Poll: Were You Affected By Google Penguin 2.0?

May 29, 2013 • 8:54 am | comments (65) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Penguin WaddleIt has been just under a week since Google Penguin 2.0 (#4) was released and I wanted to gauge in an anonymous poll how SEOs and webmasters were impacted.

With Penguin 1.0, 64% claimed they were hurt by that update. There were very few recoveries since.

The interesting thing, with Penguin 2.0, I barely saw anyone claim a recovery from Penguin 1.0. I've seen a ton of SEOs and webmasters complain they were hit but I don't think I've seen anyone claim a recovery.

So check your analytics, restrict the reporting to only show Google organic traffic. Look to see if you had a major decline in Google traffic after May 22nd (it was pushed out May 22nd at night). Note, there was the Memorial Day weekend, which may impact traffic. But if you were hit by Penguin, you would see a huge decline in traffic. If you recovered, you'd see a huge increase in traffic.

Here is my poll, I beg you, tell your friends and colleague and even enemies to take the poll. I'll share the results with every soon:

Forum discussion continued at Google+, Cre8asite Forums, WebmasterWorld, DigitalPoint Forums, Black Hat World and Google Webmaster Help.

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Praveen Sharma

05/29/2013 01:06 pm

Problem with few webmasters is that they don't know which update impacted their traffic. I personally know few of those, and they hardly take care about such updates and continue with their abnormal SEO activities. Surprisingly, there websites are safe till now.

Faizaan Khan

05/29/2013 01:14 pm

Barry, i think it is too early to ask !! I so far, am unable to asses if it has done really bad to my sites or not.. The keywords positioning is nearly stable and a couple of kws went down 4, to 5 positions in SERPS. i think, we must wait a week more to clearly judge...also, my SERPs for some kws are still not stable.... and i think, it will be same untill they unleash "“Denying Value Upstream For Link Spammers”" . And it will probabally take place in the beginning of next month !!


05/29/2013 01:55 pm

I don't know how to asses this? We had Manual action on Penguin 1 and revoked penalty, was waiting for Penguin 2. We were buried deep in SERP's not we rank Pg 7 or so... I guess this is where we rank naturally? so is this a recovery? traffic is still low b/c deep in serp's.... My main concern is whether we will see movement off Pg 7 or we stay there?


05/29/2013 02:05 pm

Glad to say the majority of our sites showed improvment with the update

Kyle Risley

05/29/2013 02:47 pm

What if I benefited from Penguin 2.0? I've seen rank increases which presumably will lead to traffic gains but I can't verify that second part yet.

David M. Higgins II

05/29/2013 03:27 pm

I think it's too early to tell. Being that this was a holiday weekend for those in the US, most websites probably saw a decrease in Traffic to begin with. Our sites showed a decrease in impressions and organic traffic for the past week, but is slowly coming back up. between the Holiday weekend, and SERP's being shaken up, I think most people will need a a few more days at the most to see where it heads.

Ravi Keshri

05/29/2013 04:32 pm

I have lost ranking on many keywords but not all after 22nd. some are being back too but the percentage is very low.

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2013 05:29 pm

So give it a few more days before you fill out the poll.

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2013 05:29 pm

Then say you were not impacted by Penguins.

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2013 05:30 pm

So wait before you take the poll.


05/29/2013 05:34 pm

I don't think Penguin recovery is possible unless you really went an extra mile to get authority links from BBC and Guardian etc. Out of the 5% that said they recovered from Penguin, I bet most of them are just confused on what hit them in the first place. I removed every single unnatural, paid link on three of my sites, and none of them have returned (either though they still have dozens of natural links from good resources). I've seen internal pages come back a little bit, where as I was no where to be seen before, but I wouldn't call that a recovery. I'm also still waiting on the EMD update - Any chance you could push cutts on when this will refresh Barry?

Craig Hamilton-Parker

05/29/2013 05:45 pm

I have a number of links from from both the Guardian and the BBC and my site has not recovered. It was hit by Panda and then both Penguins. Gonna get a shotgun.

Shirish Agarwal

05/29/2013 05:53 pm

I think the number here is going to be close to 75-80%..not the measly 2.3% Google claims :) I compiled a list of Penguin 2.0 related posts from the web which might be useful for those looking for more info on the subject http://www.flow20.com/penguin-2-0-an-list-of-related-posts-around-the-web/


05/29/2013 07:43 pm

Ye sorry, I meant even "some" links from authority sites won't cut it, you literally would probably need 10s or 100s.


