In April this year, Google rolled out their newest version of the search engine algorithm, the Google Penguin. This update, compared to earlier updates, aims to decrease the rankings of websites and webpages that use black-hat SEO techniques. Google believes that by doing these, more people will be able to find what they really need, without having to look over hundreds to thousands of results.
How Does It Affect Web Businesses?
Different websites have different page ranks given to them by Google. This page rank determines their frequency of appearing on the search results supposed they are related to the search keyword used by the user. For example, if the user is searching for “jewelry and watches”, and your website deals with jewelry and watches, you will have a higher page rank compared to others, getting you on the first or second pages of the search results.
Through correct use of various SEO techniques, website owners can “manipulate” the results, earning them a higher page rank so that they can appear on the first page. However, with the introduction of the Google Penguin update, users of black-hat SEO techniques (e.g. keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc.) will be penalized and will be given a lower page ranking, putting them in a disadvantageous position (e.g. putting them on the last pages of the search results). Those who use SEO techniques that Google allows, however, are not affected that much by this recent update.
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The Advantages of Google Penguin
This update is especially advantageous to website owners that do not make use of black-hat SEO techniques, and instead, using legit SEO techniques that are allowed by Google. This will greatly increase their page rank, netting them more customers in the process (as these websites will appear on the top pages of the search results).
This update is also advantageous towards customers who depend entirely on the Internet to find websites that offer the particular service or item they are looking for. With this update, they can find more reliable websites, avoiding spammy websites in the process, letting them find the ones that are more capable of providing them with the item or service they are looking for.
The Disadvantages of Google Penguin
However, this recent update puts small businesses effectively out of business. This is because many of these small businesses rely on SEO techniques to keep up with larger, more established businesses. With the introduction of this update, not only are they penalized for using SEO techniques, but they are also given a lower priority on the search results, thus making them lose traffic and, then, profits.
This update, according to small business owners, also prioritizes large companies over smaller ones. This is because large companies are able to promote without having to resort to SEO techniques and make use of expensive, non-SEO techniques, something that small businesses have no access to. This update, they believe, is truly unfair and should be reviewed to give small businesses a fighting chance against larger companies. Due to this, a petition has been started to make Google reconsider this update.
Final Words for Google Penguin
While it may have its own share of advantages and disadvantages, Google should still consider that there are many small companies (and large ones, as well) that still depend on SEO techniques. Therefore, Google should put out an update that is not only beneficial for large companies, but for small companies as well. This will give both large and small companies a fair chance of marketing their services, letting them compete on the same ground.