Poll: Were You Impacted By The Google Penguin Update?

Apr 30, 2012 • 9:25 am | comments (87) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Penguin PencilWith the Google Panda update we ran a poll and noted 40% were negatively impacted by Panda. I want to run a poll now and see how many sites were negatively impacted by the Google Penguin update.

I want you to go to your analytics, click on your organic search traffic from Google and see if there was an increase, decrease or no change after April 24th. Now, of course, keep note to track typical weekend referrals vs weekday. Here is this site's chart:

Analytics Penguin

It seems like this site may have had a positive impact from Google Penguin but since we get news traffic, it is hard to tell.

Here is the poll, please take it and have all your friends take it as well. I'll share the results in a couple weeks:

Forum discussion at Google+, WebmasterWorld, DigitalPoint Forums, Cre8asite Forums and Google Webmaster Help.

Image credit to ShutterStock for Penguin with pencil

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Jon Wade

04/30/2012 02:48 pm

I selected "Same Google Traffic", although I saw traffic fall on 2 sites. But those 2 sites really were not all that great. On my main sites, the ones I have been doing the most work on, there was no change, maybe a slight increase. I have seen a lot of the spammier sites in the SERPs for my keywords head south though.

Michael Thamm

04/30/2012 02:51 pm

I love how Google says it will only affect 3% of the searches. But I'm pretty sure things like "how to get a better grade on my geometry test" is not in that 3%. More like "Buy Bicycle" which returns not one online bicycle shop, or "candy"


04/30/2012 02:53 pm

Taken, 3% effected is no where near right.

Anne Madison

04/30/2012 04:01 pm

While my search traffic has plummeted, I've taken to heart some solid advice about toning down my optimization.  I've also decided to brand myself, changing my site title.  I noticed in my analytics that return visitors were all of a sudden searching for elements of my URL.  I picked a really easy brand for people to remember.  Google seemed to love that . . . all of a sudden, every blog post I've written in the last few days is showing up in Google Alerts for my selected keywords, and blog posts that usually take 8 hours to get picked up by Google are getting picked up in less than 45 minutes (without a single ping!).   When I search for my brand, my site and related social media sites came up on top an hour after I made the site changes. I think that for me, although I wasn't trying to spam, I was inadvertently doing it with keyword stuffing.  Google says don't worry about densities, but when I write naturally, I tend to stuff because to me it's necessary to explain what I mean (I write about a particular technology).  So - I've been using keyword density tools to analyze my writing and be intentional about toning down my usage of keywords.  I'm also throwing everything I know about keywords percentages and dilutions and just linking naturally, letting keyword variations fall where they may.  We're only 5 days into this, and I still don't have my traffic back.  But I'm loving the signals I am seeing from Google for the changes I've made.


04/30/2012 04:10 pm

Anyone who has had traffic drops after Apr 24 I will give a FREE analysis to determine issues you can fix


04/30/2012 05:17 pm

 How do we contact you about this, Joshua?

Michael Martinez

04/30/2012 05:27 pm

The SEO community is hardly targeting the majority of queries in Google's search results.  3% is perfectly plausible, even if in the aftermath they recompute how many queries were affected and revise the estimate upward.

Barry Schwartz

04/30/2012 05:28 pm

My poll is asking how many SEOs and webmasters who read this blog were impacted. I am sure the general population has no clue this is happening.


04/30/2012 05:33 pm

 I found you on Twitter :-)

Michael Martinez

04/30/2012 05:49 pm

He seems to be trolling for prospects.


04/30/2012 06:20 pm

I think the thing we should focus on is the date that traffic dropped off from Google.  For us it was around March 17th --- and it


04/30/2012 06:25 pm

It's enough now.....Google Bot unable to fetching pages..not crawling the pages!!


04/30/2012 06:27 pm

sorry --- it never recovered.   I personally believe that the drop off in traffic from mid March was actually from Panda.   Why after all these years would Google suddenly decide to name an update (i.e. Penguin) after it went live.   Granted that Panda was supposedly named for the Google employee that developed it.  But think about it --- after the chaos started they decided they need a name --- Penguin. 


