Penguin 2.0 Google Update

Google’s latest offsite (link building) algorithm update, dubbed ‘Penguin 2.0,’ was released Thursday, 5/23/2013. If you have noticed any wild swings in traffic, and or your search engine rankings on Google, you may have been impacted.

This post is more to start a conversation than to be a definitive source of information about Penguin 2.0.

Most large, well-known brand sites are doing just fine, as usual. Some not-so great, spammy sites continue to rank well, unfortunately. These sites have a few things in common including:

  • They participate and host forums and include a link to the forum in the footer of their sites. The forums hosted are often labeled something like “Powered by XYZ.” This is further evidence that Google continues to favor sites that foster active conversations about their subject matter. By hosting a forum, the site positions itself as an authority on their topics.
  • Exact match anchor text is back in play. Exact match anchor text means that a link from one site to another is linked by a keyword phrase vs. the company name or the words ‘click here.’ Sites that have exact match anchor text links over 37% are ranking well.
  • Sites that have no site wide links are ranking well. The exception to this rule is the previously mentioned forum links in the footer.
  • Sites that link to two competing sites vs. one are ranking well. For instance, if a site A is a news site that links to two sources of information to illustrate a point, site B and C, it will rank better than if it just links to site B as a source. Varying the link text slightly by using a plural version of a word to differentiate is better.
  • Sites that have a limited number of inbound links from reputable websites are ranking well. For example, websites with links from very well-known sites like or continue to rank well. Links from wikipedia seem to act as a safety measure to limit the severity of a Penguin 2 penalty.
  • There seems to be some cross over with sites that were previously impacted by Panda. For example Hubpages seems to have made a big gain back where as Tumblr got destroyed (or that could just be because Yahoo bought them).

Stay Tuned for Comparisons of Websites that were Negatively Impacted by Penguin vs Websites that were Positively Impacted

We will have more data to share as time goes by and the sample size of our data grows. Use our FREE Google Penalty Checker if you think you’ve been hit with a penalty.

Discuss your questions, comments and findings below.

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