Explore All About Google Penguin Algorithm Update
It was in 2012 that Google had officially launched the ‘Webspam Algorithm Update’ which mainly targeted spam links also known as webspam and manipulative link building tactics and practices. Later on this Webspam Algorithm officially came to be known as Penguin Algorithm Update. Although Google officially named this algorithm as Penguin, there is no official word or clarification about where this name came from.
Before the launch of Penguin Algorithm, link volume used to play a greater role in determining the score of a webpage when getting indexed, crawled and analyzed by Google.
Google’s battle on low-quality started with Panda Algorithm and Penguin Algorithm is an extension to fight this battle.
Penguin Algorithm is actually considered as Google’s response to the problem of rising practices of manipulating search engine results and rankings via black hat link building techniques and practices. According to Google officials they wanted to design something that can tackle low-quality content. This was initially started out with Panda but when it came to notice that there were a lot of spams and manipulative links, Penguin came into picture to handle that.
The main aim of this Algorithm was to get a good amount of control over and lessen the effectiveness of Black Hat Spamming techniques.
Work that was done by Penguin was to ensure that authoritative, natural and relevant links rewarded the websites to which they pointed at whereas manipulative and spam links were degraded.
Now what most of the website owners need to know and understand is that Penguin only deals with a website’s incoming links i.e. links pointing to a website in question. Google has got nothing to do with the outgoing links from that website.
After getting launched in April,2012, Penguin initially affected more than 3 percent of search results. Penguin 2.0 which was the fourth update to the algorithm came into picture in the month of May,2013 and it affected around 2.3 percent of all search queries.
There have been a lot of updates and refreshes to the Penguin Algorithm since it’s launch in 2012 which are as follows:-
Google Penguin 1.1: March 26,2012- This was the first refresh of data within the algorithm itself.
Google Penguin 1.2: October 5,2012- This was another data refresh but it affected searches in English as well as International Searches and queries.
Google Penguin 2.0: May 22, 2013- It was somewhere a more technically advanced version of Penguin Algorithm impacting around 2.3% of English queries as well as other languages and also looking deeper and beyond the websites homepage and top quality level pages for a proof of spam links being pointed to websites.
Google Penguin 2.1: October 4,2013- This affected around 1% of queries and looked and crawled deeper into websites thus analysing whether the website consists of spammy links or not.
Google Penguin 3.0: October 17,2014- Named like a major update, affected less than 1% of English queries and also allowed those affected previously, to recover and impacted those who continued to use spammy links and had somehow escaped from the impact earlier.
Google Penguin 4.0: September 23,2016- Final Google Penguin Algorithm was launched almost after two years of Google Penguin 3.0 update. With this Penguin became a part of the core algorithm. But it doesn’t mean that the algorithm’s functionality has changed or may change over a period of time. It simply means that the perception of Google about the algorithm has changed and that websites and links will be evaluated by Penguin in real time.
As soon as the Penguin Algorithm was introduced, brands and webmasters who were following manipulative link building techniques and were filling their websites with a whole lot of low quality and spammy links began to witness sudden fall in their organic traffic and search engine results rankings.
All of the Penguin downgrades were not site -wide. Rather some of them were partial and affected only certain keyword groups that were largely spammed and over optimized.
Also it is to be noted that Penguin can even be passed between domains so changing domain and redirecting the old one to the new won’t be useful anyway and can rather add up to more problems and complications in the longer run.
Recovery From Google Penguin
It is all about the Disavow tool. Although the Disavow tool happened to be an asset for SEO practitioners which hasn’t changed yet. According to Google, Disavow tool is better to be used only as a last option when it comes to dealing with spammy links as disavowing a link is an easier and faster process in terms of its effects as compared to submission of reconsideration requests for good and high quality links.
But now the question arises that what all should be included in a Disavow File?
Firstly, the Disavow file is that file which is submitted to google which further tells it to ignore all those links which are included in this file so that it does not have any negative impact on our site. The result of the same being that negative links will no longer be able to cause and promote negative ranking issues with our site like with Penguin but if mistakenly high-quality links gets included in the disavow file then these so-called high-quality links will no longer be able to help in improving the ranking of our sites.
Once a disavow file has been uploaded, a confirmation will be sent to you by Google. But although the file might be processed by Google immediately, Google won’t immediately remove those links. Hence there won’t be any instant recovery even after submitting the disavow file.
Google will need to go out and crawl all those individual links that have been included in the disavow file. Also there isn’t any way to determine which links have been removed and which ones haven’t been as Google will still be including both kinds of links in the linking report in Google Search Console.
If any disavow file has been submitted to Google previously, then Google will replace your old file with this new one. It won’t be adding into it. That is why it is important to make sure that if there are any previous disavowed links then you still have to include them in your newly created disavow file. A copy of the current disavowed file can always be downloaded from Google Search Console.
It is usually recommended that one should choose to disavow links on a domain level rather than disavowing individual links. In some cases if one might want to disavow specific individual links but for the majority of links, domain based disavow can be done.
If there is any doubt that your sites has been negatively affected by Penguin then link audit can be carried out which will further help in removal of or disavowing the low quality and spam links.