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Penguin 3.0 Released Micro Niche Sites Hit Hard
The new animal has been unleashed
Everyone knows that Google is constantly updating their algorhitms in order to stay one step ahead of the spammers. They do this for the reason that they want to make sure that people are only using legitmate means of promotion on the internet and that they're not using dubious black hat techniques to gain the upper hand.
This is a fair reason for any business to make, they don't want to be hosting adverts on a site that is full of spam and therefore making the advertisers more likely to pull out of the Adwords program and therefore Google will end up losing money. Googles solution to this is not to remove the adverts from the site, but to completely remove it from the rankings and therefore preventing anyone from ever reading it again. This in turn will help a newer, better site rise up in the rankings to fill the void and ultimately, keep the advertisers and Google happy.
Google (Matt Cutts in particular) has always stated that black hat techniques are a race to the finish approach and are the greedy way for people to make money. However, it could be argued that Google is just as greedy with this update as will be discussed below in much better detail.
Googles slump in shares pushes sites down
Google is in the business of making money, everyone knows this. Recently, there has been a dip in their share price as well as them not fulfilling their profit targets. The end result of this is that this update has been released most likely ahead of schedule and is targeting keywords that have a high competition and moving them from the rankings. This is for the reason listed above, but, there could be another motive.
It's most likely the case that the sites that have been knocked out of the rankings were using other monetisation techniques such as Amazon Associates. Google could be banking on this in the hopes that the website owner will be wanting their highly profitable money stream back and start to utilise Google Adwords to promote their site. By doing so, the site owner will invest a lot of money into it (if they know they'll get the money back) and therefore Google will raise their profits. It really is a case of Google butchering the people that were making the most money in order to make even more money off of them and in turn improving their bottom line.
Micro Niche Sites are dead
We won't go into the full detail of what a micro niche site is (you can learn about them here). However, what's clear is that Google has waged war on them, even ones that are classed as Whitehat with unique content and ethical building methods. One reason behind this is that Google simply feels that they don't actually add any value to the search results, even though many can give the user a lot of excellent information.
When you couple this up with the other two reasons above about how Google wants to become even richer at the expense of the webmasters you can see just how badly this update is going to hurt people that use micro niche websites. The one that's been linked to above has a lot of great information on it, but it has been disregarded as spam by Google even though you can clearly see that it hasn't.
The worry now is that these massive rankings changes is going to upset the dynamics on Hubpages, especially for those that have used dubious methods to promote their hubs. Its affecting people in a real way though, since it's cutting off their revenue stream. Have you been affected by Penguin 3.0? If so, feel free to leave a comment below.
Of course, it's highly likely that this won't affect you in a negative way at all. It may be the case that your site is now flying high in the rankings due to this in which case you'll be jumping for joy. For a lot of people that used to be on page 1 though, it's been a trying past 24 hours for them as they've now seen their online empire crumble.