Today we got tons of articles on the Penguin 2.0 update. Sorry, I meant to say, tons of disinformation, about the Penguin 2.0 update.

Here are some of the Penguin 2.0 myths:

  1. “Penguin 1 targets homepages, 2 goes “much deeper.”
  2. “Penguin 2 had a high impact on cleaning up the SERPS”
  3. “Penguin 2 spots unnatural link velocity trends and penalizes them”

And now I will debunk each one of them

1.    “Penguin 1 targets homepage, 2 goes “much deeper.”


Remember the Firefox Penalty where Google confirmed that only 1 page from the Firefox site was affected by the unnatural link warning? It was a deep page. Case closed.

Read more here and here.

2.    “Penguin 2 had a high impact on cleaning up the SERPS”


Looking at the SERP “weather” reports on various sources, here and here, I see nothing spectacular about the variations. Matt Cutts said Penguin 2.0 would affect 2.3% of the search queries. We can only believe that J.

Either way I always benchmark working black hat techniques by looking at some of the most spammed keywords.

Both are full of spam. Indication that Google has still a lot of work to do in terms of automatic unnatural link discovery.

Let’s be frank and open minded for a moment about all this stuff.

All these Penguin updates demonstrate that Links are still the Core of the Google Algorithm and there is still a big battle to fight between shady SEO’s and Google. If Google wants to model the real world by links among other signals it must be able to interpret the link, the page and the context of those, like a human does. Artificial Intelligence is still in its infancy and they still have a lot to upgrade on the system to be able to simulate real world events.

Penguin 2.0 is not the “BIG LINK UPDATE”, as many expected, it is just an incremental update in the long list of incremental updates that Google is doing in order to clean up the SERPS from shady SEO strategies.

3.    “Penguin 2 spots unnatural link velocity trends and penalizes them quickly”


Based on my own research and various other people voices Google seems to do updates in batches. What this means is that Google needs to be able to differentiate Virality from Unnatural High Speed Link Velocity. It can do it but it does not do it fast enough. Remember when Google updated their SERPS like once per month ( a few years back) ? I think this is similar in terms of updating the rating for a URL/DOMAIN. It is not done instantly but in a batch procedure that is run from time to time When Google runs the batch job and updates the rating of the URL/DOMAIN is could instantly change the SERP. This is a theory … not internal Google info ran into this J, but how things seem to be working it can be a functional method of how it is done today.

Here is the number 1 site (SPAM) on “payday loans” on the 24th of May (after the 22nd of May Penguin 2.0 update)

Link Velocity Trend

Ranking Trend

Brute force ranking still works and it works big time. Maybe sometime in the future we will get clean SERPS, but not with this update.

Overall nothing has changed in unnatural link detection from what I can see until now. A bit better in detecting unnatural links but this should have been expected.

General rules of thumb:

  • If your links are unnatural Google aims to penalize you.
  • If you clean up your links Google might forgive you (some people reported that with the Penguin 2.0 they see old site with cleaned up link profiles to get better rankings)

So what do you think about the Penguin 2.0 ? 

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