When Google engineer Matt Cutts announced that the tech giant’s Penguin 2.1 went live on October 4, 2013, he said that about only 1% of searches were affected. While the number may look small, many web analysts and search experts claimed that the update was actually far-reaching. According to them, many webmasters and website owners were significantly affected by the update.
In a recent post, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable wrote that Google’s latest algorithm update went both ways for many webmasters. According to him, he had seen many screen shots of Google Analytics showing websites that were “completely destroyed” by Penguin 2.1. At the same time, there were many screen shots of Google Analytics showing websites that have recovered “in a major way” from earlier updates and are back in operation. There are also other webmasters who reported that there have been no noticeable changes on their sites since the update took effect.
Schwartz warned that the scenario can still change as many people are expected to check their analytics over the next few days.
While some webmasters are lamenting the loss of organic traffic to their site, those who are not that familiar with the update are wondering what has changed since the previous updates. Many are asking what makes Penguin 2.1 different from the earlier versions of Penguin.
Based on the analysis made by Glenn Gabe of G-Squared Interactive, Penguin 2.1 basically still targets all the same types of bad links that the previous Penguin versions have sought out. However, the difference between Penguin 2.0 and 2.1 is that the latter uses a much deeper level of analysis. Jayson DeMers of Search Engine Journal agrees. According to him, unlike previous updates, Penguin 2.1 has the “ability to crawl and analyse even deeper-level pages to identify spam activities happening at a deeper page-level.”
Meanwhile, to determine of your website has been hit by Penguin 2.1, DeMers suggested that you keep track of your organic search engine traffic for at least two weeks after the update. This time period is very crucial and if you see a noticeable drop in traffic, then it’s very likely that the algorithm update had a significant impact on your website.
To monitor organic search engine traffic, you can use Google Analytics. It is also a must that you check your Google Webmaster Tools for notifications so you can determine if your website has received manual penalties for violating the tech giant’s anti-spam policies.
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