go down to number 5 or 6 to see what I consider a good search result and a useful web site that gives me what I am looking for.
    Please do not be angry at the messenger.
    Please understand that I know Google is trying their best, however this new update is lame.

  52. Can we expect a pagerank update following Penguine 2.0?

  53. Kartik Kadia

    Thanks! I have to keep my website ready for this update.

  54. Thanks for the information …. need to go through video and excited to see upcoming changes… cheers

  55. Thanks Matt!! For updating the Time, though I am expecting some good results from this update in SERP pages.

  56. Thank you for this update.

  57. Hi Matt,

    I was wondering if translate content will be considered spam after this new Penguin algorythm? because it seems that new Penguin has spread world-wide by this time, right? Cheers

  58. Saad Khan

    Seo’s expecting a data refresher so that the low quality websites go down which are ranking as usual after a major update.

  59. Well explained about Penguin 2.0 update. I hope this update would bring more awareness to the SEO’s like me.

  60. is that Penguin can improve local search result in pakistan?

  61. Hello Matt,

    I noticed that sites that ranked highly for keywords used to almost always go to the sites home page.

    Now with this update I see Google giving the top ranking sites credit, yet the Google listing now goes to the sites internal page. Generally I see a few crappy sites above the good site that now links directly to the good sites internal page instead of the excellent sites home page.
    It seems that Google is trying to decide what internal page of a high ranking site the searcher wants to see, instead of just sending the searcher to the top ranking sites home page.
    I do not think the results are good, it was much better before this update. Too many crappy/weak sites are highly ranked now. Also it seems like Google is giving more credit to keywords in the domain name again, I thought Google decided not to do this anymore.
    Also linking to a outstanding sites internal page harms the quality of the search results, it is a big step backwards in search quality. Just send the searcher to the home page like before.

    Matt, can you please reply to this and explain what Google is trying to do?

    Thank you.

  62. Far too much weight is still given to huge sites over niche content experts. The little guy that’s focused on their topic cannot compete with firms that devote significant resources towards SEO these days. This lowers the quality of search results.

    Trust should be the #1 cog in the equation. It felt like it once was. I felt like I was trusted until July 2011, when I was pushed off the cliff.

    You can see who I am. You can see the work that I am doing. I have put it all on the line. I live and produce transparently.

    Your guys are flying around in their corporate jets, pumping more carbon into the atmosphere. I’m trying to reduce emissions, one-car-at-a-time.

  63. Good luck to everyone. I hope you will be a successful update
    Somebody will score, others will be around the failures. This is the part of SEO’s existence

  64. so when do we expect the panda ?

  65. Thanks for the Confirmation Matt, hope it removes the spammer from the SERP’s.

  66. Vijina

    There were some EMD updates fearing which we don’t book exact match keyword rich domains. All I can see is that exact match domains rank well on Google. What does that mean & What does EMD updates do?

  67. Nice Matt, My site was not affected by this Updates. Can you tell when the next Page Rank Update comes?

  68. Hmmm some improvements in rankings and some not so good. I’m confused!

  69. abhi

    Glad to know about penguin 2 updated. Great timing indeed.

  70. Nishant

    Hello matt,

    i was shocked in morning when i was see about google’s new update(Penguin 2.0)

    My few main keywords are go down in the ranking…. Please suggest how to came out from this update…

    Thanks
    Nishant

  71. Lets hope that like previous updates, this too tackles spam and makes the web better for users. I have had a look at my websites but no change at all, no increase or decrease in traffic.

  72. Raj

    My Website’s keyword ranking has dropped, can any give me suggestion?

  73. Thank you for clear statement. Now looking forward for more details and new “White Hat” trends.

  74. Hi,

    I have checked our projects ranking but few projects ranking down and some keywords ranking well after this major update penguin 2.0.

    Thanks for mattcutts for clearly define for the same

    Pradeep Chauhan

  75. Good luck to everyone. I hope you will be a successful update..Thank you for this update.

  76. Thanks Matt ! I’ve waiting update for so long !

  77. hakan

    Im not spammer but my site is crushed.

  78. If the content in king so why many websites coming on top in GSERP without content? And Google is changing and updating its search algorithm every month with many different different updates, but still most of spammer on top in GSERP why and how?

  79. Nick

    In my niche, this was a great success Matt. You took the garbage out. Way to go!

  80. Is this a one-time action or perhaps a new kind of Penguin Update 2.0 will will run every day?

  81. what would be best off page practice now after this update..Can any suggest me…? To hold my positions in SE’s…

  82. Matt,

    While I do applaud your efforts to reduce webspam. The net would be so much nicer if the utter garbage affiliate spam would completely vanish. But sometimes I wonder if you guys have thought through the unintended consequences of these updates.

    Let me give you a perspective of a small webmaster. When I start a new website I could either invest a lot of time and money into creating a truly useful authority site on a niche. Or I could take the easy road and build 20 throwaway affiliate spam sites with just some token content and spam them to the top.

    Obviously the net and the users would be far better off if I would invest my time into creating a truly authorative site that’s helpful to the users. But the fact remains that doing this is becoming increasingly risky, and I should say, stupid. Because who’s to say the site doesn’t end up sitting on the wrong side of the math during the next algo update. The site could get torched overnight, with little to no chance for me to recover it. Sure there are other ways to get traffic, but nothing that would match the scale and consistency of search engines.

    It’s far smarter for me to build tons of affiliate sites. Even if some sites get torched in an update, I could easily replace them with new sites. And these Penguin updates make it easier to rank spam quickly. I just looked over one site that’s #1 for a competitive keyword in my niche.

    The site was registered 4 months ago, has over 500 referring domains (unnatural link velocity), links mostly from unrelated sites (I found one from an escort directory), and 70% anchor text was money keywords (again, completely unnatural). Most of the links were either hacked or paid and a big portion of them were hidden with CSS.

    Spam clearly works. I’m not faulting Google for ranking the site. I understand that some of this stuff is hard to detect with algos.

    I just want to bring up the, perhaps, unintended consequences of these updates.

    The ugly truth is that building and investing into a true authority site is riskier and stupider than ever. And I find myself wondering if it was stupid of me to invest the last year into building an authority site.

    • Seppo, we have some things coming later this summer that should help with the type of sites you mention, so I think you made the right choice to work on building authority.

      • Seppo

        Let us hope so. I actually enjoy doing the work for my site and hopefully it just keeps getting better.

      • I also feel this frustration. When people learned how I was a professional blogger and earning a living off of my website, they wanted to instantly start a blog and make money! I told them that it took years to build my site and thousands of hours of research and work.

        Then I got hit by Panda in April 2011 and all of a sudden I went from a supposed authority to being a low quality crappy site. Not that Google was wrong to hit my site, I know all of the content was not my best quality, but it makes you feel like there is no point if one day Google thinks you are helpful (and my readers also thought I was helpful with their comments) and the next day you are considered the exact opposite.

        What really bothers me about the updates too is that it’s not just about the content of what you have written. I mentioned in a earlier comment on another post by Matt Cutts that when I changed my theme to a new theme in 2012, my traffic suddenly doubled. It had nothing to do with the actual content. So is content really king?

        Afterwards, I was happy to at least have some traffic back, but then in November 2012 thru April 2013, my traffic got cut in half again. Again, no clue why as my traffic had just doubled 6 months earlier.

        Just imagine a workplace where you are considered a valuable part of the team one day and then the next day you come in and they make you the janitor. It just makes no sense and makes it really hard to spend all that time and energy only to be thrown up and down without having any clue what you did right or wrong.

      • George Parver

        Hi Matt,
        It’s nice to see you taking out the time to respond to sincere comments. I find myself in pretty much the same position as Seppo. I am a the owner/operator/webmaster of an ecommerce site. Obviously I do not want to give my domain name.. but let me give you the scenario that I am experiencing.
        I am extremely specialized in my niche and I probably have 2-300 times the selection of amazon, ebay, sears, etc… within my niche as well as much more customizable options which these larger sites simply do not offer. I have devoted years to improving and working on my site to bring my customers a superior experience, and I do get great feedback from my customers!
        With this latest update (where I am seeing about half my previous visitors from Google) I am finding that I am ranking under dozens of what people call authority sites like chain stores, youtube videos, squidoo lenses, .blogspots, and other ecommerce sites that don’t even offer their customers a quarter of what I do, but are simply more aged than my site, ranking above mine.
        I was actually looking forward to this update as I heard you mention that authorities within a niche will be rewarded – and that is exactly what I considered myself. But I am actually seeing the opposite. It seems that all my focusing on enhancing user experience has not paid off at all.
        I don’t quite know what to make of it, but I guess I’ll just have to sit tight and wait for the next update that you mentioned. Just please do it quickly…. :)

      • George Parver

        Hi Matt,
        Just checking in if “later this summer” has come yet? Seems to me that whenever there is a major update there is a rollback to original algo, which rolls back most of the way but not completely. But my guess is that this not what you were referring to.

