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Breaking news - Penguin 2.0 Algorithm Update.

The author

Paul Martin

Director of SEO (Australia)

Last night saw the global release of Google’s much anticipated Penguin 2.0 algorithm update. This is the fourth iteration of Penguin, however Penguin 2.0 is different in that the algorithm had been redesigned specifically to take a much tougher approach on spammy, manipulative and low quality links.

The update, reportedly to be the largest of this kind to date, has impacted on around 2.3% of English-US search queries. In terms of the global impact of Penguin 2.0, Matt Cutts explained that the effects will be felt differently in different countries, and will also differ significantly by language.

The updated algorithm of Penguin 2.0 is far more rigorous that the previous iterations. It analyses more links within a site’s profile, as well as delving much deeper into the data. Matt Cutts was quoted as saying that it will “impact many more SEOs and webmasters than the first generation version”.


The imminence of the Penguin 2.0 update was first announced by Google back in March of this year. Here at Epiphany, our well established and on-going creative link acquisition approach meant that we had plenty of time for the preparation for its release to ensure that the potential risk posed our clients were absolutely minimised.

Since the update, have seen large widespread increases in organic visibility across many of our clients. This has come about by both their competitors having link profiles penalised and falling away, as well as what appears to have been a potential revaluation into the authority that external links are passing, both negatively and positively.

The sites that have been hit by this update have link profiles consisting of exact match anchor text, mass article/PR syndication, directory submissions, and automated linking schemes.

Abnormal linking behaviour is also a signal that has been taken into account by Penguin 2.0 as sites which exhibit unusual patterns in their link acquisition rate or have links originating from irrelevant/spammy sites will also have been hit.

If you have been negatively affected by Penguin 2.0, you need to address the causes immediately. A full link audit must take place, highlighting all links that are posing a risk and taking steps to get them removed. If, despite all reasonable effort, certain links can not be taken down then the Disavow Tool can be utilised to inform Google that you wish them to be ignored.

If you have been hit by the update and require help, or simply want to know more about Penguin and what it means for you, please do get in touch.