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What is Google Penguin? Definition, Causes, and Effects

Last updated: Aug 11, 2022

What is Google Penguin?

When it comes to filtering high-quality content, the Google algorithm applies more than 200 signals that can help users find what they are looking for. One of the algorithms used today is Google Penguin. It has been used officially since 2012.

Today, Penguin updates its algorithms in every language. Penguin is used to update the data of the websites affected by the algorithm periodically. However, the list of the websites can now be seen in real-time.

Google Penguin is essentially an algorithm used to filter websites on SERP. The way it works is by evaluating SEO spam of a website. However, the latest updates from the algorithm do not affect the rankings of the entire websites on SERP.

The regulations to filter based on this Penguin algorithm ask content providers to look out for several activities that can potentially cause problems. Such things can lead to violations and a decrease in the quality of the content itself.

As one of Google’s core algorithms, Penguin pushes creators to publish high-quality and useful content. In doing so, the process of ranking web pages on SERP can be done by considering the relevance of the websites according to what users need.

How Google Penguin Algorithm Works

The Penguin algorithm works by detecting particular activities on a website. In general, such suspicious activities are considered the factor that causes the decrease in content quality.

There are several factors that can be detected by the Penguin algorithm, which are:

Link Schemes

The number of backlinks in an article that is deemed irrelevant can decrease the quality of your website in the eyes of  Google. The Penguin algorithm may see such a thing as a manipulative element that gives websites high positions on the SERP.

In general, low-quality backlinks can be found in many comments that include certain keywords. Usually, these types of backlinks are discovered in content that has less relevance to the website niche.

As an example, a comment that says “the best resort in Bali” with the link to your website is found in an article about how to take care of watches. The Penguin algorithm will think that such a link is irrelevant to the topic and put your website on the list of sites that need to improve their quality.

Keyword Stuffing

One of the things that needs to be known in SEO is the number of keywords. Even though keyword density is important to improving the performance of a website page, you need to see if the content looks natural to users.

The Penguin algorithm will see keyword stuffing as a manipulative tool for a website to rank highly on the SERP. For that reason, you must watch for the keyword density and check how many words you need on the Word Counter tool from cmlabs for free.

The Effects of Google Penguin on a Website

If your website is considered to violate the Penguin algorithm, then there are direct effects that can be seen from the website's performance on the SERP. In general, your website page’s rank will decrease on Google’s search pages.

A more serious effect caused by this issue is that the website will not be indexed by Google and will require some necessary fixes in its content. This form of penalty by Google can be seen today from the list that is updated in real-time.

How to Solve Issues Caused by Google Penguin Algorithm

To resolve the problems caused by the Penguin algorithm, you can look for the roots of the problems first. In other words, you will not have to file a request to get your penalty lifted by Google but focus on the issues that need to be solved directly instead.

In order to fix the problem related to the Penguin algorithm, you can apply some of the methods below:

  • Remove all the irrelevant links that have no relation to the content of your website
  • Revise the content by making sure to use the keywords as naturally as possible and not use them repeatedly
  • Evaluate over-optimized content
  • Disavow irrelevant links on your website


In general, the Penguin algorithm detects spam activities based on the use of backlinks and keyword stuffing on a website. This method can increase a website’s rank on the SERP unnaturally. However, it does not mean that the use of backlinks itself is forbidden.

You can use the Backlink Service from cmlabs. Surely, with a proportional number of backlinks, your website can achieve a high position on the SERP and avoid the issues caused by the Penguin algorithm altogether.

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Note: We have attached some of the most common questions asked by users below, along with their answers. To use the cmlabs Keyword Ranking Tracker application, you don't need to request for a quote from marketing. Please click login to the application.

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