  83. Matt, first off, i do not see any changes in the particular niche i work in i.e. SOFTWARE.. Besides, I see a big brand dominating the first page from multiple domains? Is this fair? Please incorporate a factor in your Algorithems to avoid brands DOMINATING the SERPs from multiple SItes. It’s unfair!!

    Hopefully, will see the real impact of this Algo in a week when things might be stable!!

  84. At last a good news for all of us that got hit since the last update of October.
    Let us see if all the good things we have done are enough to get out of the penalty.

  85. After this Update Biggest difference I see that one website is not dominating more than one spots on first page.

  86. Svetlin

    Matts,
    I am very disappointed with the new update. I thhink that my site is a top quality site, with a lot of usefull information. And the SERPs in my area are just awful – the first ranked sites have no text at all, they look very bad, the design is cheap, everything is poor. Also I have to mention that in my area there is a lot of blackhat practice ( many SEOs webmasters do buy links ) and the problem is there no problem with their sites – just the opposite. I don’t think that this was a step forward for google, i think it was a step backward, with no idea of what’s going on. You give us a clue and we followed it, now nothing counts, it works all bad.
    Svetlin

  87. Fairy

    Thank you, Matt for trying hard to fight spam. Does it take time for the Penguin 2.0 (4.0) changes to reflect in search results? Right now there is more spam on the first page for our keywords than I have ever seen. If these are indeed the final Penguin 2.0 (4.0) results then the spammers have truly won with comment spam, paid links on some Russian websites, unrealistic high amounts of purchased facebook likes/shares, tweets, etc.

  88. Good to heard about it. Hope you will do the best.

  89. Thanks Matt for clearing out the launch time for this update

  90. all keywords went down by 20-30 Rankings…

  91. Thank you so much Matt Cutts,
    We all webmasters are really happy that you announced the time about Update of Penguin algorithm.

  92. Matt,

    Is there any problem in the database of Google?

    Why Google shows the search results in three pages only for all websites? When I use this term of search – site:bbc.co.uk

    • @Anup!

      Did you notice the message in the last page?

      “In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 30 already displayed.
      If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.”

      Seems they revamped the SERP. If you click the link, it will show all of your indexed pages :)

  93. Thanks Matts for clearing the time for Penguin 2.0, as I am curious to see the results.

  94. Great Matt,
    Finally we got for for which we are looking for, hopefully we’ll refine the good SERP.

  95. Great news! At long last :) Let it be for the best!

  96. SteveB

    One thing I am unimpressed with this change is that Wikipedia is top 3 for many keywords where people are solely looking to buy, not looking for information. For some keywords, Wikipedia takes up 2 even 3 spaces on page 1….

  97. Hey Matt,
    It is always a thrilling experience when you come up some update, All the previous updates helped me but this time your Penguin busted me. A quick question I wanted to know about paid submissions e.g Paid press releases and a business like me to submit websites for awards for which we also have to pay! Its little confusing especially for my niche!

  98. Jackie

    It was a great update indeed !!!

    A website with more than 10% keywords in a page is appearing on the 1st page.

    Doesn’t that fall under keywords stuffing ?

    I think it’s useless to talk about Google Algo, SEO, Guidelines…all goes in vain when search results give such output to the users.

    Great Matt and good job for Rolling Out Penguin 2.0 .

  99. Thanks for the warning. Is there an official email address to contact with advanced issues? I’d love for someone to take a look at what is going on with one of our sites considering it would make a great “case subject” imo. At the very least, I’d love to talk to someone with official knowledge before further instructing a client what to do, especially since they didn’t follow my advice before and hired one of the bigger, spammier SEO companies against my advice, and may be now suffering the consequences. We have done a lot of the recommended tasks, but still no real improvement. Lost here, and would love some guidance. Thanks for anything you can offer.

  100. Great update in my opinion, most of the spam in a particular niche has kinda gone.

  101. bilal

    Hey Matt,

    Thank You so much. I was worried but now i am happy because my all ranking positions are same

  102. Great update again . What I seen more spam sites are off the results. Social media gaining in search engine results. It is good now spammer will on the run.

    Matt Thanks for making web clean

  103. Tom

    Thanks for the heads up on this Matt, it’s going to be very interesting to see how this unfolds.

  104. Rand Fishkin

    Good luck to us all

  105. Already seeing some changes as well, some of my pages have just disappeared from the SERPs for a few big keywords. Can’t get to any conclusion right now but linking is not the only explanation, that’s for sure .

  106. hi!
    Thanks for giving this update…..
    I think this will make SEO more complicated and smart and competition will be quite tough between the websites..!

  107. Looking forward to checking site rankings over the coming weeks. We have been enjoying the progress so far.

  108. It’s great to see an official announcement. I haven’t heard too many complaints yet so it will make for an interesting week. Thanks Matt

  109. Neeraj Modani

    Hello Matt,
    Thank you for the update…I recently joined a company as an SEO Executive.. Before me coming on board, an agency used to handle the SEO activity and they created some spammy backlinks due to which we were punished by Google. After me coming on board, we had submitted 3 reconsideration requests to Google and all were rejected.. The 4th one was submitted last week and I am waiting for the result.. I want to ask.. If my reconsideration request is successful, then how Penguin 2.0 is going to affect the site? If my reconsideration request is not-successful, then how my site will get affected?

    It will be great help from your end….

    Thanks and Regards
    Neeraj Modani

  110. Looks like EMD and domain crowding issues are still prevalent, which obviously is a great shame.

    Here is a good example https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?hl=en&tab=ww#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=care+homes+essex&oq=care+homes+essex&gs_l=hp.2..0l3j0i22i30.966.966.0.1513.1.1.0.0.0.0.434.434.4-1.1.0…0.0…1c.1.14.psy-ab.JODRgrhDJks&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.46865395,d.eWU&fp=15d970f2e7aada61&biw=1920&bih=979

  111. This is the first time my websites have not got hurt by the algorithm update. I think i am on the right part now.

  112. Thank you Matt,

    can you say a number for german queries? Thank you

  113. Hi Matt,

    I have totally unique activities from past 3 years on my project and i am damn confident about my work, still i affected with this updation, i my all keywords are on first position in google, but after getting this updation all are crashed, and even my competitor which are spammer and always doing bad activities still they are on top, can you please let me know the reason about it, why real spammer are not getting any bad effect on ranking position, it would be great google will show proper and pure result, bu in this updation i am totally disagree, why you always affected pure business store instead of those spammer, and please also do one thing about penguin recovery because if you don’t do anything about it then now one will trusted on google and redirect to other search engine, can you please suggest me about solution about penguin recovery.

    Thanks
    Pathik
    Penguin Affected die hard fan of Google (Please Save your Users to redirect to other)

  114. Fortunately I think many web owners should now be savvy about what Google is really looking for. The latest Google update should see large amounts of spam eliminated from the index. Social Media up in the results as are those results high in contextual relevance.

  115. Let’s be honest. All updates affect both good and bad sites negatively and positively. People are living in cloud cuckooland if they think any updates new or old only affects the sites they are targeting. It is an inherent problem with algos.

    The only issue I have with these updates is that it just adds weight, imo, to the need for sites to utilise SEO on their sites. If a decent site as done no SEO for 8 months+, so any links generated are by organic sharing by others etc and then gets hit by an update and loses 30 places in SERPS for a main keyword driving 50% of its traffic what do you expect them to do? They get forced into using SEO and ultimately creating forced marketing. Which in turns fuels the need for spammy sites to do more and so the cycle continues.

    There is no perfect answer. But to deny good sites don’t get hit is completely ignorant of the situation.

  116. Greg

    Hi Matt,

    Could you clarify if this update incorparates the use of disavow files as I have seen no movement on sites utilising this google feature. Is this something that’s part of this update or will it come into play later?

  117. it seems amazon, ebay, gumtree and yell.com have first page rankings for many search terms (surely thats web spam and not the best result for the searcher?).
    does this mean we have to scrap our own ecommerce stores and use the likes of these big players?
    is penguin 2.0 only beneficial for the big boys and not the little fish?
    I think there is still refinement needed to combat these guys taking up all the commercial page 1 rankings. Interesting to see competitors with dodgy links penalised though!

