Blog Post

What is Google Penguin 2.1? [VIDEO & INFOGRAPHIC]


If you're just settling into the Google Hummingbird update which was pretty big news over the last week, we've got another one for you. Things are moving pretty quick with the Google algorithm, and we have the Penguin 2.1 update. This is breaking news that just came out on Friday with Matt Cutts very surprisingly confirming an update in a tweet. Watch today's Daily Brown Bag to find out what Google Penguin 2.1 is and what it means for small businesses and online marketers.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello, and welcome to The Daily Brown Bag. Today we’re going to be talking about Google Penguin 2.1. I’m Chad Hill and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Yeah, good morning, Chad. If you’re just settling into the Google Hummingbird update which was pretty big news over the last week, we’ve got another one for you. Things are moving pretty quick with the Google algorithm. We have the Penguin 2.1 update. This is breaking news that just came out on Friday with Matt Cutts very surprisingly confirming an update in a tweet. This is a little confusing because previously Google said they would stop announcing these, and sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. So, it’s probably bound to be a little frustrating for small business owners and internet marketers alike. Also, the proximity to Hummingbird, although that once, since they didn’t announce, was over a month ago, so they’re more spread out than it feels.

So, let’s talk about Penguin 2.1. What’s going on today? What is the breaking news? The first thing to help people with is always this confusion between Panda and Penguin, with Panda being focused on content and low-quality content on your site, and Penguin being more focused on manipulative intent in your link building and offsite, so more being a web-spam update. So, what we’re seeing today in Penguin 2.1 is a web-spam update. It’s not particularly big and affects about 1% of all queries out there, so that is, on the scale of the updates we’ve seen from Google, rather small. But, we know that whenever there’s a Google move like this, there will be a big discussion among the internet marketing community.

Absolutely, and I think one of the things that we talked about, because this is really not a new thing, is that Penguin is in format 2.1, and I have some stats here that go back to its original launch in April 2012 with 1.0 when about 3.1% of searches were affected. There was another rollout in May of Penguin 1.1, October 2012 saw Penguin 1.2, and in May there was a fairly big update, 2.0, which affected about 2.3% of searches. Then, of course, there’s 2.1 that we’re talking about today, so this is an ongoing thing, and I fully expect to see Penguin rolling forward to three and four and on from there.

But, what really does this mean for all my marketers and small business owners? Back in June, we launched something called Real SEO which really is focusing on changing your tactics to really be more focused on the audience and a little bit less focused on what is my anchor text and how many links to I have. We’re focused on creating real content for real end users and then earning links back to your website. So really, nothing’s new with 2.1 that wasn’t already out there with the changes that Penguin already necessitated. It’s just a continued evolution of that.

Right, and we still see people out there using old tactics and using link counts and saying, “Oh, I need to get on the best site with the highest page rank, and I need to get my money term into my anchor text,” and I think our message here is fairly consistent with all these Penguin updates, and I agree with you, Chad. They will keep coming, and this will probably settle some peoples’ confusion around, “Well, with Hummingbird being a total replacement of the algo, does that mean Panda and Penguin are no longer relevant?” Here we see in today’s breaking news, absolutely not. It’s still very much baked in and, if anything, they’re going to keep pushing their agenda.

So, what should you do? Well, if you still are not on the bandwagon with real SEO and really focusing on end-user value, you’ve heard it a million times: content is king. You need to be doing content marketing. You can’t just make great content and wait for them to come. Obviously, you need to promote it and you need to syndicate it, but the focus on the quality is really where you need to start to make your content more linkable and the spread faster in a way that Google will appreciate and approve of.

Comments (5)

  • Jesse Reply

    There's something weird, on the internet....Who ya gonna call? Google Penguin! (2.0)

    10/07 at 02:05 PM
  • Aleks Reply

    Awesome job explaining the Penguin 2.1 update guys. Quality content is king. How do you achieve success? REAL SEO!!!

    10/07 at 02:18 PM
  • scottjcamp Reply

    Having run my own business for over ten years and having done all my own SEO, I have an overwhelming appreciation for REAL SEO. Over the years I've read more advice about SEO than I can even remember, and most of it (even before the algorithm updates) just didn't seem right to me. I always asked myself "if I were a search engine analyst & were evaluating this work, what would I think of it?" Ultimately your SEO efforts will be judged - whether it be by a spider or an analyst ...and you don't want to end up on the wrong side of that evaluation.

    10/07 at 04:08 PM
  • JingPing Reply

    Very informative video about Google Penguin 2.1. Effective marketing effort is definitely needed to push great content out to the targeted audience.

    10/09 at 02:22 PM
  • Terrance Reply

    This is great and those penguins are so darn cute. As we said before Content Is King!!

    10/10 at 01:06 PM

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