The first Google Penguin update, also known as the webspam / over-optimization update, was first unveiled on April 24. The update penalized sites who engaged in borderline black-hat SEO tactics and spammy techniques to bolster the Google rankings of their web properties.
Last week, Google refreshed the Penguin data, which is pretty similar to hitting the “reload” button on your browser. If anything behind the scenes had changed since you first loaded the page, it would be reflected after the reload. Google refreshed its data to allow those who had originally been hit by the Penguin update a chance to recover from the penalty. In order to so, webmasters had to make recommended changes to their site, such as removing unnatural links and duplicate title tags.
So, what happened? Basically, it worked. Webmasters who had gone the distance in cleaning up spammy SEO techniques found that their rankings and traffic did indeed recover.
Google is fairly notorious for keeping major changes under wraps until the time of their release, and the Penguin update was no exception. The update, as Matt Cutts pointed out, emphasized theimportance of using proper SEO and content marketing techniques, all towards the greater goal of bringing users the relevant, quality information that they are looking for.
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