  118. Hi Matt,

    The thing Google is trying to do sounds & appears rational.

    I’ve been taking the changes for quite a while now and seen these changes which I feel are in good spirit.

    I’ve been hit by the recent update but am happy that relevant sites ranks well for a range of query terms.
    Wikipedia tops the list on most of the queries, which shows importance to valuable contents again.
    Then there is a authority sites with keyword authority.
    then comes locations based site showing preference for local sites over global.
    And then comes the other global sites.

    One thing is clear as far as I’m concerned right now. Have to start creating valuable & useful contents again.

    Great work in Progress Matt.

  119. It’s mind boggling how many spam comments I still get on my blog these days. I don’t know how long it will take for these so called SEO guru’s to understand how much damaged they are doing to their or their client’s websites. Btw, Thanks for the heads-up, Matt.

    Gowtham
    TechTint (Editor)

  120. So, will this Penguin 2.0 likely become part of the core algorithms to run continuously (or at least more frequent)?

    I wan’t to take the opportunity to notice that Penguin and Panda could be much more useful – in regards of overall web quality – if it was possible to recover from them more quickly. They both punish and actually kill businesses, even if the affected websites were in the meantime completely overhauled and providing good UX for weeks. Most business is small business and can’t afford to lose organic search traffic that long. Please keep in mind, Google in Germany (which is my country) owns over 90% of organic search traffic! So it’s a much harder impact for individuals here, than maybe in the US or elsewhere.

  121. Some good movements and some big problems on non-english serps.
    I got a Flights for suggestion with the Google widget while I was looking for “ibex 35″ the name of the spanish stock market…
    That was a widget, something that should be easily implemented with the markup…

  122. What the hell??? All my results are crushed. And im not a spammer… Turkish results are not clean…

  123. Thanks Matt for this update. Its brief update for languages spam :)

  124. I`ve seen lots of movement on the domains I work with in the last 24 – 48 hrs, mostly positive results.

    One domain has been ranking above one of my websites in the UK for a while, I work so hard at making my website great for visitors and webmaster guidelines friendly… I checked out their backlink portfolio and it was almost purely spam links, glad to see that website finally drop.

    Great update Matt and webspam team.

  125. I know you all are working hard. I would personally like to thank you all. I don’t know how things work under the hood, but I am learning to make a good site for my business. Thank you for always being open to questions. Have a great night.

    –Casey

  126. Oh many website has lost the ranking :(

  127. Thanks for cleaning up the mess.. Have a great week.

    +steveplunkett

  128. Thanks Matt,
    Very fast updates, You released some day about this update today you released it already. Not fare with SEO experts and consultants. I am very happy to see the updates, My keyword ranking improved after this update. I am following all Google panda and Google Penguin since their 1st launched.

  129. So far it seems legit to me. I have seen a few interesting things, but the changes look clean. A few spammers dropped a few spots and it seems like the white hat stuff is getting what it is supposed to. Penguin 2.0 yay!

  130. Thank you for the new update. Seems like we can finally get rig of spammers, but there will always exist spammers! Evan if you`ll do a perfect update.

  131. Bill Hartzer

    Will definitely have a lot of work today to analyze all of this. Luckily I don’t expect that any of my client sites or even my sites to be affected by this update.

  132. Thanks Matt,

    You are always very fast iin your seo news.

    Thanks and keep u the good work!

    Best Regards,

    Tekstschrijver J.C. Muts

  133. Manish Kaushik

    thanks matt.i was waiting for this update anxiously.it makes all blackhatters to think what they should do,now?

  134. peter

    I never did hardcore Over optimization for my website… just made some helping blog sites with 1 post per month and very lil bit of bookmarking. After all that my site was having 30 % increase in traffic from last 2-3 weeks, but from yesterday to today it has been drastically downgraded and left 60% traffic only. wondering why ?

  135. jagvir

    hi its very bad for me , my project ranking is down 100 to 150

  136. Hi Matts,

    The update is great but still i am confused. I don’t know weather is update is for low quality links, paid links, links from spammy sites etc. Now the sites with heavy Social Signal and Domain Authority are up. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, ebay and even Slideshare are on top for Services related queries…

    Can you please tell me that the Update is for what??

    Thanks,
    Shaikh Zafar

  137. What kind of web spam it is targeted with this new update of algorithm?
    All of them were oriented in this direction, to some specific thing.
    Are the Google guidelines updated in order to avoid some future penalty?

  138. Mahmoud Mounir

    Since Update affected my blog which very high quality Arabic Blog with more than 500 Unique posts wrote by me, I want to know how you could define high quality content in Arabic, Do you speak Arabic ?, and about Backlinks, I don’t have any backlinks ? I care about is content and my visitors was thousands because of the Content ! Should I stop Blogging or what ? ..

    • Lets say that website A have great content which we can rate 9/10 and website B also have great content which we can rate 9/10. Both websites have great content, But website B also have backlinks while A don’t. Of course website B will rank better :) You have to get backlinks to rank better.

  139. Hi Matt,

    just a question that I and many others SEOs and webmasters in Spain and Italy have is this?

    Why the EMD update has been (yet) rolled out for not English domain names and queries?

    Personally, I would have imagined it being rolled out 5/6 months after Google.com and English, somehow as it happened with Panda (especially due to language and semantics), or with Penguin 2.0 when you announced it.

    The reason is quite simple: Penguin 1.x first and Penguin 2.0 now are surely helping in cleaning the SERPs of all Googles, but EMDs outside of Google.com still have a great power besides of their real value as a site (obviously, I don’t mean to generalize here).

    That is why, at least looking at SERPs right now in Italy and Spain, we don’t see those big changes we supposed we were going to see.

    Thanks,

    Gianluca

  140. I was going mad with all the LQ doorway pages with massive bought link packages appearing in the SERP. 90% of them seem to have dissappeared, so Penguin 2.0 has made me a happy camper!:)

  141. Great to know — thanks for the prior heads up and the announcement today. I see that many of my sites have improved strongly in rankings, which is great to see! I fixed a major problem with spam in an abandoned forum of mine yesterday before I heard the rollout was occurring! Just in time for this big change!

  142. Mario Bizacky

    Dear Matt,

    this update clearly slows that some people in Google don’t know what they’re doing. They are testing to see what will happen while they destroy families that depend on good SEO and quality websites.

    You only helped trash website to grow.
    This was the worst update ever.

    Shame on you (sorry to say), what to say, you should test it first without going live with this.

    Kind Regards

  143. Loving the update Matt and loving the impact! My only wish is that doing this earlier may have prevented a lot of the spam and the bizarre Spam link selling industry that grew up seemingly from nowhere but great work!

  144. I can appreciate the work improve quality, but my wife’s real estate website has been #4 to #6 for six years. For the last month it began slipping to page 2, and then 3 and now last night it got slapped it down to page 6 where it remains.

    I’m no expert, and have limited resources, but both my regular SEO consultant, as well as another cannot point to anything that we have done wrong. It dropped like a rock while others have remained in place.

    Our secondary phrase remained near the top of page 1, but after last night it is now at #10.

    We are a small company in a relatively small market. I am at a loss what to do about this mess.

  145. Cindy Scmidt

    Matt,
    I was not affected at all either way. However the real estate serps continued to be dominated by Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com. These are only listings pages to the cities with no local information on these sites. Secondly, the majority of the listings are out of date as well. They are advertising sites not consumer sites. The real estate industry should have superior sites by local agents at the top. Local does not get it. Can you explain why the large national sites continue to benefit and the small guys do not? The last update benefited them in a huge way again nationally. I will sit back and wait for a response.

    • Yes, I was disappointed that Trulia and Zillow maintained their prominence in the SERPs. The results they are serving are crappy by nature. Google should manually address these domains.

  146. Hey Matt,

    So is this something that was integrated but maybe not all of its abilities were activated? In other words, it gives you guys the ability to add a little here, take a way a little there as needed in the future?

  147. Mike

    I tend to believe the whole Google algorithm game is just that — the algorithm’s been messed with so much that even Google doesn’t know what to expect.

    A sad result of all of this is the real fact that Google’s search results have gotten progressively crappier and crappier. If you think you’re impressing the world by showing

    - 3-4 consecutive listings of the same website
    - “Dated” information from 2005-2007
    - Irrelevant search results that are way off-base
    - Craigslist as a high-ranking result for search queries

    you’re not impressing me. You may have won the battle with your algorithm crusades but you’ve lost the war.

