Here Is What It Looks Like To Be Hit By Google Penguin

May 3, 2012 • 8:00 am | comments (27) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Penguin UpdateThere are tremendous causalities with this latest Google algorithm update targeting "webspam" named Penguin - tremendous.

Almost 65% of those who responded to my poll, about a thousand of you, said you had a negative impact with this latest update. Trust me, I feel really bad for you and if you are squeaky clean, do submit your site to Google for review.

If you were not hit, do you want to see what it looks like? There are many threads with charts and such of traffic drops, I picked out two at Google Webmaster Help.

(1) What the traffic drop looks like:

Google Penguin Traffic Drop Chart

(2) What the keyword ranking drop looks like:

Google Penguin Keyword Drop Chart

Scary looking charts, don't you think?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: May 2, 2012


Tad Chef

05/03/2012 12:58 pm

The big Google Scare going around again. The solution: cut out the middle man and get your traffic directly.


05/03/2012 01:36 pm

please delete

Barry Schwartz

05/03/2012 01:37 pm

I am sorry.

Nick Stamoulis

05/03/2012 01:42 pm

I guess I am in the minority of site owners that actually benefited from the Penguin update. Google may not be perfect, but I wonder how many truly "squeaky clean" websites were whacked when the update went through. The whole point of any update is to make the search results better. If too many "good" sites are getting taken down, how does that help Google clean up the SERP? 

Nathan O'Leary

05/03/2012 01:54 pm

 Nick, I'm with you in the minority. Many of my sites benefited from the Panda update and again with Penguin. I can also say that as an affiliate manager of more than 500 affiliates, many of my affiliates did take a hit in someway from both updates. Probably because their sites were very thin with bad link building practices.

Sam Applegate

05/03/2012 02:07 pm

Why is Yahoo! and Bing traffic being affected by a Google update?

Nick Stamoulis

05/03/2012 02:17 pm

 Thanks Nathan for your comment back on this. It is very interesting to see how and if your affiliates will rebound.  You are right a one two punch of thin content and poor link building is most likely the cause...(at least I have seen in the past when I have managed affiliates that depend on SEO for most/all of their visitors).

josh bachynski (SEO)

05/03/2012 03:39 pm

Very good question...


05/03/2012 03:39 pm

so looking at the site in question (wasn't hard to find it.)  The copy reads terrible (lots of keywords stuffed in there) and the title tags all look like this:  Keyword1 | Keyword2 | Keyword3| keyword4|keyword5|doctor's name.  

Arwin Adriano

05/03/2012 04:00 pm

I think most of the webmasters were badly hit by this Penguin. Lucky are those who are not affected by the update.

SEO Catalysts

05/03/2012 06:16 pm

65% of searches has been affected.very few of them who are not affected and lucky...cheers for them


05/03/2012 08:46 pm

minority?  The "minority" in this case is actually "the minority of those bothering to respond".  Because the majority who participated only bothered because they got slammed - the overwhelming majority of sites out there were not pummeled by this update.  It's truly laughable at how outrageously obvious it was to see why sites were pummeled for those people who came to me and said - I got hammered by the penguin update".  30 seconds to a couple minutes looking at them and it's like "really?  you honestly thought you could get away with that nonsense forever?" 


05/03/2012 11:47 pm

Yeah this does not make any sense. Hit by penguin would mean drops in Google, not the other two as well. Methinks Barry should have looked around for a different example.

Barry Schwartz

05/03/2012 11:48 pm

Good point, I should look for other examples or shouldn't have included that report.  


05/04/2012 12:07 am

Google: fashion baby - see #1 result - serps are broken The Pengiun update did more harm to valid sites with real content.  Was this update to benefit user experience or google share holders (more ppc's as serps are horrible)?

Sprigley Keys Allan

05/04/2012 05:17 pm

 I have had a couple sites with impression/action graphs similar to this one with sizable drops on the 26th, yet the sites did not move in the SERPs.  Any clues for the cause of this, or maybe just faulty data in webmaster tools?  Anyone else notice this?


05/04/2012 07:38 pm

A sites position in the SERPs of one search engine (e.g. Google) is typically one of the many signals that other search engines process in order to rank a site in their own SERPs.

Roy Sencio

05/07/2012 09:28 pm

Worrisome data indeed but.. a key piece of information is, is the same page ranking or is a different page ranking for the keywords that dropped. 

Dirt Works

05/10/2012 04:35 pm

Google sucks ass. What gives them the right to destroy some one's business like this. We got hitr hard right after one of the best months for sales in almost 5 years and now, because of them we're back in the crapper. Our customers loved our site and no one was comlaining. where does google get off?


05/11/2012 10:22 pm

Next update will be the "Crocodile update"

Jennifer R

05/17/2012 11:58 pm

While my website has a large amount of traffic in the Google Panda, Google Penguin hits my site so much, what did I do wrong?

Ewan Kennedy

06/05/2012 10:07 am

Here here.


07/05/2012 05:51 am

How does someone make a comeback after taking a big hit and avoid making the same mistakes?

Steve Wilson

08/07/2012 07:03 am

Hi what rank is your page? I am not sure this PR checker i got is really telling the truth. i just sort of wonder why my browser is showing your page very low pr when its got a good content and lot of visitors. I used to rank 5 for the keyword Green web hosting reviews before Panda, and then there's Penguin. Now i am in pain with PR 3 and struggling to get back up.


09/05/2012 08:31 pm

I'm not saying they are connected, but I have actually noticed my Google rankings going down and my Yahoo rankings going up.

Mark Sinclair

10/06/2012 10:42 am

As we all know that we get 95 percent traffic from google and if we lost ranking there then we are left with 5 percent traffic and bing and yahoo are not constant traffic giver some day you get some day you won't but if you are hit by a penguin then you only lose ranking in G.

Abhiram Pathak

01/21/2014 11:55 am

Thanks for sharing such a nice informative post. Your blog is hot cake for all seo guys. I think it will be helpful to all SEO guys. I got something new from your blog. I appreciate your hard work.

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