Google has named its latest web spam algorithmic update Penguin. For those who believe their search rankings have been wrongly hit by this update, or if you’re seeing spam Google missed, Matt Cutts has announced the arrival of a feedback form.
“If you want to report spam that Google is missing, fill out a spam report and add the word penguin,” Cutts, Google’s Distinguished Engineer who leads the web spam team, tweeted yesterday. “If you know a site affected by algo update that you don’t think should be affected, we made a form to provide feedback.”
On the form, Google asks you to provide details about the page impacted by the algorithmic update, which launched on April 24 and was intended to better detect websites using tactics against Google’s webmaster guidelines, such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, and link schemes. Google asks for the URL of a page affected by the update and a query that shows non-ideal results, with the option of adding additional comments.
This move is similar to last year after Panda launched, when Google created a Webmaster Central thread for those affected by the algorithm change. That thread quickly filled up with thousands of responses – many of them complaints, as you’d expect after their rankings tanked, traffic dried up, and income plunged – so no doubt Google will be inundated with examples, as Google’s blog posts have filled up with comments about sites being unfairly demoted in the rankings and worse search results.
As for the Penguin name, perhaps Google went with the name since World Penguin Day was one day after the algorithm went into the wild. And perhaps Google’s 2011 Earth Day Doodle provides us with some clues to some future algorithmic updates:
Update: Looking for answers about why your search rankings vanished? Here’s some early analysis in “Google Penguin Update: 5 Types of Link Issues Harming Some Affected Websites“.