  148. Ani

    1 good thing that I noticed from this update is that multiple listings from the same site have been removed. @Matt: Is this truly the case or am I wrong? This makes results much cleaner. As for the spam or non-deserving sites still on top the jury is still out. For every loser there is a winner. Only thing I don’t like is that losers can’t make a comeback with a “penalized” site. He has to start afresh with a completely new site.

  149. Looks as if sites with keyword matches in the URL are ranking high again, even if quality is suspect.

    • Hello Dan,

      Yes you are 100% correct, I found several sites with zero content (seriously) just a big graphic and an office address, and they are #1 for important keyword phrases, and have an exact or close to exact match in the domain name. So Google has gone back to giving keywords in the domain name too much credit again.

  150. Kris

    Thank you for doing this, I believe we are getting closer and closer to making it an even playing field.

    However Matt I have a unique situation that I was hoping was going to be taken care of by penguin 2.0. Syndicated articles and links that are beyond our control. I’m not an engineer or have any idea as to the best way to solve this. However it is a problem without a solution that I was kind of hoping would be solved by penguin 2.0 by ‘not considering’ very low quality sites.

    The problem:
    An article goes up on articlebase/ezinearticles or any of those article directory sites and is allowed to be syndicated by other sites. Now after 2-3months hundreds of sites are using these articles for their thin content sites, yet it has exact anchor text back to the main site. And is on a pagerank 1 or 0 site.

    The solution:
    Contact article directory sites to remove those articles. Or login to the account and do it yourself. This should stem the problem. (However in my situation I didn’t create the accounts and I took over the site so I don’t have these. And the article sites are NOT responsive. Ezinearticles is the worst. So the problem continues.)
    Contact each site to remove the article after they publish it. (Not going too well since it appears they are doing this on autopilot and don’t check emails. Some have been responsive.)

    The Question:
    Is the only solution to continually remove and disavow these sites?
    Is it possible to ‘disavow’ articles or content? (in the future) Especially if they are the same article over and over on hundreds of sites?

    I don’t know if something like this is on your radar but we have done a very good job at building a high user experience for our customers (we deserve to rank #1 and i’d put it to you to check our site versus the others). Yet this problem continues to plague us because we can’t solve it and penguin is catching us on it.

    #### Would love you to Read and maybe respond with anything Matt ####

    Big thanks in advance. I have left my personal email and am very willing to be open about this.

  151. We are liking the new update. We have seen a rise it a lot of keywords. Look to be promising. Great work! We are going to dig deep these next couple of days sort it all out.

  152. Matt,

    what are the languages with more spam? and the one with less?

  153. Sachin Goyal

    HI matt,
    It was a bad day for me. My website rankings went down. We guys are whitehatters. We are generally posting content in our official blog, doing smo (link post for our fans), Forums and bookmarks. May i know where we have mistaken? Now what are the best off page practices after this update?

  154. Hello matt,

    Thanks for the update… My long tail keywords are as it is, but sort tail keyword go down down… Please let me tell how will recover these ranking…?

    waiting for your suggestion…

    Thanks

    • Hi,

      Two very important things i have noticed in this penguin 2.0 update. One is that if you will work genuine and 100% white hat then your keywords will go down and if you will not work on any keywords then it will be up. Second things, It seems that Google gives more priority to sites like facebook, Twiiter, Linkedin, Slideshare, Tumbler etc in Service queries. For eg: If you will search for “PHP Developer India” then 5 sites will be like Facebook, Twitter etc which are neither informative nor relatives. So, It is not user friendly..

      Thanks,
      Shaikh Zafar

  155. Chuck Massaro

    Matt, nice explanation of the good work you folks are doing. It is incredible how much you sound like the actor Charles Martin Smith. If they ever need someone to play him in a movie, you would be perfect (and vice versa).

  156. Ian

    Matt,

    Sadly as I write this – I think I’ll be ignored and my question will go unanswered from yourself. Is this because your ignorant? – No, I guess it’s hard to answer someone when there is no explanation available.

    I have several websites, one ranking for a strong UK term in the “loans” niche. My site (which was on page 1) Has high PR links, great content, all the right signals, CONSUMER CREDIT LIENCE and DATA PROTECTION. I have to fight with spammers on a daily basis.

    Tell me Matt, how can I go from position 3 yesterday – to waking up today and seeing it half way down page 2?

    Your doing this, and I’ll quote – “to give users a better experience” ?

    Tell me how your giving users a better experience taking legitimate quality and legal websites out the first page search results and filling them with rubbish?

    Rubbish 1 page blogs, rubbish illegal websites with no data protection and no CCL. Rubbish websites pushed to the front page using automated Seo software – Tell me matt, id love to know.

    The new panda regardless of what you say – had impacted negatively in the UK and is now causing yet more people to be mislead and get into financial difficulty.

    As a company matt – is that what you want? For more and more people to be misguided by illegal rubbish that should not be in the search results? For legitimate legal company’s to go down the tubes.

    All the sites that appeared during the night fresh on page 1 is due to someone at your end yet again not doing their job properly – if they were doing their job properly, you pg 1 results would have quality.

    I’d love you to prove me wrong with your reply, though I won’t hold my breath

    Ian

  157. Hi,

    i like from this upgrade of Penguin 2.0 that the domain clustering have mostly disappeared in Germany, so that at the following pages after page 1 which is dominated by authorities, now smaller websites have appeared again. So a research of the search query is again a possible task.

  158. Ash

    This seems to be a less aggressive roll out than previously expected. The coming days will be interesting as the dust settles.

    Hopefully the playing field has been somewhat leveled again. So, What’s next?

  159. Soren Nielsen

    Hi Matt, So if I understand it you favor Government Nonprofits higher in the rankings with this change, Does that mean you will let the stock Exchange, know the impact of this as I would estimate you have changed 80 million results and that is equivlant to about 20 million usd extra profit for Google every day. This Penguin 2 should make the shares rocket when the market understands the change you have made on the 22 May.

  160. Hi Matt,

    I’ve been a big fan of every single algorithm update of Google, be it the Panda or the Penguin, and every other update. It’s always reaffirmed my belief that Google works in favor of ethical publishers whose sole focus is catering to the needs of their readers. And I’m pretty certain you’d like to hear the feedback of publishers too.

    I’ve always followed your suggestions, I completely avoid any kind of backlinking (that’s overcautious, I know!), nor have I ever tried to rank higher in the Google rankings by any means beyond good content. We just ensure that the content on our website is extremely helpful to the reader, and wait for the users or Google and the Google team to be a judge of where it should rank in the search pages.

    And for as long as I’ve seen, most of our articles climb slowly over months and years, but we always find a good spot right on top of most Google search pages. Our articles are detailed and informative, and we’re very picky about the kind of articles and advice we give our readers, and so far, it’s worked well for our readers and for us.

    We get about 200,000 visitors a day and several hundred emails every day from our readers thanking us for helping change their lives.

    But about 20 hours ago, I noticed this huge drop in visitors on my website, and now I know we’ve been hit by this update. It’s disheartening, especially when I see many websites that write short irrelevant articles, create pages that are disguised landing pages, etc. ranking above us. And we’ve been pushed down by several notches. At times like these, I can’t help but feel shaken and cheated when we’ve been following the rules to the big tee!

    I honestly can tell you we focus on nothing at all other than user experience and content that can benefit our readers. And I feel so helpless watching the visitor stats of my website drop so heavily in one swift blow.

    I completely understand the need for these updates, but it just seems very unfair that I have to wait for several more months for the next Penguin update so this aberration could get sorted out. It seems very unfair to say the least.

  161. Chris

    When I search “How to” search queries, all the first page results are News related posts, not the how to guide tutorials. What’s going on there?

  162. Thanks very much for the update Matt.

    I’m sure we’ll have better SERP’S.

    Sometimes it’s difficult for seo and webmaster is hard to understand where good content ends and spam begins.

    Good luck to everybody

  163. We are more concerned with competitors trying to narc on each other with the convenient “report spam” link. Otherwise, we have not seen any big changes in our SERPs, but less repetition of the same sites, which is a good thing. Real Estate keeps shrinking! When we get to 5 organic spots on the first page, I’m giving up on SEO and just writing a check.

  164. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for keeping us up to date. Really cool. How long does it typically take for Penguin to completely roll out across all data centers. I see a lot of movements today still so I was wondering…

    Cheers

    J.

  165. dave

    will penguin update more than every 6 months?

