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Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam team at Google announced another Penguin update, dubbed as Penguin 2.1 which is likely to affect around 1% of searches.


matt cutts



This post aims to provide a brief history of Penguin updates along with the few details of what this filter is all about


Google Penguin Update









(1)    First Penguin Update – 24th April, 2012 – Affected 3.1% English queries, 3 % German, Chinese and Arabic queries, 5% Polish queries

(2)    Second Penguin Update – 26th May, 2012 – Dubbed as Penguin 1.1, Minor Data refresh which affected 0.1% of queries

(3)    Third Penguin Update – 05th October, 2012, Dubbed as Penguin 1.2, Data refresh, which affected 0.3% English queries, 0.4% Spanish, 0.3% Italian, 0.4% French queries

(4)    Fourth Penguin Update – 22nd May, 2013, Dubbed as Penguin 2.0, major filter update, affected 2.3% queries

(5)    Fifth Penguin Update – 04th October, 2013, dubbed as Penguin 2.1, filter update, affecting around 1% searches

Google celebrated its 15th birthday this year on 27th September, and in last 15 years it has defined, engineered, pioneered and dominated Search. And this has only been possible because Google has continuously evolved its technology to offer best User experience and keep webspam at minimum if not completely away.

These Penguin updates have been added to the algorithm to keep SERPs free of webspam. In his post on 24th April, 2012 Matt Cutts mentioned, “The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.” He further adds an example of site using keyword stuffing and another site having unusual link patterns.

At Eigemy, we have analysed 1000s of websites and their link profiles, and the following are the few key things that should be kept in mind while analysing your link profile


(1) Anchor Text Diversity is the key. Different people can link to your content differently


(2) Avoid article and free directory submission sites. These sites are very thin on relevant content


(3) Guest posts on irrelevant sites. Content is king when relevancy is the queen


(4) Links coming from a network can be easily detected by looking at IPs or C class subnets


(5) Sitewide links on sites which are not relevant or links which have no user interaction



I can add 100s of things to the list but that won’t do any good. The rule of Thumb is SEO is a marketing channel, and make sure SEO is built in your website’s DNA, and is an integral part of your marketing strategy. It’s not something that you can do on the fly, it’s not Search Engine Optimisation only, it’s a culture and it is Systematic Execution of Operations (that is all operations in and around your organisation’s marketing and User Experience). This post will be followed by a detailed post on this new definition of SEO. So stay tuned!!

Post Author: Sotiris Spyrou

Co Founder - Director at Eigemy / Veteran SEO and Marketing Consultant.