Marketing Madness

August 21st Penguin Algorithm Update?

While browsing through the various marketing forums, blogs and pages the last several days I’ve noticed some talk of some changes in rankings by many site owners.  Most people seem to be pointing to a possible algorithm change by Google on or around August 21st.  Even several websites dedicated to monitoring the SERPs for thousands of keywords (in an attempt to figure out when algorithm changes are made) had alerts on this date.

Of course, Google has not made any sort of announcement to confirm or deny the changes.  Google has said in the past that they would no longer be commenting on these types of changes, so that really isn’t a surprise.  Many people will remember, however, that when a change was made recently, Google did confirm the change; despite saying they would no longer comment on them.  As all marketers know, you can never predict what Google will and won’t do.

The question remains, however, was there an actual algorithm update on or around August 21st, or is it just speculation and rumors across the Internet Marketing community?  If there was a change, it was clearly fairly small in scope because only a relatively small number of sites appear to have been affected.  The specific area where the changes would have been made is also unclear because, at least as of this writing, I haven’t been able to find any clear reports of which keywords, niches, or domains are suspected of being impacted.

Have you experienced any fluctuations in your rankings over the past week?  If so, please share what you saw, and what your thoughts are as to why.  Including any specific information you were able to gather may be useful to other marketers trying to figure out potential changes.

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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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20 Comments

  1. So was there a penguin update or not??? I have one site that lost it rankings but that site was pretty new IMHO, so I gues it was because of the young age.

  2. I’m a writer on Squidoo and I notice all my articles on there lost traffic across the board! My one article get about 400 to 500 views a day and now I’m lucky to even get 40 views! I think the site as a whole was affected since there is a lot of people complaining about lost traffic last week on their forum.

  3. I am new to internet marketing/building websites and only have a few under my belt.

    On one particular website, I have noticed about a 75% drop in my traffic since about the 21st.

    To put that in perspective, whereas I was getting about 550-750 visitors a day…I am now getting around 150ish. My site was created in May of this year.

    There are only three things that I can possibly think of at the moment.

    1. It is a new site so I have heard about honeymoon periods lasting about 90 days or so. I am not sure I buy this explanation.

    2. I have a classified ad website and I autoprune ads after 90 days. Is it possible my expiring ads are being pruned and this lost content is hurting my search results and traffic?

    Given that other people are experiencing issues around this same date…I do not think this is the explanation.

    3. For my site…I have created numerous categories for various items for sale. Then, on my blog I created numerous posts with near identical content announcing these items for sale. They were all nearly identical in content save for the keyword changes and some minor changes in text related to the keyword.

    I have about 75 pages like this and although most of these pages were not on the first page of google, I seemed to get get a lot of stray searches each day. Now…that traffic has dried up.

    Also, my ranking for my primary keywords dropped and so I am losing traffic on that as well. For the most searched keyword..I dropped from from number 5 to the second page. For my secondary keyword, I dropped from 1 to number 4 on the first page. And so on.

    While it is fair to say that I have engaged in some gray hat linkbuilding. I am so new to this that my linkbuilding proficiency is below mediocre. Moreover…I would think my other couple of sites would have been hit if that were the reason, as well.

  4. Mywebsite was attacked before by Google Panda, but I was recover 7 Months before, and now is attacked again, I lost 50% of my traffic…I don’t understand why, I do all ok. How Google want we update our blogs
    frequently if never give as time, is one problem after another…Please give as a break.

  5. My website lost 80% traffic. Lost rankings for most of the targeted keywords from top 3 on page one now to 8th-10 page!

  6. from 23rd of August my traffic started doping from 23000 visistor to 2500 any idea how to recover my site again. please mail me. plz help me.

  7. There are hectic algorithmic changes made by google the previous month. I lost 50% of web traffic on 14th of august. My website domain is new not the website. But I don’t understand why they have dumped my website.

  8. Yeah, got nailed bi time on this update, exactly around that date. I don’t particpate in any linkbuilding practice so I’m guessing it’s panda, but who knows! All I do know, is that it is bloody annoying.

  9. Hi,

    My sites are affected on 28 Aug. I have read in many forums, sites that it’s a penguin update.

    1. yes i know there is google punguim update.which hit the duplicate contents sites.if you want full detais how to recover site contact me on skype.
      tanvirzafar1

  10. The 21st Aug update did not hit everyone on same date but during the week that followed like in stages hitting websites in groups. Our website got hit on 25th Aug with 40% drop in traffic. EMD websites seems to have been given a big boost.

  11. When we publish a new story, about 100 per day, I can find it first on Yahoo or Bing, usually in under a minute…this used to be the case with gookle, but now it sometimes takes over two hours to show up on both google search and their custom site search we pay for…how can you be ranked on top for a story that guckle doesn’t index for hours… and yes we are down for the year in both audience and adsense revenue…

    The Auto Channel has been on-line for 18 years and our roller coaster rides continues… the most frustrating thing is that there is no one to find out what is really going on…

    Oh yeah all of the SEO gurus say they know but will not demonstrate their methods in exchange for a piece of the upside revenue…kind of like a horse race tout…

  12. This seems to have impacted sites with lots of duplicate articles on or sites that use article marketing. If anyone’s been hit, please can they comment on whether they’ve used lots of duplicate content in the links to their sites?

  13. Yahoo and google Panda replace will be alter in Yahoo and google formula regarding site position. This replace are available in Feb 2011. This Yahoo and google panda replace emphasis in order to site high quality and also serve the great seek end result regarding consumer. This formula method will be design in order to recognized the reduced high quality internet site. Yahoo and google constant that formula the perfect time to the perfect time to server the better end result. This Panda replace provide the charge regarding slender content as well as substandard quality site and also lower it position. Yahoo and google try to prize premium quality internet site with regard to search engine ranking.

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