  166. Ken

    Results in my eCommerce niche are not as good now. My website is a specialist in our niche; providing unique and helpful content. We have many links from forums where users refer to us for solutions (no-follow). We are very engaged with our users socially. The results are now (generally)
    1. manufacturer (good)
    2. Wikipedia (reasonable – at least whoever wrote the wiki recognizes us as authoritative and links to us)
    3. eBay (no unique info)
    4. Mega seller in category that does not specialize in our niche.
    5. Direct competitor that is actually just a large general competitor that created a niche site. (no unique content)
    6-9 large retailers that offer nothing unique (Walmart ect.)
    10 review site that has been dead for 3 years. (I reported this as a spam site today)
    15 our site (used to be on first page, now on 2nd or 3rd)

  167. Hi Matt, when you say “roll out”, do you mean that the update has been applied to all SERPs? Or are you iterating this update through the different data centers Google pulls ranks from?

    I’ve seen ranking changes for most of our 30+ clients. I’m very curious how Penguin 2.0 will affect Local search engine rankings. Ever since the 7-box was added, Local results became just as, if not more important than Search rankings. So far I haven’t seen any real movement here.

  168. Thank you very much for informing us. I appreciate your clear statements and I’m going to improve my website.

  169. I welcome the renewal of Penguin 2.0, hopefully can give good luck for my blog:)

  170. Hope for the Best,The traffic is already coming rapidly down in my case!!

  171. Matt, thank you for making web search cleaner.

    The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.
    What languages have more webspam? Seems like a great idea for separate post.

  172. Thanks Matt! Here’s to hoping I accomplished quality and value! =)

  173. Looking forward to cleaner results and more beneficial search :)

  174. Sam

    This has to be a joke right? How do so many sites still rank on the first page then with majority of links coming from chinese message boards, russian footer links, etc….? If Penguin 2.0′s goal was to prevent sites from spamming their way to the top of the search engines, it’s a catastrophic failure. I don’t know how many hours or money was put into version 2.0, but project manager should be fired. What a joke.

  175. Matt –
    Since the update yesterday, Webmaster Tools is telling me that there’s a MASSIVE increase in 401 errors on our site (see link to my name) from almost none to over 14,000 today. Check out the image here with a screenshot of Google Webmaster tools.

    http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/crawl-errors.png

    Google is telling me it can’t index pages on the site that are readily available to all visitors.

    Any ideas?

    I’d appreciate your feedback.

    Thanks!

  176. Wow a lot of non sense comments going on here. People that are complaining that hard probably got hit by Penguin penality. Personally we noticed better search results, the tourism niche where trip advisor/booking etc had 15 results on the first 3 pages for the same keyword are cleaned. Pretty much better now. I hope you guys can improve a bit the comunication via webmaster tools as I’m sure it would make the life easier for many of us.

  177. Niranjan Naulakha

    …contd

    Hi Matt

    More feedback after the update.

    Cluster search results showing up again. Regarding this, the previous algo was much better.

  178. Thanks Matt – my website is still FUCKED because of you and your team and with no warnings in my webmaster tools. We provide an excellent site and services yet you continue to SCREW US OVER. Cheers for that. You are a STAR.

    If I ever bump into you, EVER, you will feel the full wrath of my anger at your company playing games with peoples lives.

    Cheers big ears.

  179. And as a quick follow up to that. No I was not being terribly nice, but then you did not feel the needs to answer me when I first wrote to you a long time ago with the first penguin update so on this occasion I see no need to mince my words. I was a long time lover of Google and how you operate, but on this occasion I truly believe your “do no evil” nonsense has well and truly expired.

    If I was doing something wrong I should have had a warning, instead you chose to blanket ban me. I did nothing no other sites do not do and feel I have been treated terribly without recourse.

    Is this any way to treat small business owners who have employees and families that rely on them?

  180. So tell me, why do some sites get warnings and others not? Hmmmm?

  181. No answer – what a surprise. No answer 2 years ago, and no answer now. Must feel good to be the big boy bully picking on people hmmm?

  182. Hi Matt,

    Do you know if all of the Penguin reports have been looked at?

    Thanks

  183. I do not see any improvement on the results, maybe a little more mess!
    Just an example: for “internal medicine physician jobs” the first 4 spots are taken by the same site..indeed. If you open the pages they are far from being consider good results.
    I had one of m sites showing 3 different pages for the same search…good for me ..too bad for the competition!

  184. Hey Matt,

    What’s the myth of Class C IPs? Lots of SEO companies are recommending unique class C ip hosting, what if my website is having class D or E or Z ip address will it have any negative affect on my websiteranking? I will appreciate if you can answer this question here and also make a video on it.

    Thanks
    Moazam

  185. It does hurt half of my websites. Now I’m in the process of Penguin Recovery and I think I’m doing well as several sites started to re-gain their rankings. Simply I figured out what was the problem at my sites: Footer links and crappy article directory links!

  186. Kev

    Hi Matt
    I am divided by the update.
    Overall the update appears to be providing much better results overall. The sites listed on the first few pages are all generally better than prior to the update.

    I do have one concern however.
    It appears that any e-commerce site that has unavoidable duplicate content has been hit heavily by the new update, irrespective of the quality of the overall site.
    While I speak of my own PR3 site vanishing from SERP 5 to SERP 30+, I can see and have read that others have suffered the same fate.

    The algorithm appears to work well overall, but not if you have a very well managed ‘white hat’ site with a few percent of ‘listings’ that are provided via XML from other prime sites.
    (Think cars/homes/vacations etc)

    Sure, we can alter code, but our clients would still expect to find those listings via google and they would expect to find us.

    Please don’t think that this is sour grapes, the change is clearly good. But, somehow, some high quality e-commerce sites that do offer genuine listings need a bit of help!

    It occurred to me, that we could employ someone to rip our site to bits and enhance it to block robots, no-follow etc, but Matt, is that really what you are trying to create?
    Surely, (Airplane!) the hard working little guy without an IT team, writing vast amounts of unique content with a few important pages of duplicate content, deserves to hold position?

    As Google works harder to sift out the spam, it may inadvertently fuel the rise of a web industry that it is desperately trying to avoid!

    Don’t kill the little guys!

  187. I just discovered that my website was affected terribly by this update. We have excellent content and do not engage in any blackhat techniques. Ive been improving and updating the site constantly for 7 years. Yet now we have been leapfrogged by either very thin sites that just happen to use the keyword in their URL , those using blackhat or by huge sites like groupon and other directories. We try to do the right and ethical things but then get smacked and lose a huge chunk of important traffic for no apparently good reasons. Ok maybe we should have a blog and more social media activity but I thought content was king! We are clearly relevant for the searchers because many of those former and now diminished visitors called us and became customers! Very frustrating! I hope a better update is forthcoming for the benefit of searchers looking for real businesses and real and relevant information. Meanwhile we will see what strategies we can deploy to regain our decent and deserved (imo) good rankings.

  188. stevenson

    Does using two SEO pages and Tags makes duplicate pages and titles? Can Google Penguin update penalize it.

    First i was using All in Seo Plugin after a year i found another plugin called yoast but now my question is as i was already using the All in Seo google has crawled all the titles and description but suddenly when i changes the penguin to yoast can it change my Title also.

    Please let me know, my site has gone down a 80% down after 22 May. Its my only bread and butter.

    Answer my question…please someone.

  189. Brent

    Hi Matt,

    How does Google define advertorials in regard to Penguin 2.0?

    I believe I have been hit by Penguin 2.0. The traffic started decreasing on May 22 or 23, 2013 – the same time that the new algorithm came out.

    I analyzed the backlink profile and found some unnatural looking links and I also found some of what seems to be “advertorials” (though I’m not sure – this is where I need your opinion). Penguin 2.0 has partly to do with advertorials.

    Here’s what I did – I paid a company to write high-quality articles for me and then post them on sites like Forbes, HuffPost, Business Insider, etc. I’m trying to figure out if those would be considered advertorials or not. Based on what Matt Cutts from Google says the answer is yes. The links from those articles to my sites were all dofollow and there was not any disclosure stating that the articles were ‘advertisements’ or ‘sponsored’. There were many of these ‘guest blogs’ and they were all done by the same company that used mostly the same targeted anchor text for all the links pointing back to my site.

    I wanted to get your opinion as to whether these are advertorials or not.

    I’ve done a lot of research online as far as what Matt Cutts from Google says about these. I have not listened to nobody except Matt Cutts thus far since he would know what an advertorial is or is not. But now I’m opening this debate up for discussion. Here are the things I have found that he (Matt Cutts) has said in regard to advertorials (almost everything below has been said by Matt Cutts):

    Just because it is a high-quality article on a high quality site does not mean that it’s not an advertorial.