05/29/2013 08:18 pm

It is weird because I was hardly hit by the Google update (never confirmed) from the past May.9/13 but I recovered with Penguin 2.0, although I didn't recovered to where I was before Penguin 1.0, not even close : /


05/29/2013 08:32 pm

yea me too - manual penalty, then we revoked about 6 months ago. After Penguin 2.0 we came from pg27 to pg8, useless.... no traffic, probaly just close site and move on - Good Luck All! Seems like Google is handpicking US rankings now with bigger brands in mind, oh well - American Capitalism at it's best! Gotta love American Greed!


05/29/2013 08:36 pm

yea can't beleive I just wasted 13 months of hard work and hope for recovery for this! Took a hit Penguin 1.0 thought we could recover after hard work and waiting for refresh, now 13 months later were from pg1 to pg 8, LOL to the sites ahead of us - thanks Google!


05/29/2013 09:07 pm

I was hit hard by something (very panda like) the week before Penguin 2.0. Penguin itself didn't hurt or help me, although I was hit hard by Penguin 1.0. I'm in B2B. One thing I have noticed is a lot of Amazon doorway pages hosted on Wordpress, Blogspot, Blogger, Facebook and other sites ranking for all of my searches, many of which have no text nor H1 on them at all. I often see page after page of these garbage doorways in a row. I have been reporting them using the Penguin Spam Report tool, but I haven't noticed Google doing anything about them yet.


05/29/2013 09:39 pm

Agreed. It has been an unusual month for us in terms of search impression volume. Start of the month in particular was really low. Hoping to see things come back up.


05/29/2013 10:09 pm

Google's algo is weird the days and I am glad Craig confirmed this because I have been studying some sites and see the same thing as Craig points out - many sites with high authority links not ranking.

Graham Ginsberg

05/29/2013 10:19 pm

I voted and shared on facebook, twitter and g+ In truth all Google need do is offer recovery to those having now followed the rules. But I think its already too late. Those hit by P1 have created multiple new sites, less important and less significant, 'just in case'. And those not hit by any, out of fear, too have created multiple new 'nothing' sites, 'just in case'.

A Vipin Sharma

05/30/2013 07:45 am

I guess the updates of recovery by Google are just Videos and words on Youtube and Blogs, rest, Google is just enjoying their monopoly...

Skunk on Acid

05/30/2013 10:26 am

How is it that wherever I look, so many people complain about being hit by G updates and so little actually profitted from it? If everyone is really losing, what content is winning?


05/30/2013 11:13 am

40% got hit based on the pool. @Barry: Dose it mean a lot of spamers are visiting Seroundtable ? :) On a serious note I think at least half of the ones that said they got hit they didn't - is just paranoia for some keyword that dropped in the same month or something similar.


05/30/2013 11:59 am

before penguin update, was supposed to be kicked because have worked on traditional way but thank GOD, i found improvements in search engine with dozens of search queries. Em working on career website & only focused my niche market rather than search engines.


05/30/2013 12:05 pm

we are the same, penalty revoked then removed loads of links using disovow, recovered slightly but then the penguin came and hit us again! Disovow is a waste of time!! How do you get bbc/guardian links?


05/30/2013 12:22 pm

I think this is very true, also even if 'hit' by a patch, they assume they have been penalised, even when what actually happened was the credit for spammy links was removed. They then expect to 'recover' when the reality is they should never have been in that position in the first place.


05/30/2013 12:34 pm

Barry, we were recovering a little from a manual penalty (used disovow etc) Penguin hit us and back down we went, our industry result pages are getting fuller by the day of .gov sites and other rubbish. Is this because the .gov sites have NEVER used links previously and most smaller companies have - If google is using that strategy (the link buying black mark is never removed) then better start again or sit, wait, hope!?

Graham Ginsberg

05/30/2013 12:41 pm

The people that are 'winning' are hiding. Nobody I know winning has used white hat. Nobody. Either paid links, keyword stuffing or link farms or a combination. I have proven time and again, unless you get links, a new site is nowhere. This 'buddy' system of links just doesn't work. Most Americans are not social. They don't have real friends, they have associates, people of mutual interest, people that use each other. Same with sharing links, its done because its mutually beneficial, not because they 'like' anything. Anyone arguing? Compare the ave with the Englishman, Australian, German, Italian, South African, South America, all these cultures have real SOCIAL connections, as in REAL friendships, but not Americans. The linkage system offered to promote a site is inherently flawed. A site should be ranking high, if it retains visitors (low bounce rate). Consider the present system. Google promotes what it considers the BEST sites on top. Yet most sites are basically 'good'. Why not have rotational results, that all sites have a way of being on page one in a specific search criteria?


