It’s pretty well documented that Google updated their algorithm last month leaving users in a frenzy as they scrambled to recover rankings. As with all Google updates, spokespeople for the search engine giant have stayed tight lipped on the specific details of the update to protect its integrity but that hasn’t stopped speculation from industry experts who claim to have the answers.
Headlines preaching ‘how to recover’ have filled online news channels over the past few weeks but as with all algorithm overhauls, the real results will take time to appear and few are in a position to guarantee immediately improved rankings.
What Google has made public is the intended effect of Penguin on link farms and disingenuous inbound linking. Link farms have proved fairly successful in skewing organic search engine results, raising site rankings through the use of outbound links which Google views as authentic. Penguin has been designed at least partially to combat this mercenary tactic and evidence to date seems to suggest it’s working.
In the same vein Penguin is meant to significantly reduce the rating achieved by Pingbacks (links that send readers straight back to the original source), which has seen blogs in particular rank higher than usual due to the publication of links to credible outbound sources. It has also be revealed that sites with too many ads above the fold will be penalised, reducing their ranking and overriding the effects of any permissible SEO strategy.
While no one is denying there have been some negative effects with legitimate sites losing rankings, Penguin is yet to fully take flight and organic ratings will return to normal eventually. What else is hidden in the new algorithm will only surface over time, so hold tight and beware the promise of a quick fix – the truth is we’re all out in the cold on this one for now.