    Advertorials – This is paid content that is made to look like genuine, organic content. Matt says it shouldn’t flow pagerank to the target site. If it does flow pagerank then you could have gotten hit for that as well.

    Inbound links with rich anchor text are powerful for helping boost search engine rankings. Therefore, many companies have tried to game Google’s algorithm by acquiring inbound links using the anchor text they want to rank for. One of the acquisition methods is buying paid text links from sites they believe are powerful to Google. This is clearly against Google’s guidelines and can get you in a lot of trouble with Big G.

    So, if a company gets hammered by Google overnight, it very well could be that the company was engaging in paid links. One quick way to identify this is to analyze the anchor text leading to a site. Note, a natural link profile will contain some rich anchor text links, but will also be balanced with other types of links. For example, a normal link profile might contain links that contain the URL, the brand name, non-descriptive links like “click here” or “learn more”, etc. Rarely (if ever) will a website naturally contain 99% rich anchor text links.

    Many websites were hit by Penguin based on risky link profiles filled with unnatural links.

    To address the issue, make sure that any paid links on your site don’t pass PageRank. You can remove any paid links or advertorial pages, or make sure that any paid hyperlinks have the rel=”nofollow” attribute. After ensuring that no paid links on your site pass PageRank, you can submit a reconsideration request and if you had a manual webspam action on your site, someone at Google will review the request. After the request has been reviewed, you’ll get a notification back about whether the reconsideration request was granted or not.

    A lot of people guest post or guest blog to try and increase their personal brand, gain new readers, and one would think improve the performance of their website in search engines. This is not a bad thing in and of itself as long as it’s done the right way according to Google.

    Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, posted a new video today on YouTube clarifying Google’s stance on Advertorials and “native advertising.”

    Matt Cutts says, “Now there’s nothing wrong inherently with advertorials or native advertising, but they should not flow PageRank and there should be clear and conspicuous disclosure so that users realize that something is paid, not organic or editorial.”

    Google doesn’t care about advertorials or outside advertising per say. The only time they care about it is when they think it might be manipulating their ranking algorithm.

    One option is to write to the site and ask them to remove the link. Keeping the post, especially if it mentions your site or business by name, may still help your rankings.

    Another option is to ask site owners to change the anchor text and keep the link but make the link a no follow link. This can help diversify your anchor text profile.
    Google’s Cutts wanted to make it clear that it is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for webmasters and advertisers to use advertorials or native advertising as a means of passing PageRank to your webpages.

    Matt explained that Google treats links as editorial votes and editorial votes helps sites rank higher because of the way that the algorithm is written. When links are embedded into advertorials or paid stories, if they are not disclosed, that is against Google’s guidelines because they see it as trying to manipulate their ranking algorithm.

    Matt Cutts posted a slide showing their guidelines for both user advertorial disclosure and search engine advertorial disclosure. Here’s what the slide said:

    Guidelines
    Disclosure to search engines
    • Paid links should not flow PageRank
    Ex: rel=”nofollow”

    Disclosure to readers
    • Clear and conspicuous
    Ex: “Advertisement” or “Sponsored”

    In summary, the Google guidelines for Advertorials are:

    (1) Search Engines: If links are paid for, i.e., money changes hands, then links should not pass PageRank. You should nofollow links in Advertorials.
    (2) Users & Readers: It should be clear to your readers that this is a paid story by labeling it advertisement or sponsored story.

    So, why is Google talking about this now? There was no change in Google policy, but Matt said that there has been an increase of webmasters using this technique in the recent months.

    Here are the things I think I need to do for those “guest blogs” I have which I think Google calls advertorials:

    Make sure that any paid hyperlinks have the rel=”nofollow” attribute.

    Another thing I would do is to modify the anchor text on those links pointing back to your site. Make the anchor text more diversified. Note, a natural link profile will contain some rich anchor text links, but will also be balanced with other types of links. For example, a normal link profile might contain links that contain the URL, the brand name, non-descriptive links like “click here” or “learn more”, etc. Rarely (if ever) will a website naturally contain 99% rich anchor text links.

    And then the last thing I would do is have those paid articles marked “Advertisement” or “Sponsored”.

    That’s 3 different things to do. Does that make sense?

    According to Matt Cutts from Google, any link that is acquired as a result of money changing hands is not viewed as legitimate in Google’s eyes. It doesn’t matter that money was not changed hands between the company that wrote/posted the articles and the site where the post was published (Forbes, HuffPost, etc).

    What does matter is that money exchanged hands somewhere in order for the posts to have been posted (i.e. money changed hands between me and the company that wrote and posted my guest blogs). It basically means that someone gave some money to someone else and that’s the reason the post got published (rather than Forbes, HuffPost, etc. or Heather writing about you naturally because they thought it was interesting or because they wanted to).

    Had it not been for the money that particular post would not have been published. These words come directly from Matt Cutts from Google.

    The way I understand it is that I should make sure that if links are paid (especially in regard to guest blogs/advertorials) – that is if money changed hands (anyone’s hands) in order for a link to be placed on a website – that it should not flow PageRank.

    For a supporting reference, this is a video from a Webmaster Central Hangout from February: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xEu_VzVU3s&feature=player_embedded

    When someone in the video says they submit articles to the Huffington Post, and asks if they should nofollow the links to their site, Google’s John Mueller says, “Generally speaking, if you’re submitting articles for your website, or your clients’ websites and you’re including links to those websites there, then that’s probably something I’d nofollow because those aren’t essentially natural links from that website.”

    Here’s another supporting reference in another February Webmaster Central hangout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEv59p2aQbg&feature=player_embedded

    In that one, when a webmaster asks if it’s okay to get links to his site through guest postings, Mueller says, “Think about whether or not this is a link that would be on that site if it weren’t for your actions there. Especially when it comes to guest blogging, that’s something where you are essentially placing links on other people’s sites together with this content, so that’s something I kind of shy away from purely from a linkbuilding point of view. I think sometimes it can make sense to guest blog on other peoples’ sites and drive some traffic to your site because people really liked what you are writing and they are interested in the topic and they click through that link to come to your website but those are probably the cases where you’d want to use something like a rel=nofollow on those links.”

    Another thing (according to Google) that most likely caused me to get caught up in this latest algorithm update:

    My guest blog post was not written by an independent and neutral third party. Instead, it written by someone at my company or someone my company paid to guarantee placement.

    Advertorials are considered “guaranteed” placement because they have been paid for. The money is what guarantees their placement. In contrast, true journalistic editorials are never “guaranteed”. For example, you might write up a blog post and then submit that post to a blog such as Forbes, Huffpost, etc. and then at that point the blog has the choice of whether or not to publish it or not. Sometimes they might and other times they might not.

    Google can easily figure out that a paid-for company (which is in business and gets gets paid to do this) has posted my blog posts on sites like Forbes, Huffpost, etc. on my behalf. If you visit the company site (the ones who wrote and posted my articles) you can see that they do not offer their services for free. They charge money for the “guarantee” or service that your blog post will be published. This, in Google’s eyes, is not a true editorial. It is a post that has been paid for in one way or the other.

    Google says, “True journalistic editorials are usually written by the editors of the blog, not by a company. When a company writes a blog post it will almost universally be biased and slanted towards the favor of the company writing the post. True editorials can be like that too but they are written by the editors of the blog and not by the company seeking to publish it’s blog post.”

    Also according to Google, something else that could have caused those posts to be considered advertorials is the fact that the company which I paid to write and post the guest blogs on my behalf consistently requires that blogs (Forbes, HuffPost, etc.) keep a link to my site in place in the author bios section of the article.

    Here are the facts of how Google currently views this issue:

    Editorial is unpaid.

    It’s difficult to define but editorial is generally considered to be content that appears in a newspaper, news channel, magazine or website that is considered timely, relevant news. Editorial cannot be paid for and you cannot demand that it be run nor anything about the story or how it’s covered. Companies do not control the final content.

    I know many bloggers receive releases from brands and companies. They are hoping that if you find their pitch interesting enough you will write about it. Some will. Some won’t. It’s the same as a newspaper or a magazine. And yes, writers for those publications get paid. But they get paid BY THE PUBLICATION, not by the company.

