In May 2013, Matt Cutts (Google’s head of webspam) announced that Google would be officially launching Penguin 2.0, an update to its 2012 algorithm dedicated to penalizing websites that attempt to manipulate search engines (via the use of spam, keyword stuffing, link farms and other frowned upon practices) to get better rankings. While Penguin 2.0 will carry on the tradition of its predecessor, it has reportedly tightened up the algorithm to be able to more effective target websites that:
- Duplicate content
- Use excessive inbound links from questionable websites
- Have low-quality content
- Have excessive, obtrusive advertising that gets in the way of relevant content.
According to Google, the goal of Penguin 2.0 is to downrank websites that do not provide a quality user experience while upranking sites that provide quality content users are seeking.
Tips for Aligning Websites with Penguin 2.0
To avoid having your website downranked, it’s important for web developers and others who maintain or manage websites to understand what they should be doing in order to have their site’s content align with Penguin 2.0. Here are some helpful tips to that end:
- Inbound and outbound links: Only have inbound links from or outbound links to reputable websites that will add value to your own website. Links related to sites that are not credible may end up hurting your own website’s search engine ranking. In general, a good rule of thumb is to try to have links to/from websites that rank on pages 1 to 4 in search engines (with the higher ranking pages being more quality links).
- Rate of adding links: How quickly a website start accumulating inbound/outbound links is also of concern to Penguin 2.0, as the algorithm generally targets websites that suddenly accumulate a massive amount of links as potentially problematic. The reason for this is that websites with good content will take time to organically grow their inbound/outbound links. Some studies have shown that the addition of 75 or more links in a single day is enough to target a site with a red flag.