OMG, My Traffic Is Down. Did I Got Hit By Penguin 2.0? Not Necessarily…

By now you may have noticed that the “buzz” early today is all about the “Penguin 2.0” that was rolled out late yesterday. This may actually be a bit of a surprise to you as Matt Cutts on a recent video mentioned that some SEO changes where going to be rolled out within the next few weeks. Although expected, the Penguin came in earlier.

So there you go, the Penguin 2.0 has struck and according to Matt, this roll out is a major and next generation update that targets websites engaging in “not so ethical” forms of SEO, e.g., spammy sites and spammy activities. On his personal blog, Matt mentioned that about 2.3% of English-US queries have been affected and they have completed rolling out the update for International queries as well.

Google Penguin PunchWhile it may be a bit early to see what changes this update had on search results, you may or may not see significant changes in rankings, specially the one that concerns you most, your rankings. If you do see some changes that you feel affected you, don’t go crazy and start shouting out loud that you have been “punched in the face” by Penguin 2.0. Here’s why.

Way back, when the other Penguin versions (and Panda too) rolled out, I’ve seen a lot the expression “I’ve been hit” by …

To be honest, I really never bothered about it that much, until I started to get some emails from people asking for help. Mainly, they will say the following:

  • I’ve got great content
  • I am not engaged with any “shady” link building activity
  • I engage a lot on Social Media
  • I use to rank for the term “xyz” and now I’m no longer on the first page
  • I lost a lot of traffic
  • I don’t see any warning signs on my webmaster tools console
  • etc…

Why is my traffic down?

That’s all understandable, but what is missing on that list?

Your competitors may simply have “OUTRANKED” you and seeing changes in your rankings may just have coincidentally happened during an update. Yeah, that happens too, and this is probably one thing that some of us may overlook.

Let’s see.. Everyone says, do this, and do that to rank better. Look at what your competition is doing, do a keyword research, create remarkable content, etc..

Hmmm, it is but natural that if everyone has access to this type of information (which they do) and take action (best practices), the likelihood of your sites rankings getting affected is a big possibility, specially if you are NOT doing anything.

So, you may have been hit by this update or a change on search engines algorithms. But, it could also be that your competitors outranked you, simply because they are taking action on applying the best SEO practices, and you are not, or not doing enough. It could also be temporary until things settle down.

So first thing is don’t panic. Look for messages on your webmaster tools and see if you received any warnings. Analyze your site for a couple of weeks or so and see if that is a downward trend that you are indeed noticing. If it is, then you may have been hit by this latest update. In this case, I am sure that soon enough we will all start to see within the community, “how to recover” from Penguin 2.0. In any event, the best way to really be “Penguin” safe, any other updates or changes in algorithms in the future, is simply to avoid trying to manipulate the SERPs.


That’s it! These changes that Google and other search engines often roll out are all suppose to provide users better experience. It also serves to “balance” and weed out the millions of crap out there that are benefiting from applying “manipulative” tactics on ranking. Do all this changes really result in better results? Well, I’ll leave that question for you to answer.

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DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

18 thoughts on “OMG, My Traffic Is Down. Did I Got Hit By Penguin 2.0? Not Necessarily…

  • Too early to tell, anyway. It usually takes a week or so for new rankings to settle in, and in the meantime a site can go up and down a few times for any specific search phrase.

  • Yup its too early to spot any change. 1-2 weeks will be a good time frame to analyze if the algo update has really taken any effect on a particular site.

    You have a great point here Fran. There is no point in panicking. Especially if one is creating great content and has not been involved in any black hat techniques, there is nothing to really worry about. Even if the rankings seem to fall off, things should get back in shape quite soon.

  • To not get hit by the new google algorithm you should just avoid spamming – both on-site and off-site. I haven’t noticed any changes yet, but hope for extra traffic boost as with previous updates

  • You really got me worried. Penguin is here. God save me!! Atleast I don’t malpractice backlink making. Fingers crossed!

  • I saw that I’ve been outranked by sites with keyworded domains. How can this be possible? Penguins are supposed to fix the engine not making it worse.

    • Hi Steven. I’ve been noticing that too. I also thought that EMDs would not have that much chance of getting back (unless of course they are of high authority). Anyway, Google normally does a bit of tweaks after major updates like this. Hopefully this will get fixed..

  • Another thing that I have noticed is I see more than 2 results on page one for the same domain. I was under the impression that we wouldn’t see more than 2 on page one after this update. Maybe I misunderstood that part or they need to work a few glitches out yet.

    I could see how it would be possible to go into panic mode if your traffic dropped substantially, but I would want to make sure I was confident about where the problem may lie before I made any drastic changes.

    • Hi Ray. Yes, all points to that the “cluster” of domains appearing more than once on results should have been fixed. Matt did mention that they were addressing this issue.. Guess they have to do a bit more of tweaks with this recent update 🙂

  • It does seem to be a case of wait and see after an update has happened.

    I’ve actually seen an increase in traffic since the update but that could also be a coincidence.

    Great advice not to panic though!

  • So the penguin is finally out eh… I hope i don’t get affected but on the other hand, i am not afraid or panic because i know i have not engage in any spammy or fetish act. i just hope i get more traffic from search engines 🙂

  • Francisco,
    I found your post so refreshing. Like you, I’m not panicking either. I actually enjoyed reading your perspective and the comments from other bloggers (all of whom I recognize and respect) so refreshing that I linked to this article in my Friday Findings post this week. Hopefully, you’ll get a little extra (well deserved) traffic coming your way.

    • Hi Sherryl.. Soo good to see you over here 🙂 Glad you found my perspective on things refreshing.. Sometimes it is always better to look at the bright side of things, lol Thanks for stopping by, and off to see your roundup..

  • Your Post relived me a bit..Thank you…I was wondering if google penalized why didn’t i receive a message in WMT but what u said there makes more sense..Damn! why didn’t i think of that lol!

  • this is a realistic situation through which many bloggers are going now-a-days. Many have got a considerable amount of degradation in the number of readers or the visitors for their websites. If you are among those infected and you do think that there is no problem in the content quality, you surely have to change your optimization techniques to find your article among the readers.

  • Matt Cutts recently tweeted that no major update happened this week…There could be a Penguin update in the forthcoming weeks probably by mid June..Sticking to Google guidelines is the best way to escape a penalty…A lot of webmasters have realized this and there is still a lot of them who are working towards it.

  • Thanks for the reality check, Francisco. The more we try to manipulate Google, the more we are controlled by them. You make an excellent point about others reading the same articles and perhaps outranking us. Google seems to be giving much more priority to larger sites pushing blogging sites further down in search rankings.

  • My site also downed in SERPs, not too much but hurt me now. In future I think SEO industry will be broken, everybody just focus to write a nice content on their passion only.

  • i just hate G for doing this! i’ts so hard to rank now..

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