Feeds

Google's latest webspam crusade 'breaks' search results

Webmasters label Penguin update a dud

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google's latest search engine algorithm update – dubbed Penguin – is proving to be something of a dud, according to website owners not happy with the latest tweak.

The Chocolate Factory debuted its latest search engine optimisation (SEO) change last week, at which point its engineer Matt Cutts penned a blog post explaining the latest update.

He said Google, this time, was targeting webspam. The update is the latest tweak to Panda - the company's controversial search results ranking algorithm that the ad giant claimed had been designed to bury "low-quality sites" on its search engine.

Google's Panda and Penguin love. Pic credit: Matt Cutts

"I've been in SEO for 10 years and this is the worst update in Google's history. I've been tracking results in the 'vision improvement' niche for many years," said one narked-off website owner using the handle MarkMark5 on the TrafficPlanet.com forum.

He went on to use the example of the search query "repair vision" on Google, which returned completely irrelevant results including an outdated article and another page that displayed no content whatsoever.

An online petition has already been created by webmasters who are unhappy with the Penguin update.

It reads:

With the recent Google Penguin update, it has become nearly impossible for small content based websites to stay competitive with large publishers like eHow, WikiHow, Yahoo Answers and Amazon.

Countless webmasters have seen their livelihoods vanish overnight. In a recent interview, Sergey Brin came out against 'Walled Gardens' of the likes of Facebook... Ironically, the Penguin update has created a similar garden that only admits multimillion dollar publishing platforms.

On [a] personal level, this update has ruined small online businesses, passive incomes and families' livelihoods worldwide.

The petition has so far garnered 285 signatures.

Following the webspam update from Google, Cutts has told web owners via his Twitter account to "report post-Penguin spam" by filling out an online form.

The Register has asked Google to explain what it is doing about the gripes expressed by some webmasters in response to the Penguin update. The company hadn't got back to us at time of writing, however.

The Choc Factory claimed at the launch of Penguin that only 3 per cent of search queries would be affected by the webspam update. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.