Google Updates – Penalties, Penalties, & More Penalties…

Google Updates – Penalties, Penalties, & More Penalties…

Just Like The Energizer Bunny..They keep coming and coming and coming…

It seems like Google is very very serious about getting rid of spam, poor quality sites, & MFA sites (made for advertising). They roll out updates continually to keep webmasters and SEO’s on their toes. To find out which update sank your site, try and match up when you saw your traffic decline, or when your SERP results tanked. Let’s take a look at the past updates…..

Google Panda Update –

The Panda Update was first released February 23rd, 2011. This update was geared to target low quality thin sites, meaning very little content. Additionally, sites that have a high % of ads compared to content were affected.

  • Panda – February 23rd, 2011
  • Panda 2.0 – April 11th, 2011
  • Panda 2.1 – May 9th, 2011
  • Panda 2.2 – June 21st, 2011
  • Panda 2.3 – July 23rd, 2011
  • Panda (Global) – August 12th, 2011
  • Panda 2.5 – September 28th, 2011
  • Panda (Flux) – October 5th, 2011
  • Panda 3.1 – November 18th, 2011
  • Panda 3.2 – January 18th, 2012
  • Panda 3.3 – February 27th, 2012
  • Panda 3.4 – March 23rd, 2012
  • Panda 3.5 – April 19th, 2012
  • Panda 3.6 – April 27th, 2012
  • Panda 3.7 – June 8th, 2012
  • Panda 3.8 – June 25th, 2012
  • Panda 3.9 – July 24th, 2012
  • Panda 3.9.1 – August 20th, 2012
  • Panda 3.9.2 – September 18th, 2012
  • Panda #20 – September 27th, 2012
  • Panda #21 – November 5th, 2012
  • Panda #22 – November 21st, 2012
  • Panda #23 – December 21st, 2012

Top Heavy / Too Many Ads –

This update targeted sites that had too many ads above the fold, also known as top heavy sites. Basically, sites that were created for the purpose of generating income off of advertising or clicks.

  • Above The Fold – January 19th, 2012

Google Penguin Update –

The Penguin Update rolled out April 24th, 2012. It was started in an effort to go after sites that were over-optimizing and participating in Black Hat SEO Techniques.This was their WebSpam update which they soon named the Penguin Update. This targeted spammers in general, hidden text, keyword stuffing, and un-natural links. This affected an estimated 3.1% of English search results.

  • Penguin – April 24th, 2012
  • Penguin 1.1 – May 25th, 2012
  • Penguin #3 – October 5th, 2012

Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Update –

This EMD Update was aimed to de-value sites that have a keyword in the domain name. Example: Site – | Keyword – orlando painter

  • EMD – September 27, 2012


If your site has been penalized and you want to get it back to where it was, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We have worked on plenty of sites that have been hit by Google, and after we have worked on them they have recovered.

Unfortunately, the methods that Google is utilizing to deliver the best searching experience are not perfected yet. They have penalized many sites that have done nothing wrong, nor have they performed any Black Hat SEO Techniques. They are basically using computers and algorithms to determine the quality of the site and it’s inbound links, and this is creating a lot of false positives. I personally know quite a few people that have small business’s and their site was hit. They do not do any link building, they don’t have any ads on their sites, no keyword stuffing, or any other spamming methods.

Although it wouldn’t be reasonable to manually review each and every site, there has to be a better way to get better search results without ruining someones hard earned income. If you have been hit by any of Google’s Updates or have recovered, please leave a comment below.

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  1. I was looking for a list of penalties and I found this listing on page 1 of Google. Nice list and it came in very useful for me because I needed to identify which penalty hit my site. Have you worked on sites that got penalized?

    • Glad you found this page useful. Yes, we have worked on sites that got hit, and we have successfully restored their rankings. Thanks for stopping by and if you need anything please give us a call!
      SEOjus recently posted…Local SEOMy Profile

    • Hi,

      There are so many updates / penalties to date. Some of them are not even on this list. These are the major ones that really effected people and business’s. Keeping webmasters on their toes is what “G” is good at. In order for their index to be the best, they have to continually update their algorithm.
      Justin recently posted…iPhone Repair In Boca RatonMy Profile

    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for stopping by SEOjus. Google has come out with tons of updates, ones that are not even made public. These are some of the major ones that actually brought down companies and affected a lot of sites.
      Justin recently posted…Ahrefs Review – Best Backlink Analysis ToolMy Profile

    • Hi Julidarma,

      Thanks for stopping by SEOjus! If it is staying in one spot and not moving up, you need to see what is going on with your backlinks. You must produce fresh content regularly as well. Google loves active sites.
      Justin recently posted…Link Building Strategy For 2013My Profile

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