    “Editorials” technically refer to opinion articles in newspapers. Since a vast majority of blogging falls into the “opinion” category, “editorial blog content” has come to mean posts that the blogger has posted out of genuine interest, and unpaid. If you see an awesome pair of shoes and want to share it with your readers by posting on your blog or social media, that is editorial content. If you want to talk about your experience going shopping for the first time, again editorial content.

    If you get tipped off that your favorite designer is having a 80% off sale and you want to share that with your readers, that is editorial content.

    An advertorial is paid.

    Obviously if you are paying for it, you are guaranteed inclusion in the news outlet. Of course, then there is the argument that the “article” now loses credibility as it is biased and contains outright company messaging. But the message is out there and that is important to many brands. Sponsored posts are advertorial too according to Google.

    Advertising content is content that you have been paid to produce (i.e you paying Heather). This is usually negotiated in advance. The brand will have certain parameters and goals with it’s post and it will probably have negotiated a package with services:

    • Writing a post with specific links (sometimes tracked links)
    • Publishing the post on a specified date
    • Using specified language from the brand in your post
    • Giving the brand final approval for post publishing

    The list goes on. If a brand has specific branding to be included in the post, then that is indeed advertising content according to Google.

    The bottom line is, Google wants links that are freely given (or at least appear to be freely given) and anything else (to them) smacks of attempted manipulation.
    Furthermore, the posts that this company got published for me looked unnatural because each post linked to my site with targeted anchor text. Not only that, but also because of the fact that all of those published posts were done by the same person (company). That in and of itself smells of some sort of “package deal” for money (at least in Google’s eyes anyway).

    Although Google has no way of finding out whether a link or post was truly paid for or not their new algorithm update has been created to weed out paid for content that masquerades as ‘real’ content such as advertorials, sponsored content, etc. Google doesn’t know what your intent is. They have no way of knowing that you’re simply submitting guest posts for branding (not to gain ranking power via links). It is easy to misconstrue as an advertorial.

    Google is not saying to cease writing guest content on other people’s sites all together. I am not saying that either. In fact, they say that they are not against that and that it could be a good thing to do if done properly. I also say that it could still be a good thing (for now) if done according to Google’s guidelines.

    I know that’s a lot of information but based on what I’ve told you do you think it’s possible that Google could be viewing my “guest blogs” as advertorials?

  190. Rob

    Hallo Matt,

    are you really sure that only 2% impacted by this update? – i think it must be much more…

  191. Hi Matt,

    I would be really great if you could answer two important Questions:

    1) What is the best way to handle what seems to be multiple algorithmic penalties with no warnings in WMT? I’m considering simplifying and rewriting all the URLs on my website and 301 redirect the old ones via a database reference along with a move from www to non-www domain. Will this help clear the penalties if all other issues have been taken care off? Also do you have any plans to notify webmasters of algorithmic penalties in the future?

    2) I would like to know the recommended way to upgrade articles on a website. Should we update the content on a single page for a particular topic or can we have multiple pages for upgraded articles like tutorials for software specific ones that totally differ from one major version to another (for example Dreamweaver CS3 to Dreamweaver CS5).

    Right now, I usually end up having two articles max, one to help people on older major version of the software (with correct screenshots and instructions) and another for the newer version. My site’s traffic has gone pretty haywire (from 7000+ per day 2 years ago to <1000 per day) I didn't get any manual penalty notice and one of the major sections I remember adding 2-3 years ago was the new articles for Adobe CS5 software. Can you throw light on this, if its possible to have an algorithmic penalty for having different version of articles (just two in all such articles). I have never done any black hat SEO but seem to have made some major naive mistakes by not keeping a watch on Google's policy changes – I've distributing free web templates since 2002 + having the above multiple versions of the articles – in short its a nightmare for genuine websites that are trying to bring back some kind of normalcy (even 50%) to their traffic without knowing what the algorithmic penalties are.

    Thanks so much for your time!

    - Anita

    • Forgot to mention – I probably am also guilty of often changing the meta tags on my pages (overoptimization is what you call that I think) and having changed the design of the website 3 times in the past two years – all out of total confusion, since I didn’t know what the issue with the traffic was for close to 2.5 years. Not sure when I’d be seeing light at the end of this tunnel :-) so please help with your precious time in answering these queries – hopefully with some actionable suggestions! I’m sure there are several others similar genuine businesses that have been as badly hit! And you do seem to genuinely want to help us confused and demoralized webmasters. Thanks!

  192. One of my clients licensed ALL of their content to SME toolkit (World Bank) which now outranks him for (for all their search terms) (their site is helping entrepraneurs by writing and publishing via a website a college level Business course for those who can not afford college). He has also donated. His site is a non profit and he is 87 years old. The SME gives him credit for writing the business course on page, yet claims canonical underneath the hood. (source code which is contradictory and sneaky and they know he wont understand it.) now they out rank him as they are a slightly more popular site with a better Google trust factor.

    His Board of Directors reads like a who’s who in academia. But they fell prey to bad SEO (non-malicious – just plain negligence or misunderstanding that when your business course is so good, SME toolkit and Cisco have it –

    It is a shame that he never realized that the original idea of helping others to start a business actually destroyed the charity website all together when Google went after guys who did deserve the spanking.) I have spent the last year cleaning up the mess.

    To add insult to injury, the biggest router company is now sponsoring the site, However, they appear to take a more responsible approach to combating potential Google clutter with their various 3 level learning partner programs and lock down any potentially duplicate content in a secured Moodle like enviroment which will likely keep it out of the Google index preventing future google duplicate results. I have never seen a website that has deserved not to be penalized more than this one yet this is such a unique case. It is a charity and is also now running Moodle.

    It is a shame that there is no method to handle the “legitimate content partners” who are reputable members of the consortium and are all anti spam.

    The old SEO really did a butcher job on this poor guy. He had no idea that licensing his content out to World Bank would cause them to outrank him for his own content. Since this is on a dozen of other BIG LEAGUE domains, and canonical appears not to work site to site, I told him I would “write him out of the duplicate and he almost had a heart attack. Some of our older Googlers just do not understand why duplicate content is so bad for eveyone.

    This wonderful guy served our country and had not one but 2 atom bomb tests as a guinea pig a few miles away at atol island in 1948. As he sat on a nearby navy ship with nothing but a pair of sunglasses on the boat to protect him. He then came back and started a MAJOR chain of shops… (email me and I will tell you who it is). I am fighting this and for him as well as previous engineers who appear to have no clue on how to catalog with care and responsibility.

    I have a very different approach to SEO. Being a good librarian for the Google index and accurately describing the content on the page is a good start. And yes it is a great site with hundreds of positive thank you emails coming in per day and universities now teaching the course as well.

    Any advice on this site would be great…..

  193. Generally I think the updates are needed to get rid of spam. The only thing I’ve noticed is that maybe the brands are getting a little too much of the pie. For example when I search for “online estate agents” in the UK Google the top result is the telegraph.co.uk. The telegraph article is good but its just an article about online estate agents and its not an actual online estate agent. The Telegraph is a huge respected brand in the UK but maybe it should not be top for this keyword as I would prefer to see the best online estate agent. This is just one example and I’m seeing it quite a lot.

    Just my opinion as I said I’m all for the updates but maybe the “brand o meter” dial has been turned up a little too much?

  194. We got hit a little by the Penguin 2.0 update – we’re in the process of cleaning up links and making some other changes. The key thing we’ve taken from this slight knock is that you’re a fool if you put all your eggs in one (Google) basket! Don’t rely on one single channel for your traffic. Spread your marketing across a range of sources and if one falls over, it won’t cripple your business.

    The other beauty of this little nugget of (fairly obvious) wisdom is that it completely falls in line with what Google want you to do, so it’s unlikely to get you caught by any future algo changes.

  195. Thanks for the update. Still can’t determine why some junk sites outrank quality sites. Guess I’ve got some work to do..

  196. Hi matt,

    After Penguin 2.0 update Google prefer only non SEO site.Like pump product Google ranked no SEO site.I feel when Penguin 5.0 come out Google ban SEO.

  197. Hi Matt,

    two year ago we had, 3 notification on our webmaster tools, “Big traffic change for top URL”. this really affect our business. so we started to see what can caused this, the guy that did the research for us, said we are BIG in Russia sites. We are soo big, that ½ of our links come from xxx.ru sites.
    We never post any links on Russian sites. Funny, we stop believing in SEO about 7 years ago…and without changing anything we had good a year and bad one. No change on our end at all.
    But, we do think this is affecting our ranking…even due, you said its not. Check your self YOU ARE WRONG!
    Please post again, how you can have Google ignore links from sites.
    Thanks!