05/30/2013 01:04 pm

are you implying that spammers do get hit by Penguin? I seriously doubt that...


05/30/2013 03:55 pm

Yes - this is exactly what I am saying. if you can show me a site that got hit by penguin and it didn't had any "spammy fingerprints" (on site or on the link profile) I would do whatever you want me to do :)


05/30/2013 05:02 pm

Quality contextuals beats the race... Most of my sites are boosting up along the serps. one or two are failing. Makes me wonder what kind of links you guys have.

R.U Janjua

05/30/2013 05:49 pm

Once time it was mostly 1k traffic which is now only 100 daily visitors only..hitted with bounced and kicked..lollz

Chris Buckley

05/30/2013 07:37 pm

We run a popular and very busy site at OneDirection.net which was hit by penguin last year, but we've since recovered. Traffic and rankings are now very strong and consistent, and we're confident about things getting even better as the year progresses. The site never received any unnatural link warnings, and we're still a little unsure as to why we were affected by penguin, but we've analysed everything across our site a million times, and now things are good. A number of the changes we've done over the last 6 months: - improved loading times on the site - kept on producing original content every single day - disavowed a few links that we think might have been hurting us - stopped focusing on certain "money" keywords, such as "one direction" - continued to grow our social profile - put a massive effort into Google+ (95,000 followers and counting) - turned Google authorship on - made sure our link profile was less focused on particular keywords - made a concerted effort to continually improve our site, adding core pages and content that people actually want to use - monitored our bounce, new visits time spent on site etc, and kept improving all this Suffice to say we're a penguin recovery story. It's been hard work and we've never seen a single massive jump, just gradual improvements over time. One thing that we've always wondered about is the fact we have quite a few sitewide links from other fan sites. These other sites have decent pageranks of around 2,3,4 etc, but our link is present on their sidebards, often linked via an image - sometimes with no anchor text. Now there's nothing unnatural or purposely deceitful about this, its just fan sites linking to each other. Would Google see this as being bad? We often think it may, but if you physically look at the sites themselves they are all very relevant and decent - so we like to think Google would apply a bit of "common sense" if that was possible. With this latest penguin update we haven't noticed any issues whatsoever. Long may it continue. Content is what we're focusing on 100% - seems to be doing the trick.


05/30/2013 07:42 pm

"Content is what we're focusing on 100% - seems to be doing the trick." You cleaned up whatever technical mess you had and then did all the right things. Congratulations on your recovery, nice to see you took the hard route and it paid off. Best of luck to you as you move forward. Maybe now that you have this site on the right track you can start new pages for other bands/groups/artists. Come back and keep us posted.


05/30/2013 07:45 pm

I am going to ignore the rest of this comment and focus on the truly ridiculous: "Most Americans are not social. They don't have real friends, they have associates, people of mutual interest, people that use each other. " What? " Compare the ave with the Englishman, Australian, German, Italian, South African, South America, all these cultures have real SOCIAL connections, as in REAL friendships, but not Americans." Ha, what? At least your sweeping conjectures aren't all about Google, but also an entire nation of 300+ million citizens. I called my friends that I have known since grade school and told them that it has all been a sham this entire time; they were as shocked as I was.

Lizel Wrighte

05/30/2013 11:57 pm

After making changes to our site to make it more search engine friendly, here comes another algorithm update. Now we have to wait and see how this update will affect us. Maybe we just have to deal with low traffic for quite a few months until the search engines re-crawl our website to snoop of any positive changes.


05/31/2013 03:48 pm

I can show you a site that has spammy fingerprints but was not hit. That's what I am talking about, sites that are not hit, but are spammy as hell. That is the real problem, not sites that were hit.


05/31/2013 04:20 pm

We run a popular and very busy site at http://dunnsfamous.info/ which was hit by penguin last year, but we've since recovered. Traffic and rankings are now very strong and consistent, and we're confident about things getting even better as the year progresses.


05/31/2013 04:58 pm

We were effected site-wide but the update coincided with a small template redesign. We are in a niche sector in the health industry. most of our keywords dropped by 3-4 places including blog articles. What was most notably effected was the organic key phrases written throughout the text. These were all carefully chosen and didn't have much competition. With most of these we ranked # 1- # 3 on google but after we are now on page 2 or 3. We are scratching our heads as to whether it was the redesign or penguin.

