Google’s Penguin update cuts down on spammy links, affects 3 percent of search queries

Google penguin updateGoogle has attempted to be as open and honest as possible in regards to its search algorithm, but when in-house tweaks lead to plummeting page rank, Webmasters will come calling. The latest (relatively quiet) uproar has been named the Penguin update and it’s an attempt to quiet webspam.

“In the pursuit of higher rankings or traffic, a few sites use techniques that don’t benefit users, where the intent is to look for shortcurts of loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be ranked,” Google engineer Matt Cutt said via the company’s search blog. “We see all sorts of webspam techniques ever day, from keyword stuffing to link schemes that attempt to propel sites higher in rankings.”

According to Cutts, so-called “white hat” SEO tactics won’t suffer from the changes, and while the scope of this update is rather large (it will affect 3.1 percent of search queries), it’s no Panda (which affected 12-percent).

All of the things that Penguin is punishing have been targeted in algorithm updates before, but it’s likely that Google is trying to use new, perhaps better, methods. What those methods might be, however, remain unknown. Google is tight-lipped when it comes to the secret sauce behind search, but the general consensus appears to be that Penguin is an attempt to close some loopholes that sites have been exploiting.

The Penguin update comes at the same time as Panda refresh, so the results are a little difficult to interpret, but there are still some early winners and losers predictions. You can see the list below, which was formatted by SearchMetrics.





So what do you do if your site has been punished? Same as always: improve your content. Google has said time and time again being a source of fresh content and limiting your linking is the path to better page rank. Of course this hasn’t always proven true, so the advice is to be taken with a grain of salt. Still, in response to negative reactions, Google has a form to collect feedback – and if that’s not enough, you can sign the “Google: Please kill your Penguin update!” petition. 


Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

Everything about 'Red Dead Online', including its new microtransaction store

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

How to start your online business in 6 simple steps

Making the right choices now can greatly impact your success down the line, and the last thing you want to do is spend your energy revisiting old decisions instead of growing your company.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.