Google Penguin Refresh Completes Trilogy of Search Terror for SEOs

google-penguinHalloween isn’t until Oct. 31, but some SEOs have been dealing with an unexpected horrifying start to the month. A Google Penguin data refresh rounds out a trilogy of algorithmic updates that also included Panda and Exact Match Domain updates (not to mention those other 60+ Google updates from August and September).

News of the refresh came today via a tweet from Matt Cutts, Google’s Distinguished Engineer. Here’s what Cutts reported the impact will be on the following languages:

  • 0.3% of English queries will be noticeably affected.
  • ~0.4% of Spanish queries.
  • 0.4% of French queries.
  • ~0.3% of Italian queries.

Google’s Penguin Update, originally known as the Web Spam Algorithm Update, was first released in April and impacted 3.1 percent of English queries. The goal of the update was to clean up link profiles relying on heavily sculpted exact match anchor text (sites where 60 percent of anchor text was for “money” keywords) and comment spam, among other tactics, to artificially inflate search rankings.

This is the second Penguin data refresh. The first Penguin data refresh occurred in May just prior to the Memorial Day weekend, and affected only 0.1 percent of English searches, so today’s update is slightly larger than the first.

Why did Google announce this late on a Friday and no doubt wreck the weekends of many an SEO already reeling from two significant updates? “The data was ready to push, so we pushed it,” according to a separate Cutts tweet.

Let’s hope we’re not in for 31 days of Google horrors.

The end…?