5 Keywords Proving Google Penguin Update May be an Algorithmic Fluke

May 6th, 201220 Comments »

Sick Penguin 290x290 5 Keywords Proving Google Penguin Update May be an Algorithmic FlukeGoogle 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.

1. Buy Viagra

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:

Buy Viagra Google Penguin 5 Keywords Proving Google Penguin Update May be an Algorithmic Fluke


Rank Number 2

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.

Buy Viagra UMM 5 Keywords Proving Google Penguin Update May be an Algorithmic Fluke

Rank Number 3

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

Buy Viagra Berkeley 5 Keywords Proving Google Penguin Update May be an Algorithmic Fluke

Rank Number 6

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

Buy Viagra Charles Elena Design 5 Keywords Proving Google Penguin Update May be an Algorithmic Fluke

Rank Number 7

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.

Buy Viagra Utep 5 Keywords Proving Google Penguin Update May be an Algorithmic Fluke

Rank Number 9

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

Buy Viagra MIT 5 Keywords Proving Google Penguin Update May be an Algorithmic Fluke

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.

2. Make Money Online by WebProNews

3. Something by SEJ

4. Shop Authentic Shoes by WebTraphic

5. Buy Cialis Online by LinkBuildr

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


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20 Awesome Comments

  1. I like the way you said that SEO is exciting. This makes this industry thrive. Many SEOs clamor because of the current algo change but when you come think of it, it’s really good for the industry because SEO services will always have a demand. SEO is not dead, traditional SEO is.
    MarkSeo @Webbythoughts recently posted..Viral Marketing Video by Ford To Solve Bad Parking in ParisMy Profile

  2. The results definitely do not look good. And Edu sites get hacked all the time. We have SEO clients that are on .edu domains. They are constantly attacked by hackers and we have experienced everything with Viagra hacking. From defacing, redirecting and sneaking of uploading of new viagra landing pages.

    And we have experienced one of our clients be number 1 for Viagra even before the Penguin update. And it happened multiple times. So I am aware of how this query looked liked pre-Penguin.

    And every once in a while an edu site gets in there all the time. Although they were not as many how it is today. And I believe pre-Penguin, even pre-Panda update, there were tons of edu sites that were hacked even before. And now with the update, many Viagra spammers, splogs, and above the fold sales and ads looking pages got kicked out page 1, and the authority and trust factors was given more weight, and the bad effect is the hacked edus pop up.

    I have mixed emotions on this. I am not sure if I want to blame it all on Penguin. I think it is also partly the responsibility of the edu sites to be more secure with their hosting infrastructure since they will always be attacked by the Viagra hackers.
    Benj Arriola recently posted..Super Moon! May 5, 2012 Photos – View from San Diego, CaliforniaMy Profile

    • I think the perceived special value of edu type of links contributed to this a lot (something that Google has long denied). There are of course other ranking factors to be considered. But I think bottom line is that the Penguin didn’t really do a better job compared to Panda in terms of meeting its specific goals.

      The update rattled a lot of websites and SEOs, literally. For now we can only hope that once Penguin update reaches its maturity, these results will be a lot better to look at.

  3. tetsuo says:

    We’ve got dozens of ridiculus search results changes in Poland. Spammy web2.0 sites are usually on the top results for competetive phrases..

  4. Kim, what worries me is for those people who are new to the internet, without spending huge sums of money with supposed ‘experts’, how do they protect themselves from being hacked? After all it only takes a hacker a few minutes to wreak havoc and somebodys brand, reputation etc has been trashed! Glad you have returned to blogging! I’m now looking at your WP vs Blogger analysis.

    • Well there are a few tools that can help you do 24/7 monitoring, as well as techniques to help prevent hacking (although this isn’t directly Penguin subject), a webmaster can only do so much to prepare and prevent bad things from happening.

  5. It’s all about spamming. It was only 3% queries to be affected by Google Penguin. These could be some of them. Let’s see what happens in next google penguin update..

  6. I agree that the Penguin update is automatic. Some of my websites were hit hardly and I noticed that these have very similar exact match backlinks. All are legit but I think this is how algorithm works against “over optimization”. So, consider getting backlinks with keywords such as “website”, “click here to know” etc.

  7. Joe says:

    the internet is chaos.. sigh… nice article. Who knows what will happen next (-.-)

  8. Ravi Singh says:

    This was very well put down: “The SEO community has never been this alive, happy, sad, angry all at the same time.”

    I have been both sad and angry, but I guess i deserved it in the end. I was overly promotional, although my content was good and original and stuff… Well, time to adapt anyway…

  9. Deepali says:

    After Panda Update Penguin was expected to be a huge success but I t has proven to be a big disappointment.
    Every SEO is aware about some spammy sites and was expecting them to disappear but still not much can be seen. I hope Google is now working on Penguin and will release a new version by this year.

  10. Jeff says:

    Last year was Panda and now Penguin? What’s next Panther?
    Anyway, I hope my blogs won’t be penalized by Penguin this time. I had a hard time recovering from Panda. Hope the penguin update will have a good effect on my site.
    Anyway SEO is exciting I agree with you. I also think that SEO is an endless learning. Every time there is an update in search engine algorithm more or less there will also be changes in SEO approach as well.
    BTW @ MarkSEO, where you the one who conducted the webinar how to earn from amazon, last year i think?

  11. We have analyzed most of our portals or websites. Some of our websites that got hit by Penguin have 50-70% exact match anchor texts in both internal and external backlinks. But the websites that have less are still doing fine. I have seen some websites that are still in no.1 position in generic or highly competitive search terms and most of their anchor texts are their brand names. Their backlinks are just coming from relevant sites.
    techjamblog recently posted..How To Increase Blog TrafficMy Profile

    • Having high % of your keyword as your link to anchor text is apparently a strong signal to SEs that you’re doing shady tricks so yeah, anchor text diversity appears to be a good cure.

  12. Jenni Ray says:

    The Penguin Update is so much terrible, it hits my authority website so much while my site has a great traffic amount in Google Panda :(
    Jenni Ray recently posted..Increasing Conversions with A/B Testing and Product RecommendationMy Profile

  13. Kim,

    As you saw on my blog post http://cognitiveseo.com/blog/1075/black-hat-seo-technique-exposed-payday-loans/ Google in identifying spam. They do a good job but they still have a lot of work ahead. Still a lot of techniques to rank high with shady tactics.

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