Webstats Art

05/31/2013 06:32 pm

I come here once and a while and I guess Barry always remembers my sweet face. The sick thing about all these updates is I am seeing the same company listed three times on page one for the same product but with different pages. I know this aint anything to do with Penguin but really, it seems that Google is trying to piss people off.

Mariah Carle

05/31/2013 07:26 pm

None of the penguin updates seem to be affecting me. I HAVE been strongly affected by the annual fluctuations in my niche market. Each early spring, my entire market just drops then slowly rises back up and spikes in late January to crash again in March April...I can't blame that on penguin...


05/31/2013 09:34 pm

I agree Justin. Same here. 13 months of hard work and nothing in terms of recovery. It is very sad. We had a few bad links and went after them to clean them up. Worst part is, we rank worst now than even before we had bad links. It would seem that if Google took out the bad links with Penguin and lowered our ranking, at least we should have returned to where we were before all of this. Not even close. Our google traffic is down 77% with P1 and still down 77% with P2. Mind you we have been one of the first companies in our space since 2004. We have great content, longevity and products. It is shameful what Google is doing in my opinion. The link system of determining a websites value is highly flawed! What sites are willing to link to you in your niche when they are the same ones throwing bad links to you because they want your space. They also want people to link to them and reciprocal linking cancels each out. So in a land where we all want the same thing - how is it possible? Then social media links etc. don't count. Then you add in sites that are jealous of other sites as we have experienced - they do more things to harm you than to help you. We've had site just come right out and attack us for being successful. Internet land is sad and getting worst.


06/01/2013 10:41 am

Google's own Adwords is winning rest everyone loosing as simple as that!


06/01/2013 02:44 pm

I agree with you on this part - there is still a large amount of sites that are spammy as hell and ranking well - but on the other hand 99% of the sites that got hit are spammy - so the update is not perfect but it did clean a lot. So far I didn't see any "collateral damage" - sites that are really ok and got hit - this is what I ment. I do believe serps now are a better place - but far from perfect - hope we will get there. (perfect is a strong word - they will never be perfect but at least I hope most of the spammy sites will be gone). cheers,

Durant Imboden

06/01/2013 04:38 pm

Our editorial travel-planning site had a boost in traffic after Penguin 2.0. However, we took a hit earlier in the month (around May 7-9), when an unannounced update of some kind apparently took place.

Scott C Ensor

06/03/2013 01:31 pm

Packaging retailer. We post legitimate & relevant content as regularly as possible on our help forums and have re-written product descriptions. For some reason we're being battered by Penguin #4.


06/03/2013 06:31 pm

Where have you "proven time and again"? I have seen you make a lot of irrational claims but you never provide any evidence. Just because you have no friends and have a website nobody likes does not mean that this is true of everyone else. For you, spam link buying is the only path. Nobody is going to link to a site that does not deserve it without paying for it. Maybe you should spend less time blaming google for your problems instead of improving your website and doing some legitimate online marketing.

Graham Ginsberg

06/03/2013 07:41 pm

'WINSTON' You're a wonderful person, probably an Indian academic educated by Google. Wowoooo you and your 13 comments, most about me.

Dirt Works

06/04/2013 03:10 am

google fucked small businesses again. their master plan to get rid of us is working out just swell.


06/04/2013 11:44 am

I will take that to mean you have nothing to prove what you keep ranting about. Troll and stalker... Well, a troll is normally someone who says things they know are untrue in an attempt to get attention. Seems most of your comments fit that description. Stalker? No. I am just fed up with people who don't know what they are talking about flooding an otherwise good discussion space with misinformation and whining. You are another one of those people who tried all the tricks, did most of it wrong, ignored the rules, and now complains that Google isn't fair. And just what does my number of comments have to do with anything? And my nationality?! What does that have to do with anything? If you think the Indian spammers are paid by Google, you are even more confused than I though.

Graham Ginsberg

06/04/2013 12:29 pm

'WINSTON' you are a troll and stalker and a paid shill of Google. You have almost NO posts and most of them are attacking me. Thanks for nothing. Go be a crusader of justice and stamp out what you perceive to be 'misinformation' in the world as you know it. Here is a start, because I now realize you're battling for ideas. Who murdered JFK? Did the Americans really land on the moon 40 years ago? Was Moses a Jew? Have aliens landed on earth? Where is the Ark of the Covenant today? Is Google controlled by Russia?