04/30/2012 06:31 pm

And that was March of 2012 (not 2011) when our Google traffic dropped off the face of the earth. 

Enfield Estate Agents

04/30/2012 07:08 pm

 Many many thanks for the update This is really nice...


04/30/2012 07:41 pm

My client's site was a clean site - no key term stuffing.  I checked ranking (Raven Tools) on the April 22nd and things were good.  April 26, all search results were gone, however Bing and Yahoo searches were unchanged.  My possible error was I never removed three development sites (Wordpress) that would appear as duplicate content.  Also I had four pages with the same content used for developing the home page content and should have set them in Draft Mode though they weren't visible to visitors.  I submitted a Penguin Feedback for noting all of the above and that I corrected everything...we'll see.

David Phillips

04/30/2012 07:52 pm

He stated his intentions and anyone with half an SEO brain would I think it's more than likely he would charge to do anything more.  Seems like a smart way to get some new business. 

Glenn Ferrell

04/30/2012 08:35 pm

While I notice no change in rank and no significant change in traffic for a key client site, I do notice that we still rank 5th, for one keyphrase, behind 4 SERPs from four crosslinked websites with identical content (same company).  I was hoping Penguin might deal with this type of situation but... oh well...

Jon Wade

04/30/2012 09:24 pm

Also, people generally report bad news and keep quiet when everything is going well.

Richard Gailey

04/30/2012 10:04 pm

I have a blog on WordPress (COM not ORG) and use a free theme (Fresh & Clean) I have never redirected the link to the theme designer that is commonly found in the footer of free themes to any other site (one of the reasons that the changes to the algorithm were made to stop page ranking etc), nor do I use Black Hat SEO (keyword stuffing).  I had a big drop in traffic from late on the 24th onwards, and has continued to drop further. I was averaging about 2,500 views a day (I know it's not a lot to blogs like this, but it's taken a while to build up over the past year and a bit) and that number now barely gets over 1,000. That's quite a hit. I did question this on the official WP forums, but they don't think that it has anything to do with it. Personally I think that Google have over tweaked the algorithm this time and have affected sites that shouldn't be in the line of fire. I make no money from this site, nor have I ever. It's mainly a site that lets people know about some of the latest developments in tech as well as computer tutorials. No spam or any actual adverts on there at all. Baffled why I would be hit by this?


05/01/2012 01:17 am

I noticed a positive impact from this update. One of our competitors who ranked above us for a couple of keywords copped a flogging from this update. They have gone from position 1 to 37 and it is easy to see why, keyword stuffing, article spinning etc etc.


05/01/2012 02:06 am

My traffic has decreased and now someones tier 1 web 2 buffer sites are ranking above me??

Duke Taber

05/01/2012 02:54 am

My traffic is down 50% or more. Yahoo, Bing, and Ask is up 63% I have not optimized for the alternative search engines, but did do on page seo with google in mind. I have made some changes, cleaned up html, removed site wide footer links that were interlinks not outbound links, ect. Will wait and see if this helps. Beyond that, the only thing I can do is cut down optimization on heading tags.


05/01/2012 03:09 am

Barry, you need to add an option "More traffic - but less relevant" Because thats what I got!


05/01/2012 03:11 am

Go the Duck guys! http://duckduckgo.com


05/01/2012 03:40 am

I'm really starting to DESPISE GOOGLE more NOW than ever! I wish Yahoo/Bing would offer comparable services, or give us incentives to defect! I'm sure if such a possibility were  available or close, mass numbers of Google prisoners would jump ship in a heartbeat. At least then the playing field would be more level, and we wouldn't be subject to Google's Dictatorship! We should declare a "BAN GOOGLE DAY" to finally send them a message that we're tired of them determining our fates as Small Business Owners and SEO Marketers...they are the epitome of Big Business and Special Interest, and they need to be given a warning shot right across their bow! Google made $37.9 billion in revenue in 2011, 96% of that revenue was from advertising dollars!!!


05/01/2012 05:47 am

Most of the people who are going to vote here, including myself are SEO's and related to various forms of online marketing, so this poll means that more than 60% of the SEO related people has suffered. which in turn gives an impression that over 60% of people were involved in web spamming  in some way or another...  A serious issue to think about!


