The Google Penguin Petition

May 1, 2012 • 8:12 am | comments (52) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

At there is a petition named Google: Please kill your Penguin update. At the time I am writing this, it needs 10 more signatures to reach the 500 signature goal.

The Google Penguin Petition

Here is the petition's summary:

With the recent Google Penguin update, it has become nearly impossible for small content based websites to stay competitive with large publishers like eHow, WikiHow, Yahoo Answers and Amazon.

Countless webmasters have seen their livelihoods vanish overnight. In a recent interview, Sergey Brin came out against "Walled Gardens" of the likes of Facebook and expressed worries about the direction that the internet. Ironically, the Penguin update has created a similar garden that only admits multimillion dollar publishing platforms.

On personal level, this update has ruined small online businesses, passive incomes and families livelyhoods worldwide. The following are stories from independent publishers that has lost everything

Besides for the spelling mistakes or typos, I doubt this petition will play any role in Google rolling back the Penguin update.

Forum discussion at DigitalPoint Forums.

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Peter Watson

05/01/2012 12:27 pm

I am one of those thousands of websites that got smashed by the 'Penguin' update ruining my business over night. In my opinion, signing that petition will not help. I believe Google is most likely working like crazy on improving the current algo, making tweaks here and there and will prob roll out an updated version towards the end of this month. Hopefully we will see some improvements and regain some of our rankings. I don't think they could get any worse!


05/01/2012 12:38 pm

Best thing that ever happened to Bing, Googles latest update. 


05/01/2012 12:49 pm

I hope you are right Peter, because I too have had my business ruined overnight & when it is your only source of income it is real hard to swallow!

Den Nicholson

05/01/2012 01:18 pm

I too took a major hit, I hope you're right about the tweaks it would make a big difference even if I could get some of my pages back up there.


05/01/2012 01:35 pm

I was thwacked by this update too.  My established sites, with real content, all 3+ years old, were hit hard with a 50% reduction of traffic.


05/01/2012 03:02 pm

Very true!! I found myself, unknowingly, switching to Bing to find relevant results that I could find on Google before.

Graviola for Cancer

05/01/2012 03:26 pm

what a horrible search engine google has become. cant find anything you search for. 


05/01/2012 03:33 pm

We have the power to change Search engines. No one is forcing us to use Google. Spread the word. 


05/01/2012 03:34 pm

I agree.  We have the power to change Search engines. No one is forcing us to use Google. Spread the word. Let people Know why Yahoo and Bing is better than Google

Ronaldo Tumbokon

05/01/2012 03:37 pm

This will not amount to anything.  Google will not back down on this. Every seasoned SEO knows that Google prioritizes the need of users over the need of publishers and webmasters.  (as long as it does not conflict with Google's need to make money)


05/01/2012 05:33 pm

The only way to force Google to change anything is to embarrass them publicly.  If the New York Times writes an article about the lousy search results due to the Penguin update there will be a response from Google.  If the Wall Street Journal writes an article about how Google's new Penguin update has put 546 (# of signatures at the time of this writing) small business owners out of business, that might catch the attention of the public.  If news of this petition goes viral and makes Google looks silly there will be a response and possibly an update. The angle to make this story go viral could be Google destroying Small Business. That might generate interest, considering the state of the economy.

Asad Wahab

05/01/2012 06:05 pm

I was just thinking, what if all the criminals(spammers in this case) get together and bring a petition and ask the govt to make crimes legal or ask the govt not to crack down? Will it make sense? *If Google hit you by mistake and you are not doing any spam at all, then my comment is not for you!

Ryan Burnsworth

05/01/2012 06:07 pm

Not only did this Penguin update hurt a ton of good and legitimate websites, have you seen how Google search results look when logged into G+? Why does it look like its on 135% zoom? Switching to Bing :)


05/01/2012 06:30 pm

I was hit  too :( But I have my solution - make another fresh site (lite meta keywords etc.) and setup the pages to the old site. The fresh site will be up and the old site will be used. In my niche, I see that the fresh sites with few keywords and few words in description and title are on the first page.

