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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.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 12:12 pm (utc) on May 23, 2013]
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I don't like what google is doing because it affects my bottom line negatively. I have to think that google likes what they are doing because it is affecting their bottom line positively.
Penguin has instilled fear into webmasters. In an almost chaotic panic, webmasters have been sending out link removal requests left and right.
This is very true. The two metrics Google is most concerned about are (1)profits and (2)shareholder value. Google is exceeding projections on both these fronts. Because Google's profits are largely based on search related activity, they have to treat webmasters as competitors. This is exactly what Google is doing, in my opinion.
Penguin has instilled fear into webmasters. In an almost chaotic panic, webmasters have been sending out link removal requests left and right. Delinking the web allows surfers fewer opportunities to find what they are looking for, which in turn makes them more dependent on a search product. With Google's dominance in the search market, they stand to gain nearly 70% of the search traffic that would have otherwise been served by hyperlinks.
It's a brilliant strategy. Panda smacks you for what you have on your site and who you link to, while Penguin smacks you for who links to you. This has dazed many webmasters and left them confused as to how they can fix the problem. This confusion allows Google to continue moving forward with their plans, which I believe will ultimately eliminate organic search results for those queries that have enough Adwords users. Organic listings will become a type of filler material to serve searchers when no other paid options exist.
All hyperlinks, which deprive Google of search traffic, are in Google's crosshairs right now. This raises some interesting issues as the foundation of the internet is built on sites linking to other sites. Is Google trying to employ a strategy that reduces user choice to make users more dependent on a search product? At the same time webmasters are removing links, businesses are becoming more reliant on buying links in Google Search and in other search engines, social networks, etc. It's a winning proposition for Google and all the political infighting in Washington D.C. makes it far easier for them to stay under the radar. Additionally, no international governing body/credible group exists to stand in Google's way. Google is a member of the W3C and likely helps to fund their activities just as they do with the EFF. Then we have the Internet Association, which is Google's Washington D.C. based lobbying group that claims to be the voice of the internet economy but has only members such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook and many other 800lb gorillas that control most of the internet traffic. It's a private club for the elite, and no small businesses are allowed.
We should not be confused by what we see in the SERPS and what Google's motive is. The quality of search results are down at a time when Google's profits are soaring. This is not a coincidence, but by design. It can be spun many different ways, but Google is making every effort to continue to expand their search product. Because Google Search is already quite large, the only way it can continue to grow is by taking money out of our pockets (webmasters) and putting it into theirs.
What we need to do is find ways of working with each other so that in the event we lose Google traffic, it's not the end of anybody's sites.