Has Google actually penalised you? The answer is, almost always, 'Probably Not'

Has Google penalised my site?

Hot on the heels of Penguin 2.1 is the every frequent question from webmasters who have lost their rankings – “Has Google Penalised me?”. Almost always the answer is no, there is no penalty. I say almost – because if you have received a message in Google Webmaster Tools about unnatural links then it’s too late, you have been up to things which Google really doesn’t like and the wrist slapping has been done.

Google's Penguin has hit again - guilty or not, is there a way to recover?

Penguin v2.1 Recovery Options

Well Google has rolled out another update of it’s Penguin Algorithm aimed at websites who have been ranking high due to poor quality links from spammy type sites (link farms, content farms, etc.). My mailbox has been buzzing with people who have seen their traffic plummet since the weekend and as this algorithm is still rolling out there may be more to come.

Page load times still affect rankings but they are one of many, many factors.

Does my website load time affect my rankings?

There was a time when webmasters were obsessed with page load time. A sure held belief that if you could reduce the period from 2 seconds to 0.5 of a second it would be the path to better rankings. There was, and still is, some truth in it. Search engines like Google want to produce a set of search results that don’t disappoint the user and pages that take for ever to display can annoy.