Michael Martinez

05/01/2012 06:47 pm

It would be more productive if these people submitted their sites to the Penguin form.


05/01/2012 07:16 pm

 How about just publishing a few of the serps I see with over 92% paid ads or G shopping results as results above the fold.  i.e. "Kitchen Islands".  1 of 16 results is organic.  (we'll it's home depot one of google's biggest clients, so you can argue whether it's paid or not)  (image) It's absolutely clear what the goal of this "update" is and Google's done good by their frat bro's and investors once again.  Searchers not so much. Fortunately we didn't have to wait for a competitor to get better, Google is leveling the playing field with poor results :)


05/01/2012 07:40 pm

Google has changed the rules, links that "inorganic" are now considered spam.   What is the point of bringing more of Google's attention to our websites? Virtually all websites are not 100% within Google's guidelines (including yours, I would bet), that doesn't make them spam. On the other hand why bring Google's attention on yourself? For example, if I hold a contest on my website and give out an emblem to the 50 contestants with embed code for them to post on their blog (if they want to) and I don't include a nofollow  link then Penguin eats me for dinner.  Same thing with an infographic with embed code. I have never seen the nofollow tag included with embed codes before the release of Penguin. Have you? Is it in the Google webmaster guidelines? Possibly, but certainly not explicit. Another example from my 2nd site hit by Penguin. I linked from the header to other websites which I own within the same niche, because they are of interest to my visitors. Not tiny little footer links but big huge links in the header. Exactly like linking to the Gap but not as pretty. How would I know that I had to add nofollow? Old Navy certainly doesn't! Have they been penalized? I removed the outgoing links and that website recovered within 2 days. By the way a 3rd site I have gained through Penguin and if they rolled back Penguin I would lose more then I would gain, but I was hurt very badly by Panda and frankly Google needs to stop this.

Stacey Cavanagh

05/01/2012 08:28 pm

If they didn't pay any attention to the mass outcry for (not provided) data to be 'given back,' I doubt very much that this will ever, ever be rolled back... just improved further.


05/02/2012 10:06 am

Google is in the habit of hypocrisy. They have one rule for themselves and another rule for everyone else. Sergey is just the head hypocrite.  Google can't stand that they can't crack Facebooks dominance of Social. 


05/02/2012 10:07 am

My Google traffic has crashed for one blog but has had 2 times increase in bing traffic. So I think you are right. People can't find what they are looking for at Google now and going to bing for better results.


05/02/2012 10:16 am

My favourtie google f up is this one search for askthebuilder matt cutts no quotes what site ranks? blackhatworld LOL! go Google go!

Jessica Leo

05/02/2012 11:32 am

I like Google all updates :) thanks to google eng. because of them bad sites are going down 

Lee Wilson

05/02/2012 11:43 am

I think the example feedback of sites that have had huge impacts on a persons livelihood are shocking and a real reminder of how much Google can and does impact on peoples lives and goes above and beyond that of just rankings and traffic. Penguin update - from my experience of it there are tweaks to be made as some targets seen are off the mark.


05/02/2012 12:06 pm

I like the penguin update. My sites all did fine or improved. Spammier promoted sites I used to have to compete with have gone away. Granted I have sites over 10 years old, but even my newest sites did fine. Two sites I launched in the last year are still #1 (one is still #1, #2, and #3). 

Inbound Marketing Expert

05/02/2012 12:10 pm

May or may not be small business websites are getting down from penguin update, but there are many ethical way if you gone a use, sure you will be in top. need little hardwork. I I will totally agree with google, Google is doing their job well to stay spamers out of the box. Last message to small publishers, follow each and every google guidelines


05/02/2012 01:31 pm

@google-6223fb2031db727be3563fc99281f446:disqus small sites doesn't means that they contains bad/ irrelevant contents... What if starbucks starts a new shop in front of your small coffee shop??


