Google is the most influential website online. In 2013 Google services crashing resulted in a 40% drop of total internet traffic (http://www.cnet.com/news/google-goes-down-for-5-minutes-internet-traffic-drops-40/).
Because of Penguin’s impact on Google’s search results, the algorithm is incredibly controversial. Although Google maintains that Penguin has improved search results, many webmasters/SEOs feel there is simply too much collateral damage to innocent sites. Entire businesses have been unfairly maligned.
Whether or not Google punishes sites unfairly is a source of contentious debate. What frustrates SEOs even more is the fact that Google has only updated/refreshed Penguin sparingly since the original implementation. Sites that are demoted in the SERPs thanks to Penguin can only gain their rankings back if Penguin is either refreshed or updated.
This has led many to ask if Google has a moral responsibility to update Penguin on a far more regular basis. Indeed, many question if Penguin is the best way to war against spam in the first place, considering its often punitive nature.
Penguin has also led to a rise in negative SEO. Negative SEO is the practice of deliberately building hundreds or even thousands of spammy/irrelevant links to your competitor's website, with the hopes of triggering the Penguin algorithm and thereby decreasing their performance in search. Although negative SEO existed before Penguin, Google inadvertently made it more powerful and lucrative.
Despite the presence of negative SEO, Google has done little to mitigate the problem outside of introducing the disavow tool. Yet even with the disavow tool, the burden of proof and work is on the victim of the negative SEO attack.
Does Google have a responsibility to do more to prevent negative SEO? Should they be responsible to the entire Internet? Do they have an obligation to websites formerly featured in their SERPs?
All of these articles detail in some way the ethical dilemma Penguin has spawned.
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