The best way I can describe the Google Penguin update is chaos. Having almost 50 of my own websites to look at traffic data, analytics, and ranking reports for has provided me with some interesting insight into how I think the update worked. Each one of my sites was not effected in the same way and I think that is what is upsetting many webmasters. Google said it was trying to remove more spam, but some quality sites got hurt and other clearly spammy sites gained top rankings.
Overall trends I saw on my sites, there is some overlap from groups
Large Sites - Most of my larger sites (10+ articles) held up well. One was hurt, but it was a site I purchased and had questionable content. The long tail results on large sites remained the same or improved. These large site for the most part have good content and also a few high quality links.
Small Sites- These were all over the place with no real pattern, some rankings went up on sites that I had not touched and other sites that had held rankings for a while were dropped off the front page. Sites that had no clicks for months are suddenly showing up in adsense earnings.
Old Sites - My older sites held their ground much better than my brand new sites. Since I have not been online that long an old site for me is anything around a year old, but I think this shows how google is favoring sites that have at least been established and shown some consistency and quality.
Exact Match Rankings - These were the rankings that I think were hurt the most. Some of my smaller sites ranking for their exact match term.
Long Tail Rankings - My long tail rankings held up quite well even on sites where the exact match term lost position.
Overall I think that this update created a great amount of opportunity for new and old sites to rank well. The update punished some sites that have held high rankings on tons of keywords around the web. My sites as a whole held up well and my earnings have increased slightly. Lately I have seen good news where some sites that I realized lost their rankings are recovering. In the next few days I will give some of my tips to help people rank better with google post penguin.
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