Is Penguin Affecting Your Ranking?

Is Penguin Really Affecting Your Ranking? Or Is It Just A Useful Scapegoat?

Most of us would describe Panda and Penguin as anything but convenient. These two cutely named algorithm changes came along when we were perfectly happy running our websites, and in many cases completely tore them down and destroyed our revenue. In one foul swoop businesses went under and websites disappeared from the net entirely. These were dark days and few of us have anything good to say about Panda or Penguin.

But then again they do have one very convenient use that most of us take advantage of, even if you aren’t aware of it. For many of us you see, Penguin and Panda are very useful scapegoats that allow us to explain away our lack of success without blaming ourselves. Why isn’t your site succeeding? Well of course it’s because of the algorithm changes! Duh, it’s out of our hands!

But this kind of thinking isn’t going to get us anywhere. Blaming Panda or Penguin, or Google in general, is the same as the bad workman blaming his tools: it means having an external locus of control, and it immediately depowers us from being able to affect change.

And chances are that it’s not Penguin or Panda that are affecting you anyway. You already know how to adapt to these changes, you’ve read it enough times, so if your site is still suffering then it’s probably not that.

The Top Causes That Don’t Begin With ‘P’


There are plenty of other potential explanations for your site’s poor performance in fact. Hundreds. But most people these days fail to see those reasons even when they’re obvious because they’re so busy blaming Panda and Penguin. By taking it out on these algorithm changes they prevent themselves from even considering other causes.

Have you thought for instance that your site may just be looking a bit tired and dated these days?

If all your energy has gone into your SEO, then you may not have been updating your site as often as you should or adding new content. And in that case, your site might not be standing up to the competition.

And perhaps your focus on algorithms and spiders has prevented you from doing the all-important market-research lately.

Have you checked Google for your own keywords?

If your site is suffering then it might just be that a bigger and better version of your site has popped up and is steeling all your traffic. Not Google’s fault, but a situation that needs to be managed.

Another possibility could also be that your niche is simply going out of fashion.

It’s not something most of us like to think about – it’s terribly inconvenient – but if you are writing about something like ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, then obviously that’s going to be dying down now that the film is pretty old. These are all things you need to consider.

And if your SEO company is giving you the same excuses then you need to ask yourself whether this is all just a terribly convenient excuse for them as well. Stop blaming Google and start focusing on your own site!

Today’s author, Nancy Baker, is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for Orp Media which is an agency that specializes in advising how to avoid a panda penalty. In her free time, she enjoys expressing her thoughts through her charcoal sketches. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.


  • Review of Traffic Travis .  It is an all-in-one SEO and research software tool that helps you boost your website traffic. It includes search engine optimization, pay-per-click  and general market research.  You can track your own site’s performance and you can also peek under the hood of your competitors’ sites.
  • Traffic Travis – Free download.


Comments are closed.