06/04/2013 02:11 pm

I run a site that has been online for over a decade in a professional niche and has many thousands of pages of rich content. Many people have used it, are impressed by how much useful information is contained on the site and its well maintained content. With the latest algorithm tweak, Google decided that the entire site was worthless - as in reduced from a high PR to a zero page rank. Worse, it decided that a site stealing thousands of pages of our content was deserving of page rank. Impossible you say? You're probably thinking "that's what happens when you sell links." We haven't sold one link. No warnings about any penalties either. Putting it to the SEO pundits, they couldn't find anything glaring. And few could explain why an obvious scraper would be given the credit for our work. Problems like this, mostly sudden drops of traffic, have been happening since Panda 2.2. Despite drastic changes all recommended by the SEO experts who were absolutely convinced you'd see evidence of some movement, we saw little to no movement or, in some cases, negative movement. Pretty shocking? Well, the data speaks for itself. At this point I'm considering having our experience published, with data. Barry has provided terrific information and I've always enjoyed the candor here. We aren't talking about a site unfortunately moving towards the end of the Bell Curve and which might be within the realm of reasonableness. We're talking about some results that do not compute with no ability to correct. And when this happens for a prolonged period, the damage becomes practically irreversible. Huge amounts of time and money are wasted on trying to catch a ghost while your competitors catch up and some will surpass you. Best of luck to most of you and I'm glad that some of you aren't caught in the Google Glitch that affects some sites.


06/04/2013 02:29 pm

4 out of 13 or 14 is most? You are no math wizard, for sure. You accuse me of working for google as part of some scheme to hurt poor ol' Graham, then try to label ME as the conspiracy nut? Sorry I wasted my time trying to set you straight on some things. Enjoy your willful ignorance.

Sagar Kumar

06/04/2013 04:51 pm

affiliate sites like www.gingerdeals.com were worst hit ..Index status is gone to zero :(


06/05/2013 05:00 am

^^ Isn't that the truth.


06/05/2013 05:39 am

Wrong spot.

Gregory Lancaster

06/05/2013 09:13 am

Looks to me like they are testing ranking based on not just what KWs are IN the title tag and domain, but by which words are NOT. ex. Far Cry 3 vs Far Cry 3 Review I am also noticing terms with "review" or "rating" etc… won't rank for one word term of that same search. I also believe its a struggle they have to go through, trying to find a way to rank websites based less on the bad links and more on good links and good content. They know negative seo kinda fucked up how they determined who mattered. I lost rank for one word keywords, but the rest sit the same. Also I see a lot of blogspot, wordpress, and press release websites ranking real high now. Here are my analytics for the update date: http://s12.postimg.org/or2gbhtgd/analytics.png

Arindam Dutta

06/05/2013 12:50 pm

I have been strongly affected by the annual fluctuations in my niche market. Each early spring, my entire market just drops then slowly rises back up and spikes in late January to crash again in March April. Before the implication of penguin 2.0 that site was in top position for that keyword. Our content is unique we do not do any kind of spamming.

Lee Mac

06/10/2013 10:10 pm

true thats it. Its not overly complicated Adwords = Profit Anyway it screwed my business that has lost 60% of traffic, after 7 long years of nurturing it along, literally going to lose my house and be homeless. Mabey i got to much keyword data on the page, but that was the game. But if you play a game with someone who always change the rules ... then they are called a cheat !


06/14/2013 07:34 am

Go Penguin!

Anca Bradley

06/14/2013 03:13 pm

A way to check if you've been affected by this update (or previous ones) is through Google Penalty Checker Tools - which will use your analytics to determine if you've positively or negatively been affected by these Google Updates. There is a free tool from Fruition that you can use (http://fruition.net/sem/user/login) Hope this helps!


06/16/2013 11:12 am

I lost about 60% of my site traffic and i still don't know what is the f**ken problem , google is just killing my site , any advices (http://www.codemiles.com) , hope an one helps me

Heberger site

06/24/2013 03:51 pm

Same here.. this damn Google dropped my main website ... and I lost more than 65% of traffic.. I don,t know either the reason why..

Technodia Singapore

07/21/2013 09:09 am

Practically what I have found is that fresh articles sustain in all updates. The only condition is that it must be fresh and have a text link( keyword.). You can put a keyword as text link. I was surprised that just 4 fresh articles with particular keyword made my Blog Google search rank #1 for that keyword. It is to be mentioned here that PR of my by blog was 1. However with same keyword having higher PR(7) was placed under my blog as they don't have any fresh content! What a suspense of fresh articles!! http://technodia.sg http://gardeniapost.com

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