05/02/2012 02:54 pm

I own an SEO firm. Most all of my clients on page 1 of Google did not suffer any drop in ranks due to Penguin. Why? My research indicates using Google SEO standards along with genuine quality text and video content produced daily has paid off. 


05/02/2012 06:15 pm

Personally, I found an increase in traffic and better ranking with one of my best sites.  I maintain several sites, and some of theme I purposely test using bad SEO to track the severity of different practices so when an update hits I can evaluate what happened.  I know that Penguin was a harsh update, but I've seen much better quality in results.  While not perfect, I have found sites that were competing with mine using VERY spammy tactics and my test sites, have been properly downgraded.  I think Google got it right with this one, but I do hope they keep an eye out for any Negative SEO type practices resulting from this update.

Local SEO Works

05/02/2012 07:15 pm

I run a small local seo firm and I have seen an increase in ranking and traffic post Penguin thanks to Google filtering out my competitors spam links coming from article spinning and other shady tactics. Plus all my clients are doing quiet well!

William Margita

05/02/2012 10:33 pm

First, all you SEO companies trying to advertise on this post that your clients did not suffer are total posers. Unless you work for Amazon, Zappos, Overstock, Sears ect your clients got hit. Google PENGUIN absolutely favors the big e-com and kills the average guy. 1. Amazon now controls all English speaking words Amazon also owns according to SEMRush - Amazon ranks #1 for "sex toys" - do the same search in Bing ranks #1 for XXX (you can figure out the traffic count for yourself) Amazon and Google were the top speakers at the ChannelAdvisors event days before PEGUIN Amazon, eBay, Sears ect get feeds from 3rd parties like CA Amazon stock jumped $30 a share same day as PENGUIN Google also just funded $5million for lobbyist in DC PENGUIN is all about product PENGUIN is all about $$$$$ It's Google and Amazon after researching over 100 sites and product lines it is clear that this update was about "product" Google uses the excuse that they do not owe anyone a living or a ranking position - but they have made it clear that they are going to put Amazon 1st for all e-com and both are going to make a lot of money doing so.


05/03/2012 05:55 pm

 This Penguin is a stupid update. In my niche if you search for "recrutare" (recruitment in Romanian) you will find "www.[]recrutare[]" on the first position of the first page of . What can you say about that? This site has no content for at least 2-3 years. I have sent 3 reports to Google about this site in those 2-3 years. I run a business in recruitment, I have my own server an my dedicated ip. My company is one of the top headhunting companies in Romania, we receive at least 50 cv / day etc. What do you think about this situation? Where is my site now? In a deep black hole... PS. now I read for the first time of the black hat seo, I didn't now this can be possible. 

Marc Coloma

05/05/2012 11:37 pm

Let me tell you the magnitude of why this update is stupid... My Contextual Backlink from a 300 word post on Live Journal is ranking higher than my actual website for my freakin keyword... now tell me, how can it get more retarded than that lol... A high authority quality website that is being outranked from a stupid post that only mentions the keyword 1 time... le sigh well, it's time to explore PPC, i'm officially done with SEO for good... i think it's time for us to start rethinking our business, and the future of our revenues.. goodluck to those that are succeeding, but i can only imagine the next 3-5 years will definitely get much worse..


05/06/2012 10:26 pm

What I’m surprised noone is talking about is how this update is going to affect antitrust proceedings in Europe and potential antitrust violations in the USA. To me its pretty clear, if someone was developing a search engine specifically looking for the flags that google is “guidelining” down now and say that new “seo search engines” results were harmed because google is forcing everyone to play by their rules, to me, that is clearly and antitrust anti-competitive behavior. for instance, what if i was building a new search engine that relied heavily upon anhor text? now my model is broken. how will these guidelines affect ask and bing results? after this new update, google’s serps are a freaking mess. so much so, ive been wandering over to bing and liking it.


05/06/2012 11:24 pm

What Google really needs is to be hit by a class action law suit.


