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How Google’s Penguin Update Got Its Name

April 26th, 2012
6 Comments


Danny Sullivan just announced that Google has officially named its recent webspam update “The Penguin Update”.  Danny provides some background on how Google names updates like “Panda” and some of the commenters speculate on how Google came up with “Penguin”.

My $0.02:  Googlers are geeks.  Geeks like comic books.

From the Wikipedia entry for Penguin (comics):

“The Penguin (Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot) is a DC Comics supervillain and one of Batman‘s oldest, most persistent enemies.”

Webspammers are search engine supervillains and one of Matt Cutt’s oldest, most persistent enemies

“The Penguin is a short, rotund man known for his love of birds and his specialized high-tech umbrellas.”

Webspammers are short, rotund men that use specialized high-tech tools to spam Google while hiding behind IP proxies that are kind of like SEO umbrellas.

“A mobster and thief, he fancies himself a “gentleman of crime”; his nightclub business provides a cover for more low-key criminal activity, which Batman tolerates as a source of criminal underworld information.”

Webspammers fancy themselves “gentlemen of SEO”; their seemingly legit exact-match domain sites provide a cover for more low-key linkspam and content spinning, which Matt Cutts tolerates as a source of criminal underworld information.”

QED

And yes I am procrastinating…


Tags: Google

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Adam K

    This is Adam Kaufman CEO and Founder of PinPointLocal.com. If you follow the timeline of our relationship with the World Wildlife Fund and our new program to adopt an endangered species every month, you’ll see a pattern emerge. Tongue in cheek we started adopting a panda as a reference to the “PANDA UPDATE” named after Navneet Panda. Who is the Penguin update named after? Can it be pure coincidence that the day we post about the arrival of our adopted penguin, the algorithm gets named? Follow our endangered species charity to see what update names might be next, in May we are adopting a Seahorse, don’t be suprised if you hear about the new “Seahorse Update” within the next few weeks! http://blog.pinpointlocal.com/?cat=30

  • 2 Andrew Shotland

    You might consider adopting a turkey next

  • 3 Tabita

    Heh – this is great. I’m glad I’m just reading this today. Perfect Friday reading. Perfect for our weekly Gnome Likes. Have a great weekend!

  • 4 Mike Logan

    Hi Andrew,

    Adopt a turkey next? It is Sunday morning, and that line has made my day. The Gobbler update. Wish I could type what a turkey sounds like, that would be a good name for the next update. Now, to resume a non-turkey personna, Panda was actually very helpful to my website until the Oct. 2011 update, which hit hard, and I have been working steadily to regain lost ground, with slow, steady success until last week, when I saw a surge, and then the last few days were almost as bad as last Oct. Sigh, back to the turkey burger.

  • 5 David L.

    Ha, very insightful. I’m not so sure about spammers fancying themselves “gentlemen” or “sophisticated,” though. Hard to think of yourself that way when you hang out in your mom’s basement!

  • 6 Andrew Shotland

    Depends how the basement is decorated of course…

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