What is the Penguin Algorithm?

google's penguin algorithmGoogle Penguin is a codename for a Google algorithm change. The update reduced the number of quality links from websites with poor content to those with high quality content. According to Google, the new algorithm was meant to better detect spam or generic web pages, which are very often associated with spam links. However, some SEO experts disagree with this claim, claiming that it has affected search results in a negative way.  Considering the Penguin algorithm is crucial to any Off Page SEO strategy.

The two Google algorithm updates (Panda & Penguin) reduced the quantity and quality of outbound links, especially from low quality sites. This caused webmasters to look for better alternatives to increase the traffic of their sites. A decrease in backlinks decreased the authority of a website in the eyes of Google, which is one of the reasons why it passed Google Penguin. Penguin also banned the use of anchor text in links.

With these two Google algorithm updates, many SEO experts had a tough time maintaining their rankings. They used to have plenty of backlinks, which were a major factor in getting high rankings. However, following the Penguin update, Google banned the use of anchor text in anchor text links. There is still a lot of debate about whether this ban was fair or not.

Google Algorithm Updates

Google made two major announcements regarding the next algorithm updates. One of them is the reduction of the quantity of outbound links and another one was the introduction of a new feature called Webmaster Tools. Both announcements resulted to a significant decline in the rankings of the websites. Many SEO experts believe that Google has learned from its mistakes and will not make these types of mistakes in the future.

Experts believe that Google realized that websites with low amount of content and poorly designed links are not capable of reaching the top spot in the rankings. Google made an attempt to improve this aspect by reducing the number of outbound links from websites with poor design and low content quality. By doing this, Google hopes to improve the overall quality of the site. Another change that Google made with the update is to introduce the Webmaster Tools to the rankings. The Webmaster Tools will allow website owners to get information such as the number of visitors that visit their site, the average time they spent on the site, the number of pages they have visited, the number of pages that are downloaded from their site, the average time it takes for someone to leave the site and much more.

Future Google Algorithm Updates in 2022 and Beyond

There were many speculations surrounding the algorithm updates. Some believed that Google was trying to eliminate duplicate content from the rankings. However, Google denied this claim and stated that they are only trying to detect obvious duplicate content. They stated that when duplicate contents are detected, the websites will be removed from the rankings. Experts say that Google is just looking for non-unique, duplicate content. Hence, the reduced rankings for duplicate content will only affect a small percentage of websites.  One interesting part of the algorithm is that if your website has a high DA, then it may pass when under the same circumstances it would fail.

Another topic that is associated with the Penguin updates is the use of structured data. The developers of Google, at first, ignored the use of structured data when ranking a website. However, they did make an exception for websites that include meta-tags and internal linking. Due to the Penguin algorithm updates, webmasters will have to make sure that all of their webpages contain the right kind of structured data.

SEO professionals have long been waiting for these changes in the algorithms of Google. These experts say that the changes with Penguin were a major disappointment to many SEO professionals who had spent months working on optimizing their websites. John Mueller, the creator of Google’s popular content network said that the updates are not a big surprise, since all of Google’s updates before now have been successful. He explained, “It seems that they are following what we’ve been writing about for the last few years.”