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What Google’s Latest Penguin Update Means to You

Google’s latest algorithm update, Penguin 2.0 was released May 22, 2013. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team provided the following information regarding this change:

We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.

This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh), we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally. For more information on what SEOs should expect in the coming months, see the video that we recently released.

He detailed that the new Penguin was specifically going to target black hat spam, but would be a significantly larger impact on spam than the original Penguin and subsequent Penguin updates have had. He also stated that this iteration would be digging much deeper into websites to root out questionable or deceptive practices. Furthermore, this seems to be the beginning of more significant updates. When a reader of Cutts’ blog noted that he still sees a lot of spam in results, Cutts responded, “We can adjust the impact but we wanted to start at one level and then we can modify things appropriately.”


At this point, the complete impact of the update and who is going to be affected, remains to be seen. Previous Penguin updates have had some pretty serious implications to sites on both sides of the spam fence. So, we expect some collateral damage. Keep in mind, what Google considers spam and what you consider spam could be very different.

The net result for your website and our marketing strategy — business as usual. But we are closely monitoring the situation and changes in rank. Our strategy has always been focused on being very competitive, without toeing the line and being considered spam.

If you have any questions regarding this update, please don’t hesitate to call or email us. You can also watch Matt Cutts’ Video here.

This is part of an ongoing series of insights by Gayle Rogers, Digital Director at Strong, about refining the Internet strategy at your dealership.

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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