Google: Penguin Update Dubbed ‘Success’ Despite Ups, Downs, Damage to Wrong Targets

According to WebProNews.com, Google is yet again, asking webmasters to report spam by filling out forms in regards to techniques competitors may be using to rank well in search. This is not the first, second, or even third time Google has requested users to report different types of spam in their search engine; they continually ask for user feedback to measure their algorithm changes to then tweak live results and Penguin has been no different. If anything, Google seems to be depending on user feedback more than ever with Penguin. Are they feeling guilty they’ve damaged the wrong targets?

In a recent interview “search engine guru,” Danny Sullivan, spoke with the head of Google’s web spam team Matt Cutts  who stated that Penguin had been “a success from our standpoint.” Already said to have released its “Penguin 1.1 update”, which was announced by Cutts on Twitter, many are upset with results claiming that Google has sacrificed search quality in order to punish sites that use spam.

Penguin 1.1 was announced on May 25th when Cutts posted a tweet which stated:  “Minor weather report: We pushed 1st Penguin algo data refresh an hour ago. Affects <0.1% of English searches”.

Minor weather report: We pushed 1st Penguin algo data refresh an hour ago

Penguin 1.1 was announced on May 25th when Cutts posted a tweet

Penguin 1.1 – Minor Weather Report

Shortly thereafter, the first (and possibly only) solid Penguin recovery claim hit the wire, specifically with the WPMU.com recovery. WPMU was a site which had thousands of links pointing to it from themes which are Copyright WPMU.

  • Should sites be blacklisted or ‘penalized’ for simply containing a link from a footer file where Copyright is claimed?
  • What about Negative SEO?
  • Does this mean it’s easy to point some links and wait for your competitor to move?

Take a look at this, you won’t believe it. The service states: “We build back-links to the websites of your rivals” http://www.negativeseo.co/.

Was Penguin an Update or a Penalty for Websites; Can Competitors ‘Get You’ Penalized?

“It’s an algorithmic change, but when we use a word like “penalty,” we’re talking about a manual action taken by the web spam team — it wasn’t that” said Matt Cutts at SMX Advanced conference in Seattle where he held a You and A keynote session. He also added that the unnatural link messages many webmasters have received in Webmaster Tools are a “Manual Penalty”, “That is the differentiator… The algorithm wouldn’t send out a notification”.

According to the Google Webmaster Tools question “Can competitors harm ranking?”, the answer has changed (page updated on 5/22/2012), to something a little more ambiguous with some calling it an actual admission that Negative SEO is possible.

It’s gone from:

  1. “There’s almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index” (Before) to
  2. “Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index”. (After 5/22/2012)

Webmasters and SEOs have asked Google for a way to specify which links they want and which they can report as being generated as not through efforts of their own and it appears Google will be adding this feature (a way to disavou links) to Webmaster Tools in the coming weeks or months ahead.  A reader and commenter identified as “masterof” raised a valid and somewhat humorous point: “Will we be paid for this work? It’s Google’s work”.


 

Leave a Reply