When thinking about penguins, a few things come to mind. Most would leap straight to the animal itself. These flightless birds, that are colored to appear as they though are a ritzy butler, are usually favorites at zoos across America. They have made a huge cinematic presence in recent times as well; indeed, thanks to “March of the Penguins,” it’s hard not to picture a penguin anymore without hearing Morgan Freeman’s pietistic voice narrating. Yet penguins aren’t so cute and cuddly in all media. For fans of the “Batman” comic, the Penguin is actually something of a repulsive character. He is slimy, misshapen, treacherous and an arch nemesis of the hero. In the SEO industry, some would argue that the term “penguin” is more akin to this villain than the “Happy Feet” gang. That’s because back in April, Google unleashed its new algorithm, Penguin. It is designed to eradicate spam, duplicate content and generally weak websites from the first few pages on a Google search. Or in other words, it is designed to undercut the strategies of “black hat” SEO. But even though Penguin was established to counterattack SEO tricks, many argue that Penguin will ultimately be good for the SEO industry.
In the long term, many feel Penguin will clean up the game, leaving it fair for the ethical SEO workers. Penguin is not the first algorithm of its kind. Prior to Penguin, Google implemented Panda, which had similar goals. Because of the constant updating by Google, SEO workers can have a difficult time playing catch up. There’s also no doubt that every time such an algorithm is updated, some websites that did not engage in nefarious SEO tactics will be accidentally victimized. Despite those negative short term, effects, the Penguin update is meant to keep the industry honest, and SEO professionals that play by the rules are destined to reap the rewards.
Unlike Panda, Penguin is more concerned with the quality and reputation of sites linked to the domain, as opposed to the high volume of links. This is an effort to cut down on blogs that have serve no other purpose than acting as a proprietor of anchor text links. These blogs are easy to identify, as they are typically poorly written and populated with an abundance of irrelevant links. SEO workers who run these blogs will now be forced to adapt to use more creative and honorable methods. In the end, some observers think that this will serve the industry well.
Certainly, just as with Panda, Penguin is going to provide some bumps in the road in the short term. There have already been several complaints from many site owners who moved down in SERP, so many to the point that Google has made complaint forms for these site owners to fill out. But with advance in technology, on top of the positive steps taken by both algorithms, the SEO industry is looking to be free of its bad hats down the long road.