05/01/2012 06:37 am

Yes, My site badly impact by this update. 40% of my site gone down and rankings gone down with 80% major keywords.


05/01/2012 07:57 am

Managing 20 sites. 1 dropped from page 1 to page 2 for a main term, traffic down 10% 6 sites unaffected, both positioning and traffic 13 websites risen in the ranking considerably, traffic increases with varying amounts. 

bl-sub UK

05/01/2012 08:25 am

Practically lost all traffic to my sites since the update .. didn't realise I was 'web-spamming' - all articles and the sites were original. Its a shame as my main 'money site' (that has sat on page 1 quite happily through other updates) no longer ranks for its main keyword - the sites that are now displayed in my opinion are useless in  that they don't address the users search query. Strangely though one site that I have been unable to rank at all is now sitting quite happily in the top 3 results for its keyword.  Luckily this isn't 'my job' and feel for all those of you innocents out there that have lost your income

Kenneth von Rauch

05/01/2012 09:36 am

Some of my projects definitely were impacted by Penguin though at this point I'm not even sure what has a better effect. The latest Panda or the first Penguin. What would be the best way to not confuse those two? Just by their roll-out days or there's another way? Thanks.


05/01/2012 10:39 am

You should all do as I have done here in the UK. I have written to Vince Cable the UK business secretary. I have complained that 40 people lost their jobs when my site was hit by Panda and that Google gives no explanation of how to fix a site. He forwarded my complaints to Google and they wrote to me - with nothing new, just the same platitudes about quality content (whatever that is) I will write again to Vince Cable as this is affecting lots of UK jobs. I want him to raise the issue in the house of commons and in particular that Google Search should be separate from their advertising services. Then search cannot discriminate in Googles favour. Today I have seen many blank page websites ranking after Penguin. This is the perfect Google situation - you'd have to click the ad words. I think we needed to get political. It is destroying legitimate businesses. No directory should have this sort of power. I'm sure a precedent could be set in the UK more easily than in USA. An American business bringing down fragile UK online businesses. Write to Vince Cable at the House Of Commons.

Rohit Kumar

05/01/2012 11:28 am

Fuck Off ! Bullshit Google ! I dropped my 80% of the traffic and it's not fair. i want google should roll back all the ranking.


05/01/2012 01:05 pm

So called SEOs admitted they used grey-seo, complaining like " no longer ranks for its main keyword ".  The site should not be built for ranking. The "main keyword" can't be the goal to build the website. The visitors satisfaction is the goal and they will rank your site by engaging with it. Or will not. I hope this is the start of all these "SEO specialists" end. I lost a LOT on Panda, gained some on Penguin, but in general I like what Google is doing.

Eliseo V

05/01/2012 01:17 pm

There are definitely some low quality sites ranking in top spots for some queries, that's says a lot about the quality of the new algorithm...


05/01/2012 01:23 pm

 40 people lost their jobs because of your wrong business model. I doubt your website had millions of visitors per day to employ such many people. Read some history about dot com crash. You did the same and also crashed. Nothing new. Sorry, but you have to admit, that you're just unprofessional and don't blame others for your own fault.


05/01/2012 01:56 pm

My blog www.techalexa.com traffic suddenly increased in search engines last some days.Is it algorithm update effect ?

Mahendra Singh

05/01/2012 01:56 pm

Hello All, I am Mahendra Singh and I want to tell you that my website ranking is decreased after the Google penguin update. I am running my blog for one year and I never did unethical work or black hat seo so I am asking to Google that's why it is happened? Google spamming control staff member should resolve this problem as soon as possible because Google is very good search engine and Google made a responsible position in over world.


05/01/2012 02:20 pm

I agree, feeding off the misery of others is a valid business practice. It's fairly popular in niches such as: vaginal creams, hair balding restoration and cancer cures.  Feel no shame, there's probably someone else out there that's doing things far worse than what you're doing.


05/01/2012 02:29 pm

 Why do you think your blog is the best ? Google found better sites (by Google mind) to rank above you and that's why you lost the traffic. No problem, nothing to resolve.


