With every Google update there are winners and losers but what you often don't see is the serious impact the losers take. Google wants the best search results, searchers are most often happy before and after these updates but webmasters are the ones that feel the real sting when an update impacts them negatively.
Reading the forums, and the forums are literally on fire with new posts, there are many many webmasters impacted by Google Penguin update. Although it isn't always easy to gauge how many are impacted by forum post volume, I would venture there are not as many as Panda complaints but still a huge number of complaints.
I've spoken to webmasters who are planning on immediately firing staff and cutting costs. Then they will work up a plan on rebuild, figure out what needs to be done and hopefully staff up again if they can get out of the Penguin update. But the immediate affect is lost income, lost sales, lost jobs and who knows what can lead from there.
Of course, Google can't be concerned about that - they have no choice but to focus on quality. If some sites truly should not have been hit and have, that is part of collateral damage and Google is willing to live with some. Some were meant to be hit, despite what the site owners feel. Of course, there is a feedback form for Penguin complaints.
I can't share all the stories I've been told over phone or email. Nor do I have time to share all the forum posts. But here is one in the Google Webmaster Help forums that says he won't be able to pay his daughters tuition, pay his car payment, pay his mortgage, might lose his home, not be able to feed his family and so on. It is heart breaking.
I am now scrambling to figure out how I am going to: pay my daughters tuition pay my car payment pay my health insurance pay my car insurance pay rent and all the utilities that go along with renting a house not to mention putting food on the table.
I followed your good webmasters guidelines and done nothing spammy at all about my businesses and websites and I get shut down and put out like that.
SHAME ON YOU GOOGLE! SHAME ON YOU MATT CUTTS!
As if it weren't hard enough to find a regular type job, even with my education and background, now this.
All this and in a time of bad economy, how could you do this to YOUR America? Instead of trying to help build the economy your making it worse.
Very sad and my heart goes out to all those who should not have been hit by Penguin and was.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.
Image credit to ShutterStock for Penguin