7 SEO Apocalypses That Never Happened

SMS Text

“My site has been at the top of Google SERPS for very competitive phrases. It’s a high quality site offering hundreds of pages of original content. Then, overnight, my site hit the bottom for almost everything thanks to Jagger.”

Back in 2005, it was one of the numerous forum threads agonizing over Google Jagger Update.

Before Jagger, there was Florida, one of the first biggest Google algorithm changes to resonate deeply with webmasters.

Years later, I have a strong feeling of déjà vu.

Over the last three weeks, the SEO world seems to have gone mad. Panic has filled the web space: naïve and trusting webmasters start removing backlinks, content and keywords to cause nothing than a faster decrease in rankings.

This post is not yet another prescription to fight Penguin.

Rather, it’s a prescription to stop sweating about Penguin, and learn from SEO history, which, as we’ll see, has a tendency to repeat itself.

Here’s a retrospective of most hyped-over Google Updates, each and every one of which was perceived as SEO’s Doomsday.

Google’s philosophy on search results has been pretty much the same from the get-go.

As you see, Google itself is a great example to follow. The team behind the world’s largest search engine is persistently rolling out updates to cut on the websites not in line with its search quality Guidelines – that’s it.

Don’t you feel it’s time to stop shifting the blame from one update to another?

Instead, isn’t it easier to just apply Google’s rules to your own sites? Once your SEO strategy is in line with the Google guidelines, you’ll no longer have to play victim pointing fingers at Pandas and Penguins.

While others are panicking, the wisest thing to do would be to stay cool and get down to your SEO business.

P.S. If you still believe that Pandas and Penguins threaten SEOs, here’s just one case study that proves the opposite, and I guess you can spot many more examples in search results.

Written by Aleh Barysevich

Aleh Barysevich is a Marketing Director and Co-Founder of Link-Assistant.Com, the company that makes SEO PowerSuite website promotion toolkit for bloggers, webmasters and online marketers.

Aleh Barysevich

Aleh Barysevich

CMO and Co-Founder at Link-Assistant.Com
Aleh Barysevich is CMO and Co-Founder at Link-Assistant.Com, the company that makes SEO PowerSuite (website promotion toolkit) and BuzzBundle (social media software) for bloggers, webmasters... Read Full Bio
Aleh Barysevich
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Adam Thompson


    May I respectfully point out that this article appears to directly condemn the product you sell? LinkAssistant is practically the definition of a link scheme tool (building a reciprocal link directory and sending out automated requests).


    • Henway

      To be fair, the article didn’t say building a reciprocal link directory and doing automated linkbuilding was bad 🙂

      • Adam Thompson

        He recommended making your SEO strategy “in line with the Google guidelines”, which would rule out building a reciprocal link directory and doing automated link requests.

    • Henway

      To be fair, the article didn’t say building a reciprocal link directory and doing automated linkbuilding was bad 🙂

    • Alan Bleiweiss

      hahaha #Priceless observation Adam

    • Lars Kenwood

      Don’t wanna sound as “go-n-learn-some-marketing-stuff-first”-nerd, but IMO those guys don’t position LinkAssistant as a leading product of their pack for years already. You could just take a look at their site to see taht LinkAssistant is the 4th (5th, actually) tool they ‘push’:
      1. SEO PowerSuite
      2. Rank Tracker
      3. SEO SpyGlass
      4. WebSite Auditor
      5. LinkAssistant (5th!)

      Nevertheless I use LinkAssistant for tracking my paid links (yes, I do pay for links, and none of those Google updates did any harm to my sites LOL), and LinkAssistant is really good at this kind of tasks (well, I don’t actually believe you can name a better tool)

      Besides I know some friends of mine who keep using three-way linking and get just great SEO results (don’t know if they use LinKAssistant for that, but I’ll ask them :))

    • Aleh Barysevich

      Adam, thank you for your comment. You’re absolutely right – LinkAssistant is a link exchange tool and that’s not what many of us would do. It used to be the flagship product a few years ago but times change and right now it’s just one part of SEO PowerSuite. Rank Tracker, SEO SpyGlass and WebSite Auditor really hit the point I guess and we’re working at these three most of the time.

      But as many people still want to have LinkAssistant, it’s still there in the bundle. With LA, much depends on how people use it, and how mature their sites are. Basically, exchanging links with another site isn’t necessarily a link scheme, and for young sites it may still be one of the very few ways to get links. Further on, many users we know are using LinkAssistant just like ourselves – to verify existing links, check banner/text ads placements, keep track of reviews and other pages we find with links to us, find potential partners… smth Ontolo-style 😉 I see that many SEOs don’t perceive LinkAssistant literally and are finding its “hidden powers”, even though many of them had started with link exchange years ago!

      Automated requests – well, this is also for the lazy 🙂 LinkAssistant has a full-fledged email client where you can create personal email and contact important potential link partners one by one if you wish. I’d say our attitude to LinkAssistant is not “do link exchange”, but rather “if you wish to do link exchange, do it with LinkAssistant”.

      All that said, I still agree that if you’re not lazy and are ready to put in your time into natural link building, LinkAssistant should not be used for link exchange. Verification, tracking, partner search are its stronger points.

  • Matt Smith

    hope so that this penguin update also does not make any effect in seo, Anyway AWESOME infographics.

  • David

    Recently two updates of Google panda and Penguin have been affected to more website SERPs low and banned and I think it was never happen before it. I would like to suggest that avoid black hat link building techniques. I really like the post share with all of us and thanks in advance.

  • Garavi Gujarat

    Nice Info-graphic, some of the SEO’s doesn’t know about above five updates except Panda and Penguin updates from Google, it’s good for that people to know all updates from Google. SEO WILL NEVER END.

  • John Shaffer

    I never knew about the updates Google made long ago in 2003 and 2005. I would really like to see the result of Penguin update.

  • Eastern Eye

    Nice infographic and very well observed, adam,

  • Ken Dardis

    The most important changes in SEO comes not from rule changes, but in the filtering of returns – as is demonstrated in this video:

    Go here, if player is not visible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOE1HFEL8XA&feature=youtu.be

  • Brook

    Wow, really good article. I think you can safely say, if you follow Google quality guidelines then are are immune to any updates.


    Its a wonderful infographic regarding SEO disasters and its so heartenig when you mention that we never know the result of Penguin update so stop worrying about it. Cheers!!

  • Alexander Brodie

    Great infographic SEJ, and you are absolutely correct; follow Googles guidelines and avoid the black hat methods and your website will be fine after each update, if not, better!