05/16/2012 12:30 am

When an algorithm change affects a site dramatically, or when it is known a website is being penalized, Google should be required to provide exactly what has caused it. For example, if a site has some back links that are causing the problem, upon request Google should simply send a list of the links causing the problem so they can be cleared up, instead of being vague about the problems. Or if the site has a particular keyword used too many times or an anchor text problem, upon request let the site know. There are many good quality and relevant sites that get penalized because of a few small problems. And many other sites who have the same problems that don't. Google benefits greatly when the first page or two of organic search results exclude relevant and quality sites that take away from adwords. This causes these sites to have to spend more on adwords advertising. Adwords is another problem in itself in the way Google penalizes some sites and not others. It seems it would be hard for Google to prove they are not guilty of any wrong doing.

David J.

05/28/2012 07:55 pm

I completely agree. My rankings absolutely tanked after Penguin, just when I thought I was recovering from Panda. The ridiculous thing - I've NEVER used any spammy SEO. They're taking an axe to a problem that requires a scalpel.

kevin redman

06/29/2012 12:37 am

good for you. all these SEO companys are pi__ing me off of course they got hit. But lets try and make a buck out of peoples misery


07/06/2012 12:24 am

Stop playing games and simply start using Bing. Google wants to monopolize the entire internet. F***k them for real. I will place a free banner ad to Bing on all my sites. Google must learn the hard way not to mess with "the people" we have to power to give and to take away!


08/05/2012 05:42 pm

I am not an SEO I am not a website manager..I am a lady who's 20 yr business was destroyed by google penguin. It has devastated our business and the stress has caused horrendous personal and financial problems in the flip of a switch. I have watched my business go down the tubes over night. We laid off 6 employees last week and that leaves just my self and partner and we are at each other to the point we will not doubt part ways. I was in the business of saving pet's in the big scheme of things, I suppose google could give a rat's ass about our business. My educational nutritonal website and our store front was the last resort for many vets and pet we are on the edge of closing our doors. And if I get one more SEO guy telling me they can fix this for $1500 a month....I am going to screem. Do you think I have $1500 a month to fix my business now? NO it's gone. Someone start a class action suit please and let me know where to sign. I may be dead by the time it is resolved but I will still be glad they broke up this huge conglomerate. I hate them.


08/22/2012 12:38 am

Is it possible Google is trying to push all the small guys into paid advertising? These updates would seem to support this theory. No matter what you search for, you'll get pages of Amazon/Target/Walmart listings.


08/27/2012 02:05 am

I'm going thru the SAME thing. My traffic dropped by 65% & I dropped from #1 to #8. Just Fing TERRIBLE!!!


08/27/2012 02:08 am

Good for you, to ACCUSE sites of being spammers b/c their SERPs dropped is just blame stupidity. How dare you accuse us of spamming. I know you didn't point anyone out, but there are THOUSANDS of companies that were NOT spamming at all!!!


08/27/2012 02:10 am

You & many others. It makes NO logical sense why some companies prospered with the update & others died. Do you know that so many people are now homeless because of this?


08/27/2012 02:15 am

Sorry, but in your dreams. Everyone claims they don't divulge this info b/c it will give black haters the opportunity to rise to the top. I think this is BS.


08/27/2012 02:16 am

The tweaks have gotten worse. I read that now Google is going to only showcase 5 listings on each page so their AdWords ads will dominate the page. This means anyone in the 6th position or later are now on the 2nd page. I've NEVER been on the 2nd page.


10/01/2012 11:02 pm

The May Google update killed my 6 year Retail Online Business! Lost about 90% of my traffic (went from 11,000 keywords searched to a mere 16) went from 50,000 visitors per month to 1,000. Had to layoff my employee and sell my home!! I'm struggling to hold onto my business still hoping and praying for a miracle! Who would have ever thought I'd be here!! I haven't done any SEO in over 2 years and never did any blackhat. I'm just confused. Don't know what to do to get back on top.


