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If you've been keeping track of Google's latest updates you will be aware that around two weeks ago (April 24th 2012) they rolled out the latest algorithm update: Google Penguin.
Follow that link for more information on the update but in brief it was designed to crack down on webspam. It was originally called 'Google Webspam Algorithm Update' but we think you'll agree that Penguin has a better ring to it.
This isn't the first black and white critter that Google has deployed to help combat webspam, you should be very familiar with Panda, which shook up the SEO industry in 2011.
In this post we take a look at the reaction to the update and what you should do if you've been hit.
Google Penguin: The Backlash
Reaction to Google Penguin has been similar to last year's Panda update. Angry SEOs have flocked to message boards and blog comments to declare that 'Google hates SEO' and how the Penguin update has cost them their livelihood.
Skim through the comments on the official Google Penguin announcement and three complaints keep popping up:
"Google have made search worse"
There have been some strange results appearing recently, but it is hard to tell if these are caused by the update. One thing we have definitely noticed is that Wikipedia dominates SERPs, ranking #1 for very weakly related searches. The jury is out on whether this update has resulted in worse results, we think that Search Plus Your World and the Venice update have had a bigger role in making results less user-friendly.
If, as Google claim, this update is explicitly designed to remove sites that use spam tactics from search results then that can only make search better.
If you really can't cope with Google search results, then use another search engine!