05/01/2012 02:29 pm

I don't know how to break this to you but, every SEO knows that Google is Evil and now you know why. Unfortunately some people have to suffer for the greater good of Google's algorithm.


05/01/2012 02:46 pm

SEO + website built for rank = Google Evil web producer (webmaster) + website built for people = Google partner Your choice.


05/01/2012 03:53 pm

btw, nothing to do with the fact that i work for an SEO company, very happy for you to have your opinion.  But when that opinion portrays you as a sad, pragmatic, self opinionated, egotistical, self important, uncaring & cold wanker! i felt i had to let the world know :D good day...


05/01/2012 04:22 pm

And how would you describe the person, who employed tens of people without the real ability to pay them ? Google was created by TWO guys. Facebook was created by ONE guy. Tweeter was created by THREE guys. Craig hired FORTY guys. What did he create to hire so much people ? Mega GoogleFacebookTweeter ??? Never heard. Do you ? Sure all these forty people are jobless now. Who is responsible ? Google ?

Carlos Mesina

05/01/2012 06:02 pm

Your logic is strong as butter.... Google was created by two guys...X amount of years later they employ a lot more than two... So Craig, maybe, started his own bussines ten years ago, and employ 40 people (maybe he sell something, and he employed people to distribute and packing...). But you only can judged the other and start being Google lawyer. I really hope you get a great amount of money for this Vigilante job.

Thomas Kane

05/01/2012 06:37 pm

I noticed a small difference.


05/01/2012 06:47 pm

Penguin traffic up only 15% over the previous week.  Have to watch the long term. With Panda I saw 31% boost in traffic for the year versus the previous year (normal yearly growth is 12-15%)

SEO Expert

05/01/2012 07:07 pm

“Today I have seen many blank page websites ranking after Penguin. This is the perfect Google situation - you'd have to click the ad words.” Craig you are right I also have seen the same thing from last 3 or 4 days. Google just want people to chose Paid advertising instead of those sites who are optimized by SEO methods that’s why he penalize over optimized websites who have good unique content too as compare to those sites who are now in top 10 positions in UK region. Mr. Anti-SEO you have to admit that Google want to increase his revenue through Paid Advertising and don’t care about good quality websites for their users.


05/01/2012 08:11 pm

Thankfully our website traffic increased around 18% .. the site is  http://www.ourscompany.com/blog/ What we understand share useful information that will make the difference. 


05/01/2012 08:21 pm

If I would search for Google faults, I definitely could find hundreds of problems. Nothing is perfect. Why Google should ? But from the point of an average user view, Google is providing good results. That's why people are still with Google. The SE market share didn't change since Panda. You can waste your time by searching for the Google's faults. Craig can hire people pretending his is a big CEO or write complains. I prefer to work on my website. Let's see who will be the winner ) re " Google want to increase his revenue " Sure it wants. Google is the public company and many many people invested there hard earned money in it. Remember ? Now what did you expect ? Should Google spend these investments to make SEOs happy ?? You obviously don't understand how the economy works. I mean real economy, not Craig's economy.


05/01/2012 08:32 pm

 If ten years business could be ruined by one algo update, then this business shouldn't hire 40 people. Everybody can just hire people and then blame Google, government, competitors, weather, bad luck, etc etc etc , in case of bankruptcy.


05/01/2012 08:56 pm

My website is ranking higher (instead of #3 or 4 now it's #2 or 3. Didn't cause too much traffic growth. Didn't affect us at all.  You should not build your business relying on their algorithm. Organic is never guaranteed. If you want guaranteed top listings, you do PPC. 

Carlos Mesina

05/01/2012 09:37 pm

Another time with strong logic..... A lot of very firm and old business crash in 1929. And this happened in "one single update".  I agree with you that people tend to blame a third party, but again, your are making judgements without knowing the case. Please, try to open a little your comprehension. I'm not asking to you to agree to any white, grey or black technic. Just to stop defending Google (in case you receive a salary from them, please continue...the last thing I want is to boder you on your working hours).