10/13/2012 02:22 pm

I've worked on my domain since 1996 and created a lot of unique content and Google update destroyed me. The old format which worked for years must not be considered quality data. I dropped hordes of affiliate links due to duplicate content guidelines and my merchants ask why. I tell them, Google doesn't like duplicate content from data feeds. My revenue is down 800% and my unique visitors are down 55%. I've laid off people and given up. I'm adding new content.. but I don't think anyone is finding them due to organic the keywords used. SEO from the past, doesn't work in Penguin or Panda. Time to move away from this part of my life and give up.


04/25/2013 11:50 pm

I mean Google ruined so many businesses . They simply want to have monopoly and control all search engines and Internet advertisements. I was for years on the top and here we go google changed this and changed that and I remember 100 of related businesses I used to compete and I do not see them too listed. Google has to go down. Scum with pay per click and adwords are really ridiculous and I am not the only one who realized this game from google. I hope that people will open their eyes and see how google simple taking their money and playing with it at all times.


06/04/2013 06:35 pm

In the 1930s an 40s the free world was threatened by the Fascism of Hitler and Mussoini. Today, the greatest threat to intellectual freedom comes not from states but from the giant corporations, and the most threatening of these is Google. What I have seen from Google over the past two years - the total contempt this company has for web publishers (from who they parasitically derive their massive income) and extremes they go to to avoid paying a fair amount of tax - leaves me in no doubt that this is thoroughly evil and destructive organization that threatens not only the viability of the world wide web but also the freedoms we all take for granted in the West. This is a company that has totally lost its grip on reality and, like the Third Reich, is becoming consumed by its own inflated sense of self-importance. I have never in my 50 years on this Earth come across anything that portends so much ill for humankind as Google - a truly dangerous, totally immoral organization that has already begun to use its power for dubious, self-interested ends. Going after the spammers is a subterfuge for what Google is really about, which is maximizing its revenue from its search engine. The search engine results are getting worse? What a surprise. I used to thing Bing was crap. Now I find it a boon compared with the trashy alternative Google are providing. The spammers will always be with us. I prefer to trust my own judgement and sift through these myself, rather than have Nurse Google feed me supposedly spam free results. (From what I can see, Google are losing the war against the spammers and all they are doing by constantly tweaking their search engine algorithms is to destroy content rich websites created by individuals rather than large corporations). If you want an Internet in which all the content is supplied by the likes of wikipedia and amazon, and nothing else, just go on using Google - that is how things will be five years from now. Honest web publishers will have given up by then. The sooner the rest of the world wakes up to the amount of power this organization has and sees just where it is taking us the better. It's time the free people of the world stood up and told Google where to get off. The clue's in the name: GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINE - 6 letters in each word - I make that 666... It's time for us all to say goodbye to Google, before it forces us to say goodbye to the internet...


09/12/2013 10:48 am

Great comment Eric ! I live on the other side of this planet and this is exactly was I was thinking by comparing Google to the Third Reich. There's no difference and website publishers are just numbers - numbers that needs to be killed, just like the nazis did. I don't know how evil someone has to be to push a button that literally kills thousends of innocent people by destroying their business. The whole world is in crysis and small business is keeping it on it's feet. Google just don't care. And then this pure evil Matt Cutts is just smiling and "Penguin rolled out today" - have a nice life, you'll probably get bancrupt, but I don't care. WAKE UP PEOPLE - TELL YOUR FRIEND, TELL YOUR FAMILY, DON'T USE GOOGLE ! Ok Microsoft is not perfect, but they never did something such evil. The have their rules and they give jobs - not destroy jobs. So many people work thanks to Windows OS. Programmers, game developers, etc - I never thought I'll say that, but I trust Microsoft and keep my fingers crossed - they're they only company that can save Internet and humen kind from this evil.

Chris Misvader

12/16/2013 03:56 pm

Google lured us into thinking we could live off the net. We placed our trust in them and gave up careers to follow our dreams. It worked for a few years. Then they chopped off our legs and killed us all.


06/27/2014 08:53 pm

Bout time for an update, doesn't everyone agree? If you've been in limbo, there is now an online petition to update (not to kill the algo altogther, but just to update it regularly so that those suffering through no fault of their own don't have to wait so long after their link profile is cleaned up:

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