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Google Penguin May Not be Entirely to Blame for Lower April Rankings

Webmasters who saw their websites slip down the rankings during the month of April have naturally blamed the launch of Google Penguin for the changes, but it seems Penguin may not be entirely to blame. This is because Google actually implemented over 50 changes to their algorithm during April – some of which launched at the same time as Penguin while others came later – and it could be that Penguin had little effect at all.

The changes made by Google included:

• An alteration to the signal that shows website authoritativeness. It is thought that older domains with strong link profiles and no evidence of spam SEO tactics will now rank higher than they used to.
• The way in which Google scores search terms within a website page to determine rank.
• An update to a classifier that detects keyword stuffing – one of the main aims of Google Penguin.
• Three additional updates to the original Freshness Update that interprets and ranks new content posted to websites.
• A modification to a classifier that identifies and subsequently excludes content determined to be low quality.
• An increase in the size of Google’s index by 15%, which means all search queries are now matched using the increased index.

For a full list of changes made during April visit Google’s official search blog, Inside Search.

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