05/01/2012 09:55 pm

This 'Anti-SEO' sounds awful lot like Matt Cutts if he was drunk and speaking his mind


05/01/2012 10:34 pm

re: And this happened in "one single update". Really ??? Which one ? Please name this "one single updated", that caused 1929 crash. But anyway. If these companies would be really firm, they would not crash. The really firm companies survived. Probably they were damaged strongly, but they survived. And then took the market losers lost. Craig is just the loser and this has nothing to do with Google. Yes, Google is the spark, but not the reason. And since I'm not on Google's salary and want to take the market losers lost I have to work. Will not reply more. Thanks)

Adam Marsh

05/02/2012 12:53 am


Adam Marsh

05/02/2012 12:54 am

Had an awful drop & de-index for an exact match domain that was generating 5k hits a month. Heartbreaking stuff to come back from. 

Inbound Marketing Expert

05/02/2012 03:58 am

Keywords ranking of my website www.websitedevelopersuk.com, suddenly drop, i think this may because of penguin update, but i can't able to find out what will be the exact reason

SEO Services India

05/02/2012 04:23 am

Thankfully our website keywords ranking increased suddenly, I think this may because of penguin update but now I have understand and assure about that and  many thanks to share useful information that will make the distinction.  Please keep it up superb information.     

Steven Lockey

05/02/2012 06:49 am

Unfortunately polls of this nature are uniformly bias, not by RustyBrick, but by the simple fact more people who were hurt by the Penguin update are likely to be searching for things to do with it than people who were unaffected or helped by it.  To make it fair, you'd have to choose a series of random websites and get them all to do the poll. 

SEO Company India

05/02/2012 11:12 am

I can see most of the people is  having "Less Google Traffic (Negative Impact)". Is it replicating that people are not good with SEO? 


05/02/2012 12:08 pm

 i have lost the Rankings of all Websites after the Google Penguin Update. is there any way to regain the Rankings of the Websites in 1 or 2 weeks.............If anyone Knows Plz Suggest me .........

Todd McDon

05/02/2012 12:36 pm

 It's funny to see people like you comment spamming, on an SEO blog, discussing an update that targeted that crap, asking if "people are not good at SEO". Absolutely priceless!


05/02/2012 01:35 pm

Seems to be guaranteed with over a dozen other search engines.  Too bad they have no market share.  :)

Mahendra Singh

05/03/2012 07:57 am

I am Mahendra Singh and http://jaipursightseeing.wordpress.com/ I am again commenting at here and i am giving my blog address so please suggest me what i do?


05/03/2012 06:59 pm

I'm pretty confused actually... my traffic spiked like crazy right after April 24th but around April 27th it completely died out -- I'd love if anyone could shed some light on it. The site url is: http://senseofmoney.com


05/03/2012 07:00 pm

I guess that's what Google is aiming for... they want you to do PPC and forget about SEO.

Stephen Foreman

05/03/2012 07:05 pm

I have had a massive massive influx of traffic since the Penguin and Panda update, one reason for the increase is that I am now higher up the rankings but secondly because it's a very hot topic. I have had a lot of emails asking for free seo advice, seems this one has hit a lot of people hard :(

Dennis K.

05/03/2012 08:02 pm

I would love to help you out further, I definitely know many things you can do to help with this right away. Feel free to give me a call at your earliest convenience. (818) 676-9555 -Dennis K.

Hyundai Okuh

05/03/2012 10:59 pm

I'm sure this is a free consultation.


05/05/2012 07:54 am

Couldn't agree more... penguin really hit people hard. I'm having trouble figuring out whether or not it really hit my site or not and why it would have if it did since I've never built any backlinks to it. Traffic spiked after April 24th but dropped after April 27th... can't seem to figure out why.

Stephen Foreman

05/05/2012 10:26 am

If you want me to take a look at your site, drop me an email via the 'Ask a Question' section on my site and I'll take a look ASAP.


05/05/2012 08:56 pm

Delete any low quality "spammy" backlinks you may have... if you've suffered a serious penalty, get a new domain, 301 your old one and basically start over... but the 301 redirect will carry on the old rankings.


