Here's the bottom line in regards to the latest Penguin update: It's not the end of the search engine optimization (SEO) world as we know it, but change has to be observed in order for businesses to survive these latest developments. To be quite frank, SEO isn't dead in the water at all; as long as search engines exist, there will always be a way to make your website more visible for them, because indexing sites is what they're mainly used for anyway.
For sure, the Penguin update is controversial, but in order for companies to stay afloat in this brave new world of strict standards in search engine algorithms, they should begin by taking out "unnatural" links, which are considered to be the search engine's Public Enemy No. 1, so to speak.
Google Panda versus Google Penguin
First off, here's a refresher on what Google Panda and Google Penguin are all about. Google Panda deals with the algorithm of the Google search engine itself and its latest update focuses on low-grade, on-page SEO dealing with spam-like outbound links and duplicate content. Meanwhile, Google Penguin is Google's personal spam-killer algorithm wherein it drops the search engine results page (SERP) rankings of pages or sites that have unnatural inbound links directed to them. In short, while Google Panda is Google's search engine algorithm standards in general, Google Penguin specifically deals with link spam and astroturfing attempts done by less-than-trustworthy "SEO" firms.
The problem with Penguin, therefore, is the fact that many outdated (or still-in-use) SEO techniques are now considered as spammish behavior thanks to spammers who abuse these very methods in order to artificially boost their rankings on Google's SERPs. The earliest adopters of SEO that are still around were the first "victims" of the Penguin update that indiscriminately let their rankings, income, and overall search engine traffic drop like a rock in a river. They're collateral damage brought upon by the spammers of the world who will stop at nothing to lie, cheat, and steal their way into gaining huge amounts of traffic to their sites, by hook or by crook.
Black Hat SEO Tactics and the Latest Frontier in Google Penguin
The complaints people are directing at Penguin mainly root from the fact that many of the legitimate SEO techniques of the past are now considered spam-like in nature thanks to spammers who ruin everything they touch. Formerly useful techniques such as getting inbound links from link networks, forced anchor text, buying links, and article spinning are now considered to be acts of spam thanks to the at-times overzealous measures and hypercritical standards of Google Penguin. Even though these actions were supposedly against Google's mission to offer users the most relevant results, most people (until Penguin) used these tactics because their sales and traffic kept increasing because of them.
At any rate, Penguin 3 (that is, Penguin's third and latest update since it was launched this April) deals with data refresh, which should barely affect a percentage point of English-language queries as well as other language queries in Spanish, French, and Italian. Yes, this latest development is a lot less impactful than when Penguin first came along and weeded out both spammers and the people who use outdated SEO alike. The news about the latest Penguin update is that there is no major news. It's business as usual, although at the very least, many people can breathe a sigh of relief in regards to Penguin's newest policies... for now.
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