  198. Kevin

    I have seen two effects of Penguin 2

    Overall for most users a very substantial reduction in spam.
    It’s a huge improvement if spam is the aim.
    If relevance is an aim however there is a whole lot of work to do still.
    As the spam got reduced we also saw way too many quality sites vanish too.
    Mainly I saw sites selling services or products disappear.
    I’m not sure if it’s a result of duplicate content or low text content of product sites or other but e commerce sites that I would manually value, do appear to have vanished.

  199. Hi Matt,

    The last intention that I have is to sound like one of the executives complaining about their rankings on Google’s organic search concerning a website that needs to be whipped into shape. I am extremely disappointed in what has happened to Google’s dominance in relevancy and in providing a user the best overall experience. Since 2005, our primary business to business trade platform has ranked for the keyword (s) “wholesale” and just about anything that comes before or after the keywords “wholesale”. There is no black hat. No sneaky tactics. Just hard work at building what is by far the leading platform where retailers can locate wholesalers who are verified and or their products. We publish information about every trade show in the world, have a great newsroom, our own video platform and dynamic content being created by users all day long.

    Google says they have new ways in which they determine the authority of a website based upon their market share / recognition in an industry. TopTenWholesale.com powers sourcing and media services at every major manufacturing and wholesale event in the USA from MAGIC, ASD, National hardware Show and The Off Price Show. We are written about in every major trade journal and have very credible press about us everywhere. I am also the author of the only publisher backed ( McGraw Hill) book on the industry, Wholesale 101. There are hundreds of thousands of retailers and entrepreneurs per year who rely on us to bring them verified and credible sourcing partners.

    When I now go to Google and search “wholesale” or “wholesale” products, the results are purely manipulated and very irrelevant. AT&T? Costco? Chinese websites? American Apparel? Diamond websites? Matt, what is going on man? I ask of you to please go to Bing and decide! You can’t find a “wholesale” related keyword on Bing or Yahoo that we do not rank on the first page for. It is without question that Google is providing their users a very bad search experience by not offering the breadth of suppliers, content, trade shows, products and information that we spend millions of dollars on to bring fourth. We have gone through this before, and it has lasted momentarily. Now, it has been months. We pay attention to every webmaster update and follow all guidelines.

    I am respectfully requesting that some human moderation happen here and maybe some common sense. We work really hard to provide the utility we do to so many. Your response or private message would be appreciated. I’ve been on the SES circuit plenty – helped author the first SEMPO Course guides and fairly well known in search. It would be great to see some mutual respect for what our employees and countless others have committed to for so many years. Or, feel free to publicly tell us all exactly why such resources we provide to so many are not being served properly. With all due respect ~

    Best

    Jason

  200. Mike A

    There is a huge flaw with the penguin updates, and with enough time results will deteriorate. The only thing that has changed, is the person using spammy tactics. Companies commanding top keywords can now target their REAL competitors with spam, once removed or penalized it can take months or longer depending on how quick the website reacts to the penalty. Once the competitor is removed, a less relevant result will be displayed.

    I recently had a few industry contacts attempt to reach out to you and other search quality engineers. Primarily because the situation above happened to my website, and I have a large amount of data to support my claim. Its an old website as well, founded prior to google & top ranked since the beginning.

    Note:
    I can prove who was doing the forum spam as they made a few slip ups and left ip’s that trace right back to them… I did outline my whole case, and attempted to pass it over to hi-level webmasters. You can feel free to contact me directly, if you would like to work with me on this.

    • Mike, I dropped you an email.

    • I too strongly feel that there are people out to get their competitors off the pages by spamming in their name. In the past 5 years – even though we don’t have a newsletter going out to our visitors yet, I’ve found that dozens of people complain that our emails are going to the spam folders. We have also got bounced emails that suggest that our email ID has been spamming.

  201. Hi Matt ,

    So Just wanted to ask you a simple question ?
    I’ve recently heard that GOOGLE got the least rating past decade this year as 77/100 ,

    What do you think that has affected of this rating with google ? You think its the latest penguin update because your last year rating was 82 , So will you rollback your algorithm.

    No ! I Just dont concern about my blogs if they are penalized about , even it hasnt actually.

    Just asking you.

  202. I hate to admit that I resorted to paid links from a blog network in 2010-2011 in order to keep up with my competition, but the white hat techniques just weren’t enough. It’s very hard to dig myself out of the hole I created, but I’m determined. They say that good content will be rewarded …we shall see!

  203. Shyam bandaboina

    Hello Matt, Can you please tell me when you people are going to roll a PR update? please…..

  204. dev

    what is the reason behind , to launch two big searching algo simultaneously (panda and penguin)

  205. hello matt,

    Thanks for sharing information. well I feeling awesome that my ranking are improving. its time Google paying back for hard work. I guess so !!!

    Matt will you tell us, Is google in future ban SEO ? if yes then what we do then.

  206. Is it true that after link pruning, we have to wait for a Penguin refresh update before we can tell if our link removals and disavowals have been effective?

  207. matt sir i have a question about linking from other sites

    for example we put our sites or latest posts link on facebook page for users

    then sometimes we have 10 latest posts so we put all at once

    so according to webspam its a link spam or we should use shorten url?

    as some sites got new updates daily and almost 10 new updates so if we post all 10 updates links directly without them using shorten using bit.ly or go.gl then its also a webspam?

    I will be honor if you can clear my doubt. how we should post our link in social sites for marketing

  208. Russ Powers

    I just wrote a blog post about the Penguin update and how it will be effecting sites that are participate in link schemes and search spam. Then I went ahead and double checked the sites linking to me and disavowed the ones that seemed shady or dropped me in a “Links Directory” lol

    • so russ you think if we disavow the bad links then our site can get starting improvment? I notice some directories want money to remove link. can you give me some of your valuable suggestion

    • russ one more thing. when we are removing our spam bad links then we should care for nofollow links too or this is ok because google do not count nofollow links? Should i worry about bad nofollow links too? and i should remove bad nofollow back links too? Kindly guide me

  209. Suhaib

    I am not sure if google engineers have noticed that their product web search results ended up always showing the same sites. When I search and shop for electronics or any product on Google, 90 percent of the time search results end up showing me Amazon, Ebay and a couple of other big companies. Seems like it defeats the purpose of searching for any product on google. So I have decide to skip the hassle and start searching amazon first and then ebay to purchase stuff. Similar transition happened to me when I used to search for historical, or informative information, Wikipedia would always show so I started using them as the default search for information. Am I the only one doing this, I did hear it from other friends though that all they do for their purchases is search amazon. I have nothing against amazon, it just seems like its the only mall out there. Previously search results I used to find small online stores whom were more experienced with the products and provided better technical support, I used to call them, get more information, they would continuously follow up with me and so on. All that changed this year for me.
    If you don’t believe me go to google now and search any product like sony camera, the first site is sony the manufacturer and if you want to buy go to the link right after it and guess who, amazon :).

    • Alex

      This is Google’s idea of “improvement”…
      I have searches where indeed.com takes 7 out of 10 spots on the first page.
      On local searches a small company has no place: yelp, and local yahoo is all you see.
      “Content is king ” my ….

  210. Hi Matt,

    I apologize for finding a month old post to comment – but I’m in a spot I’m confused about Penguin and now Hummingbird and how its affected my site. Google has been good to me (although in 2007 I worried when my indexed pages were lower than I thought it should be) in search organic rankings. Over the past 15 years, I’ve been working to continue to add fresh content regularly for GYN medical issues surrounding the hysterectomy, produce videos for our visitors on the top of hysterectomy, working to give each visitor the information, help and support she needs during a challenging time. This year my organic search ranking has dropped from #1-2 spot on the first page and I don’t know what I can do to “get it back”. HysterSisters is THE brand for hysterectomy. In fact, the #1 keyword that brings women to the site? HysterSisters. Yet, I’m unsure on my own what to do to keep up with the Google algorithm changes. Back in 2007 – you mentioned the idea of doing a post for “cool sites” to help with page rank (which would help so much!)….. Sorry for the personal plea, but there are TONS of “SEO experts” but who really can help me?

    • You are not alone, I’m afraid. Tons of others who work hard writing unique and informative content daily get slammed. Even when you have a post that has the exact keywords people are looking for (and you are the only one who writes it), that alone doesn’t guarantee you to appear on the first page of the Google SERP anymore

      • A new Google update comes with new mystery but I have to agree with you that unique content alone cannot guarantee higher ranking. Good quality backlinks are also necessary.

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