On 24 April 2012 Google introduced their Google Penguin algorythm change which appeared in the UK on 25 April - my birthday.
It was a present I didn't want.
My websites and blogs seem to have been fine in all the Panda updates and if anyuthing I've picked up traffic.
But Penguin was a shock and it's hit hard.
It seems that Google are hitting webspam and dodgy tactics.
Quite right too I would have said before the algorythm change.
I didn't think I'd really indulged in any dubious activity.
I use SEO but I've kept away from link farm etc and try to concentrate on writing good quality content that focuses in on the keywords I'm targeting.
But Penguin has hit me hard across all my blogs.
It's also hit some of my friends as well who i don'ty think as spammers.
From what I've read, there are some very big sites affected and at the moment I'm trying not to panic about the loss of 50% or more of my traffic.
I think something has gone wrong with the algorithm change.
There are plenty of examples where poor quality, low content sites are appearing on page 1 of Google when there is no reason why they should. This obviosuly affects the Google user's experience and damages Google's own reputation for finding the best quality pages.
I'm not panicking but I am interested to keep up-tio-date with the news on the Google Penguin update to try to understand why this has hurt so much.
It's frustrating because I see plenty of websites that appear for affiliate promotions that don't provide the indepth reviews that I do.
I said at my mastermind meeting on Monday that it's important to look for positives.
My positive is that Google has reminded me that you can't depend on one source of eye balls. Organic traffic is great because it's both free and puts your offers in front of people when they are searching for information.
Outreach marketing techniques and even emailing to your own double-opt in list are based on interrupting the reader and trying to impose your agenda on them.
Google is designed for two types of people - those who use it regular to search and the advertisers who pay to appear in the Adwords section of the page.
Google doesn't have a responsibility to publishers (like me) who are piggybacking on Google's huge investment in technology.
Sometimes they will do things that harm me.
If it also damages the user experience, then things will change... although perhaps not as quickly as you and I would like.