Today Google launched Penguin 2.0 – not just an update of Penguin but a whole new version. Matt Cutts says it goes deeper than Penguin 1.0 and will impact more webmasters. Rand Fishkin (on very early thoughts) says he thinks it is a lighter impact than Penguin 1.0.
Since the update is less than 24 hours old, it is kind of hard to tell what the impact has been over a broad number of sites, but site owners will definitely be able to see if it has impacted their own site or not.
What we know for certain is that it aims, like Penguin 1.0, to fight web spam, with a focus on websites with dodgy backlink profiles. (Whereas Panda was about fighting crappy content).
If it was like Penguin 1.0, then there will probably be two main prongs of attack (of which the outcomes look very similar):
1. A Devaluation of crappy links which will result in a drop in your rankings
2. A penalisation from crappy links which will result in a drop in your rankings.
The other way that Penguin 1.0 and 2.0 might be related is that perhaps the dodgy links that SEOs fed to Google after Penguin 1.0, through the Disavow Tool, might now be the fuel for Penguin 2.0.
Without seeing the impacts of 2.0 yet, you can guess what the Penguin 2.0 advice is going to look like:
- Link diversification – diversified in relation to linking domains, link types and link anchor text.
- Avoiding anything promising VOLUMES of links, like link networks, blog comment spam, or article spinning . This kind of volume would be easily detected by Penguin Robot – I mean look at him, he will hunt those things down like a sea lion on his non-robot brother!
- Speed of links – Google have likely become expert at spotting spikes in linking efforts, which look unnatural, and may indicate spam.
- Authority – there has been a bit of talk about promoting authority sites, which is kind of related to Panda, and that old cliche “Content is King”. Authority is about quality, but it could also be about…
- …Social. There’s not a lot of evidence here, but social signals are another good way of indicating authority, and that’s why more and more SEO’s are getting involved on the social side of things.
Of course, there is no hard out evidence for a lot of this, but we’re pretty sure that these tips will “First do no harm”,…and then help keep you out of the way of that crazed Robot Penguin.