Google released the so-called Penguin Update last April 24. Originally dubbed as the webspam update, the update was intended to target less or no credit to spammy sites built upon low quality content and optimized by poor quality and spam links and ultimately reward high quality sites – at least that was the theory.
But a week after the update, SERPs are proving otherwise (at least on a few keywords), leading some to even question whether SEO is still working.
While some argue and present anecdotes saying that the Google Penguin update brings nothing but trash on the SERPs I decided to make a post it.
The buy viagra keyword is very high competition keyword. It’s an expensive Keyword as one might say. Google Keyword Tool in fact estimates its worth to be $450k a month. Market Samurai a very good SEO and Internet Marketing tool makes a more specific valuation at $487,619.93 per month as its SEO value.
Is this keyword a gold mine? Every SEO and Internet Marketer knows the answer.
Google Page 1 yields the following results:
Rank number 2 is found below, and belongs to the website of University of Maryland Medical Center, a dot edu domain that is for all convenience, a dead page at the moment. But the Google cache of the webpage that ranks for it: cache: http://hfrp.umm.edu/ shows no content or even the slightest hint about Viagra, the page was in fact about Shock Trauma Research – shock, how appropriate, this page to be number two for such an important keyword is for lack of a better term shocking.
Rank number 3 is a website again, of a known university in US, The Berkeley/Stanford Recovery-Oriented Computing (ROC) Project – sounds really hardcore right? – Hardcore science and experimentation, not the kind that Viagra buyers would care about. And yes, it’s still a dot edu domain – http://roc.cs.berkeley.edu
This is the website of Charles Elena and it ranks number 6 on Google. No he isn’t the guy who invented the drug, although he may have worked on the niche before considering he is into online marketing and web design but that doesn’t and will not make his website which happens to be in MAINTENANCE a great candidate for the keyword, let alone rank above the fold of Page 1 for this particular keyword. – http://charleselena.com.au
Rank number 7 is http://cetalweb.utep.edu That’s the website of Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning or CETAL in The University of Texas, not Center for Excellence in Combating Impotency and again, got nothing to do with Viagra. And yes, another dot edu domain for you.
Ever wondered if MIT is really one of the best schools in the world? Well Google believes it is, too good that it deserves a page one ranking for the buy Viagra keyword. That’s a subdomain on MIT’s website that features one of their PhD candidates named Nadav. Does the page talk about Viagra anywhere? No. Is Nadav a future PhD holder specializing in viagralogy (make up term for the science of Viagra)? No. The guy’s expertise is on semiconductors. Check the URL: http://nadav.media.mit.edu
But hey, one might argue that this can be observed only in the buy Viagra keyword because Viagra isn’t really a clean niche, maybe Google’s just cleaning up the Internet for a more family-oriented and safe for all ages search results per page.
a. That’s too much power for a Search Engine to behold
b. That isn’t the role of Google and yeah, that’s according to them.
c. This algorithmic fluke is reflected on different keywords on different niches, not just this one. That’s why the title of this post is 5 Keyword Proofs… and not 1 Keyword Proof that Google Penguin Update May be an Algorithmic Fluke. Check the other 4.
Points to ponder and what can we take from this hopefully temporary algorithmic fluke and what can we hope to happen?
1. Google makes mistakes. They do, and yes, sometimes they have the courage and decency to admit it, with Matt Cutts in front of course. Since this is clearly a mistake, Google should correct it, clearly by rolling out another Penguin update.
2. Google is clearly reacting to spam. Those dot edu sites that are currently ranking for the buy Viagra keyword have had their fair share of spammy blog comments and web 2.0 pages created ON them… these sites were among the favorites of high competition blackhat SEOs (those that usually work in viagra, ugg boots etc niches). The same can be said on the other keywords as reflected by the respective posts.
3. SEO can be really very exciting. I am excited. I’m very excited to the point that I had to blog this after my half a year blogging hiatus. The SEO community has never been this alive, happy, sad, angry all at the same time. There’s even a petition on Change.org calling Google to kill the Penguin update.
4. SEO is still an endless and viable source of FREE traffic that literally amounts to millions of dollars , and to dominate the game you need more knowledgeable and updated all the time. So kudos to you for reading this post, it means that you care about the industry.
5. Penguin and previously the Panda update has made ranking in Google really hard for spammers and cheap businessmen and marketers, and yes, that’s good for the web since we all want quality web results right?
6. Google’s Algorithm is not fool proof, there are glitches, loopholes and flukes and it’s the role of every responsible Internet user to safeguard the Internet.. unless of course Google is doing this on purpose, to make SEO seem unreliable. If that’s the case, then that will be the end of Google.
The Penguin update isn’t finish yet, and Google is continually rolling out changes and updates. You might want to check Google’s Inside Search blog for the update.
How about you? Have you seen a keyword (or post from other blogs) that proves the Penguin update does more harm than good? What are your thoughts about this latest update? Say it in the comments.
Image from lunaros