05/06/2012 03:42 am

It's not that people are not good with SEO... it's because they pay SO much attention to SEO that they forget to cater their websites to their visitors.

Someone With Some Sense

05/09/2012 09:17 am

Anti-SEO...You are either, blind, an idiot or, a Troll. Google's results have been utter garbage since Penguin and continue to be. The only reason there hasn't been a mass migration from Google land is most casual web surfers haven't caught on yet. Sure there are a lot of WTF moments but they have yet to realize Google has locked all the good stuff in the basement and thrown garbage on the front lawn. They will realize what's going on soon enough. Microsoft and Yahoo must be doing cartwheels in anticipation. Honestly I think Google will pull this update after they've finished crushing the link sites and content farms...which is their real objective. These shenanigans are just too damaging to their business.

Deepak Eapen

05/10/2012 04:18 am

I wasn't involved in any kind of black or grey hat stuff, still i got affected. BTW how do we get rid of the backlinks that gets created w/o our knowledge? May be that affected my site.


05/10/2012 09:12 am

It is worse ever


05/13/2012 05:16 pm

False. Read this article: http://wpmu.org/wordpress-penguin-google-matt-cutts/ WPMU is a great site with a great webmaster and site built for people. Yet Google doesn't see them as partner and punished mercilessly.

Rigged SEO

05/14/2012 08:03 pm

Penguin killed us. Panda hurt us by reducing our traffic about 45-50% in one month. We spent 10 months making numerous improvements. We finally began to see results after 5 months. We experienced 5 months of moderate growth. Penguined eliminated all the growth and more in one day. Virtually every SEO expert has said we need to spend serious money to buy placement and links from content farms - the places these SEO "experts" buy. They sell link/article placement in order to rig the Google search algorithm. As we've discovered, you can put up a large number of great articles, have some great legitimate growth and be pounded out of existence in one day. Done.

Rigged SEO

05/14/2012 08:06 pm

Penguin destroyed us without any rhyme or reason. It's done. It's not our business model. It's about Google thinking it can figure out good websites from bad without some form of real human intervention to deal with those rigging the system.

Michiel Van Kets

05/16/2012 01:34 pm

you do have a point there; it's still all just maths measuring human behaviour and they do make mistakes sometimes.

Michiel Van Kets

05/16/2012 01:35 pm

well, except that I voted that my rankings went up, but ok, I'm talking about my own site for my clients I've seen all kinds of stuff and yes; those that took a drop are those that have been spamming some way or another ...


05/24/2012 09:56 pm

Google just killed many unique websites along with spammers. This is an unacceptable decline!


06/16/2012 06:46 am

I have no idea what google is doing but for the last few days my pageviews have halved on my photo (stock pictures) blog. I have never done SEO and have no idea what it is. I post regularly and do original content. I work very hard at my blog although other spam blogs keep copying my posts. I am tired of fighting with them. I just keep working on my blog but the spam blogs are better in search results. Whatever google is doing, it's not working.


07/31/2012 10:23 pm

Help, this is the most frustrating and heart breaking thing to watch 20 years of our small business go down overnight. Today we laid of 3 more people and are going to have to close the doors thanks to google penquin. Our ecommerce company is build on saving pet's lives through holistic nutrition and I have watched it be destroyed since the end of April. I have several friends who have lost their business as well. We are devastated and don't know where to turn. This is criminal and now Google is nothing but a big Conglomerate like Ma Bell was and in their quest to make more money they have destroyed 6 families whose income was totally dependent on my ecommerce business. What are 6 families to them...a drop in the bucket. Six families ...we supported 6 families very well and now nothing. I am at a loss and devasted watching 30 yrs of my hard work go down in flames over NOTHING we did wrong.

Anthony Marquez

08/22/2012 07:30 am

This is a serious issue for spammers but more painful for small businesses, who are trying their hardest to "legally" bring traffic to their site but still has negative results. More painful thing is, they don't know what went wrong!

Get Gaming Now

10/18/2012 04:50 pm

hello I have updated my sitemap with over 500 pages and my traffic completely has gone down. if i search with the site name it not show up in the result What is the reason for this

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