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Is a new iteration of Penguin rolling out?

 10:59 pm on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

A number of members who were hit by Penguin are now reporting some movement in various threads. Can anyone else see evidence of a Penguin refresh?



 2:53 pm on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts used the term "data refresh", which seems to imply that no changes were made to the Penguin part of the algorithm. So We need to see some reports from people who have made major changes to their site, and/or got rid of a lot of backlinks.

I've seen no significant spidering in 5 weeks (few days before Penguin 1). I've had 100k links removed (from a handful of sites that were linking sitewide), some over a month ago, and they are all still showing in WMT. I wouldn't expect changes in my ranking until all data have been incorporated. This iteration of Penguin didn't affect many queries (a tenth of one percent), and will go largely unnoticed.


 2:53 pm on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Running a 1000 key phrase check right now, most results stagnant, but with some up + 1 and some down to - 3 position changes. The biggest changes are all negative so far.
In the first 300, only one new term added.

What I'm also seeing is that if the page title contains the terms, it ranks. It's as if Google is not going very deep into content yet. Most sites (if not all) that rank are CMS style, like WP where you can enter tags and it produces a new title for that tag, for the same page of content. Seems to me like a poor way to qualify a site's quality since it's just open to keyword manipulation again.
Hopefully subsequent iterations will dive deeper and begin to sort out the thin trash & rehash.


 2:58 pm on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

After the final numbers came in (2am), what I saw was similar to what @diberry posted except the flow was constant all day and comparable to the previous 2 weeks with slight increases overall (no holiday decrease. The SERPs for keyphrases we came up short on showed our listings fell or disappeared from page one results but one or another competitor had 2-3 related pages in a row. In reverse, the SERPs for keyphrases that showed increased traffic showed us moved up considerably on page one or in a cluster of 2-3 relevant page listings the same as the competitors were. No doubt it was the algo update in progress.

Later in the morning (8am+) the SERPs are mostly normal again, only a few double or triple listings and the results are reordered a bit with a few more competitors our age or older showing up right behind or just in front. It's actually nice to see them up again and the newer sites that scraped sites (us and competitors) got bumped in most results tested but they are still there.

Compared to last two years Memorial Day Weekend (Friday Numbers):
a newer site has increased by 151% over 2011 and 440% over 2010
an older, lower quality site shows -83% from 2011 and -79% from 2010 (this was a Panda victim).

Personally, I think it's too soon to make assumptions, especially with the update hitting on a holiday. If we come out matching or ahead on the next three days it should be positive from there on out but generally speaking the algo updates have always looked good for us in the first few hours then cause a sharp drop within 24 hours.

@aristotle - we had 2 sites that linked to our newest, most popular site massively go under just about the same time that Penguin came out, 2 more lost their hosting privledges at HostGator a couple weeks after (and yes, there was an almost noticeable increase that seemed related but I'm talking about 100-200 uniques and that could just be a natural progression as that site grows and adds content). There are still about 5 more that link even worse, one 5000+ links.


 3:01 pm on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've had 100k links removed (from a handful of sites that were linking sitewide), some over a month ago, and they are all still showing in WMT. I wouldn't expect changes in my ranking until all data have been incorporated.

To see the effect of a removal of backlinks, do you think that you would probably have to wait until those backlinks are not showing up in WMT anymore?


 5:33 pm on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Something I hadn't noticed before is that FireFox, Opera and Safari show results as they were prior to the May 25th refresh and Chrome is more positive toward us using the same location (United States). My previous post may have been partly BS because I did all of last night's and this morning's queries in Chrome. For IE I had to delete the browsing history several times to get logged out of Google accounts but those results don't appear to have changed since yesterday either.

Chrome is the only browser showing a noticeable change in OUR SERPs from the previous month. One might associate increased popularity of the browser with the increase in traffic for keyphrase CTR but our pre-Penguin % for browsers hasn't fluctuated except that IE went down 2.3% and Android went up 2.4% - Chrome shows a .23% increase that isn't commensurate with the increase in Unique #s.


 5:54 pm on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have new changes to report this morning. When searching for my exact site title without quotes the first SERPs page has me at #1 and then mostly spammy results for the first few pages. A mainstream media article about my site's launch with link doesn't even show up until page 3.

It's almost like they are bubbling the junk up to the top on purpose. Some of it is very old and I had never seen it in search results or in backlink checkers before. I found a few things I might be able to do something about: less than a handful of link pages that were posted 8 years ago by someone who used to work with me on this project. Of course that person has forgotten how to get into the accounts, but I'm going to try reporting them as spam to the free hosts. They are pretty spammy looking, but I don't know how much negative effect they could be responsible for since there are only a few of them.

There is a lot more stuff I don't know anything about and have no control over. Like scrapers that that are only excerpting content so I don't know if I can even file a DMCA complaint.

My traffic sucks today so far. The holiday weekend is definitely a factor, but as a percentage of overall search traffic to my site, Google is down 20 points from early last week. That's not normal.

I think I may have hit the .1% lottery, and I'm not a winner.

Robert Charlton

 6:36 pm on May 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Official announcement from Matt Cutts this morning...

Google Releases Penguin Update 1.1
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4458176.htm [webmasterworld.com]

(PS to the above... the announcement of a "data refresh" by Matt Cutts was made yesterday on twitter, and tranquilito caught it and we discussed it with no fanfare. We didn't call it an "update". The designation of "Update 1.1" is apparently not official... that came from Matt McGee on SEL... but in the interest of keeping things in sync, we're splitting off our discussion and for now using the new name.)

Continue discussion on the new thread.

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