Penguin 2.0: Before, After and Beyond – How to Recover!

“We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice.” Matt Cutts via his blog.

The moment all marketers eagerly awaited finally arrived. Penguin 2.0 promised to penalize sites that ranked using black hat SEO techniques. Matt Cutts promised that Penguin 2.0 would help small business owners rank better vs. their competitors who used black hat SEO techniques.

Some of the promises which were made before Penguin Update:

  1. Penalizing sites using black hat techniques.
  2. Devaluing link spammers upstream.
  3. Helping small business owners’ sites.

Let us ask Matt Cutts what he has to say about the latest penguin 2.0 update…

1. Mr. Cutts, we need a stronger, more effective Penguin. What you think?

Matt says he can make the impact of the present algorithm stronger, but he doesn’t want to do all at once. This will be carried out as a rolling update which will give marketers/webmasters the ability to clean up their backlink profile.

2. Mr. Cutts why don’t you add ‘’Devaluing Link Spammers Upstream” in Penguin 2.0?

“We’re also looking at some ways to go upstream to deny the value to link spammers-some people who spam links in various ways. We’ve got some nice ideas on trying to make sure that that becomes less effective and so we expect that that will roll out over the next few months as well,” said Matt Cutts.

But unfortunately this was not included in the recent Penguin 2.0 update. Even though Matt Cutts declared this officially in his blog.

Google Web Spam team head Matt Cutts mentioned in his blog that soon more changes will be rolled out for finding link spammers.

3. What else do you have in store for us? Will building authority help?

Matt Cutts says new changes will be rolled out by summer. Sites who have 70% of their anchor text as “money keywords” and/or most hacked or paid paid links will likely be hit.

List of few sites which are affected from Penguin 2.0

What to do now?

Understand and Analyze Your Link Profile

Analyze the links pointing to your site. Categorize the links as per the authority page/links. Some of the factors which may lead to penalization are as follow:

  • Heavy usage of exact match anchor text and if the percentage of money keywords is high, then there is high chance for penalty.
  • Sites linking to you may be having links from bad neighbourhoods. Analyze backlinks of such sites linking to you, because links from bad neighbourhoods will lower the link equity. Use disavow tool to remove such low and spam links from your profile.
  • Link relevancy plays an important role in gaining quality for a website. Links from industry which are not related with your business will ultimately lead to trouble.
  • Rate of gaining links is also addressed by Google. When a newer website suddenly gains numerous links overnight this will be flagged by Google and the chances of manual penalty in such case is very high.
  • Paid text links using exact match anchor text. Be careful when you are running paid advertorials. A recent video from Matt Cutts on paid advertorials.

What to expect?

If you were hit, clean your backlink profile, and suspend all spam methods of building links. If you’re working with someone, hold them accountable or seek another vendor. Building high quality inbound links is only way moving forward. This will be a good strategy for long-term brand building.

We can expect many more changes from Google within few months, some of them may be:

  • Google may roll out new changes which will penalize all sites that have high anchor text links. This was confirmed by Cutts in his blog.
  • Paid Advertorial with exact match anchor text and which pass pagerank value will be penalized; no-follow links must included when doing paid advertorials.
  • Google will screen guest bloggers and link spammers.

Finally from Matt Cutts

The coming changes will be quite good for people doing ethical SEO. The ultimate goal of Google is to rank sites which users love. Hopefully these are sites that follow Google quality guidelines. Tell me what you think about the future of Penguin!

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Written By Christy

I have over three years of Internet Marketing experience. I prefer to focus on Analytics, CRO, SMM, Local SEO and Link Earning. Search has become more localized and personalized over time and this is exciting to me. Companies who are able to capitalize on these changes will eventually emerge on top.

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6 thoughts on “Penguin 2.0: Before, After and Beyond – How to Recover!
  1. avatarChristy Kunjumon

    Hi Larry,

    we need to keep the backlink profile clean. Priority must be given for quality and not for quantity. Thanks!


  2. avatarSarahRTW

    This update to penguin sounds like a step in the correct direction. It may seem like baby steps, or like they are not doing enough to penalize black-hat SEO techniques, but I think it shows recognition but those using traditional white hat techniques, and small businesses who can’t always afford hire big SEO firms, should be given greater benefits and recognition for their ethical practices..



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