Google launched it’s latest update on 24th April, and it emerged late last night that they have titled this the ‘Penguin’ update. The update was a change in Google’s algorithm in their attempt to further target spam and those site’s which break Google’s webmaster guidelines.
However, have Google this time got it all wrong? The internet was amassed with reports last night of sites which look incredibly spammy suddenly ranking on the first page of the search engine, with poor quality blogs outranking sites which have quality content and have been at the top of the results pages for years.
Google’s rankings for ‘make money online’
The main example which I’ve come across, and one which is being reported all over the place, is the results when a user searches for the term, ‘make money online.’ It does seem that the results have been changing over the past day or so on this, however below you can see some screenshots of sites which have been ranking in the #1 position for ‘make money online’ in the past 24 hours. The results which you see are different depending on whether you’re in the UK or USA, but I’ll show them all, with the SERP snippets below each example:
#1 for ‘make money online’ on Google.co.uk (10.56am – 27/04/2012)
#1 for ‘make money online’ on Google.com (26/04/2012)
Do these look like quality sites to you?
Can Google really say that these are quality websites? Forgetting back link profiles and other ranking factors, these sites simply do not, in any way, shape or form, provide a quality resource for those searching to ‘make money online’.
Perhaps Google will realise their error over the next couple of days and tweak the algorithm. What is a common factor in may of these results is that they have exact match domains, or very near exact match domains. However, at the end of last year, Google announced that exact match domains no longer have the same ranking strength as they did previously.
The results may sort themselves out over the next few days
Fingers crossed that everything will sort itself out over the next few days and those sites which deserve to rank will return to their top positions. As with all Google updates, there will be a change in the rankings, however when they are making a point that the updates are to target spam, they are embarrassing themselves by allowing the above examples to rank in the positions they currently do!