Penguin 2.0 rolled out at the end of May 2013. We know because Google’s anti-spam head Matt Cutts told us. All marketers should be aware of Penguin because it is one of the most important algorithm changes that Google ever released. The Penguin filter changed the way search engine optimisation works, because it suddenly turned popular, legitimate link building into negative SEO.
The Penguin 2.0 release was actually, Matt Cutts explained, the 4th release of Penguin, but they called it 2.0 because it was the first one since the launch to include major changes in the way it works.
A quick explanation of Google Penguin
The Wikipedia definition for Penguin says this: “Google Penguin is a code name for a Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012. The update is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using now declared black-hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, participating in link schemes, deliberate creation of duplicate content, and others.”
Before Penguin came other changes to the way Google works – the largest being Panda. The difference between Panda and Penguin are quite simple:
- Google Panda was designed to target poor quality
- Google Penguin was designed to target spammy page rank sculpting
Many websites lost rank in April 2012 when the first Penguin filter was launched – those with home pages full of irrelevant and apparently paid-for links were particularly affected.
What’s the difference between Penguin 2.o and Penguin 1.0?
Penguin 1.0 did not go deep into a website. It judged a site very much on the content of the home page and the relationship of that home page to other websites. If your home page linked out to irrelevant sites, or had lots of links pointing in from suspect sources, Penguin may have penalised you.
Penguin 2.0 goes deeper into the site, looking at more pages.
To understand how to diagnose a Penguin penalty and what to do about it, you have to look through your Analytics data and identify anysudden losses.
Here is a round-up of useful articles that are worth reading about Penguin 2.0
- Penguin 2.0/4 – were you jarred and/or jolted? – Moz.com by Dr Peter J Meyers
- Penguin 2.0 losers – porn sites, game sites and big brands – Searchengineland.com by Matt McGee
- Penguin 2.0 – your road map to recovery – Search Engine Journal by Jayson DeMers
- The true value of link building in the post-Penguin era – by Kaiser the Sage