Why we are all scared of Google Penguin

Posted on: January 7, 2013

Is the fear of Google’s penguin update justified? Panda was a terror but now we seem to have moved on. Google keeps releasing Panda update after Panda update and no one really seems to care anymore. Penguin was launch almost a year ago now and yet people fear it more than any other update I can remember.

So why are we all so afraid of Penguin then? Well I saw an interesting stat at the Search Engine Roundtable here. A few interesting stats to note. Based on previous research 64% of people were hit by Penguin. Thats a huge percentage however more impressively only 6% were able to fully recover leaving us with 94% of websites that have never been able to recover and if they did, only did so partially.

This is where the fear comes from. Also considering that Penguin is based on a webmaster overly optimising their site and being a little overzealous in their external efforts the solutions don’t exacly bode well for keeping good SERP results. For example if you contact webmasters to have your link removed you you are taking the first step to get rid of the Penguin penalty. If you then proceed to use Google’s disavow tool this will further get rid of bad links heading to your site. By the time you have taken action, you have lost a large chunk of the external efforts that you did to get you in the top spot in the first place!

This may mean recovering from Penguin isn’t exactly a recovery, technically in the majority of cases, it should see your rankings drop anyway! So how do we know if we have recovered from Penguin or not? Results won’t be great either way.

And that’s why Penguin is scary. A recovery won’t be a recovery on face value. To find out whether you have indeed recovered will take work on its own, as you continue to build your site backlink profile and over time, determine where you stand in regards to Penguin. Penguin is the unknown and the unknown is something we tend to fear.


William Bakhos is an SEO and Adwords professional and has been implementing best practice online marketing initiatives since 2004. Along with consulting to National and International companies and digital teams, William is the founder of the Web Marketers Crew, a Sydney based optimisation and online strategy company.

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