Penguin polarized the community of webmasters and search marketers. Some believe that Google is abusing its power over search results to alter the outcomes of search queries. By doing so they argue that the Penguin update harms small businesses that rely on SEO to promote their websites.
One blogger writes:
Affected businesses have already petitioned that Google pull back its Penguin update on the popular petition site change.org. The petition has so far gathered in excess of 1,000 signatures. Jane Dorpish, the creator of the petition, views the Penguin update as a monopoly on the part of Google to further protect the interests of multi-billion dollar online sites similar to Yahoo Answers, Amazon, WikiHow, and eHow. (ambrking, 2012)
It is no surprise that businesses that had their websites targeted by Penguin would be upset for having their rankings pulled. While best practices should always be used when optimizing a website, it is essential to take advantage of all tools available, especially when competing with huge corporations that have nearly infinite resources at their disposal in comparison to smaller companies. These small business owners argue that Penguin is too broad of an update and shrinks the number of tools available to them to promote their websites and products, while at the same time having nearly no adverse impact on larger companies that don’t have to rely on SEO nearly as much.
Because of this controversy, the Federal Trade Commission enlisted a former Justice Department prosecutor to investigate if Google is indeed misusing its power over search results. Google’s near monopoly on Internet search makes it important to allow smaller businesses to remain competitive on the Internet. However it is important to note that Penguin affects only 3.1% of English search results. Obviously when this figure is viewed as a total number of search results, it is still quite large; but it is still nowhere near as far-reaching as Google’s previous Panda update, which had far less controversy surrounding it. As Penguin is still relatively new as far as major Google algorithm updates go, it remains to be seen if it will makes the playing field unfair for smaller businesses. As of this writing, the FTC has yet to file a case against Google; however the investigation is still in progress.
For more information about we can help you with the Penguin updates then please call us at SmartLink at 561-688-8155.