Google Penguin Investigation, Know If You Were Hit By This Mega Update

By On May 17, 2012 • Inbound Marketing Strategies Comments (0)

Okay this post is late and probably you know so much things about Google Penguin Update. But still, there are so many SEO’s and link builders out there who don’t know how to discover if their websites was hit by Google Penguin Update. So I hope this 5 easy steps can help them discover and collect data in order to plan for their Google Penguin SEO strategy.

1. Date Check (Probably the easiest way) – Forgetting something? Google penguin update was launched April 24th to be exact. So if you were torched by the recent Google update, you should see significant meltdown from your Google analytics. Particularly in visitor overview where you can see visit counts.  

google analytics

From an average visit of 500 to 700 per day, this website dropped to 200 to 300 visits. This data simply gives weight on the fact that Google have de-indexed or devalued many of his pages when Google Penguin Update was launched. Therefore causing a traffic meltdown that can be seen via Google Analytics.

2. Significant loss in backlink Count – Correlated with the #1 Step. You can see huge loss of backlink count since penguin update affects low quality link building. You can check backlink counts using some of the best industry tools, but my favorite is ahrefs – site explorer

link loss

Ahrefs site explorer is a really powerful tool. It was even twitted and recognized by some of the best name in the industry like John Doherty, Ross Hudgens, Ann Smarty, Richard Baxter etc.

seo twit ahref

3. Significant melt down in Impressions – By the books, impression is a term that refers to the views of an ad by a visitor, or the number of times that it was displayed on a web page.

Impressions: The number of times pages from your site were viewed in search results, and the percentage increase/decrease in the daily average impressions compared to the previous period. (The number of days per period defaults to 30, but you can change it at any time.) 

Via Google Webmaster Tools Support


When you have a significant decrease in impressions, you probably got pages de-indexed or your probably lost keywords that help your website appear on search results. 


Notice the number of keywords that help the example website be visible on search engines. Figure A – 18,465 keywords, March 1,2012 to April 23,2012, a day before the penguin was launched. Then on Figure B, the example website keywords melt down to 10,827 only. A huge 7,638 lost in keywords since the day that Google Penguin was launched.

Thanks to Cell, a PPC Expert from Philippines who told me to dig in for numbers in order to present more credible data. 

4. You just receive a malware notification from Google Search Quality Team. You probably have inbound links or links from sites that have been reported or flagged for malware issues. This one occurred with one of my colleague in SEO PH, for his affiliate links -@jeterboy.


After a short day notice, his website lost huge number of keywords. Google send out malware notifications days before the penguin was launched.

5. Significant hours of masturbation – not the dirty one obviously.  More hours spent on thinking why did you get hit by Google Penguin Update. 

  • Dig dip into your link profiles. Are you engaging on low quality stuffs like directory submissions, article spinning, duplication, spamming, scraping, shitting or whatever you may call it? Link wheel schemes, blog network, exchange link schemes or anything dumb that you believe can help you get the search engine ranking that you’ve been wanting.
  • Are you using excessive exact match anchor texts when linking into single page and really trying hard to increase your keyword density to the point that you are making yourself look like a dumbass who doesn’t know keyword stuffing could kill.
  • Did you just comment next to Viagra? Sex Toy? Online Sex? #Dafuq
  • Did you just grab a list of .edu websites that you can spam for the rest of your life? And suddenly you want to ask me if I have it?
  • Did you just bought a super powerful link pyramid with bonus 1000 do follow profile links in fiverr?


  • Did you just bought a sidebar / sitewide / footer / post links on forum sites? 

digital point wts

Extra Mile

I asked around on how SEO’s can tell if they were hit by the Penguin Update. And here’s one pretty answer from Gary Lacanilao of EndlessRise, an SEO Reseller company based in Philippines.

Link flux from disturbing IP Addresses – Significant increase in number of links pointing to your website, particularly from non-vertical niche.

In summary

It’s important to analyze and collect all the data first before you panic and say that you were hit by the Google Penguin Update. When you are able to understand this post and pick things up, you can create a much better plan on building your website popularity without getting bullied in the zoo (Where Penguin & Panda lives). Else if you believe that you are innocent and was hit by panda, then you can go to congress and file a damage lawsuit in Google or just simply fill this Google update feedback form and send it to the big G.

Again, inbound marketing is an easy task if you will only stop worrying about your ranks and just focus on how you can get your target audience attention. How you can make them happier and give them the best user experience that you can provide.

Noteworthy Studies on Google Penguin Update:

1. 5 Keywords Providing Google Penguin Update May Be An Algorithmic Fluke via Kimoftheworld

2. Whiteboard Friday Post on Google’s Penguin Update via SEOMOZ, Rand Fishkin

3. The Penguin Update & How Google Identifies Spam by Dan Deceuster via SEOMOZ blog 


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Jayson Bagio is the lead strategist of SEOteky. A digital marketing team from Manila, Ph who specializes in content marketing and link building. Get in touch with him using the contact form on the side or by visiting the about page. You can also follow him on twitter & google+.

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