What is the Google Penguin Update and What Should I Learn?

Welcome to yet another Google algorithm update, Penguin. We’ll take a look at some of the factors we’ve noticed that have taken an overall positive affect on ours and our client’s websites. Many of the changes in the algorithm have benefited our websites, we’re now ranking higher for many of our important keywords! However, this isn’t the case across the board, we’ve seen hits for a couple of the sites we follow (monitor). We’ll discuss what happened and what you can do to make sure your keywords are ranking high.

The data we are using to gauge changes is derived from websites we manage SEO campaigns for in addition to competitor’s websites we monitor and other websites we monitor within our automated ranking tools.

Google's Penguin Update


What Was Penalized?

Websites with little to NO links coming from websites in the same niche.

It’s okay and beneficial to have links coming from sites that are not relevant to your message but this update has taught us: this cannot be your only strategy. It’s now very important to focus on getting links from niche websites within the same niche as your landing page. Websites with links from random blogs and pages outside the niche with anchor text for multiple and unrelated keywords were hit hard and rankings tanked!

What to Do?

Work on getting more links from other websites that are in the same niche. Avoid focused garbage links.


Websites with a “Specific Keyword” as its anchor text for more than 60% of its inbound links.

Having over 60% of your anchor text linking back to your site as one keyword in which you are trying to rank created a drop in rank.

What to Do?

Keep your backlinks more random and natural. Never exceed over 50% of your backlinks to one “specific keyword”.


Overall: What to Do?

Avoid unnatural link over optimization.  Focus on building niche websites and create useful content that people want to read. Build a network of useful websites that gain authority and allow you to focus link building strategies with creative and useful content. Worry a little less about exact match anchor text and focus more on quality, authority, and relevancy. To recap: anchor text diversification.

I’m betting there was more to the update than this, this is what stood out to me. Please add your thoughts to the comments and let us know what else you think changed with Google’s Penguin update.


2 Comments on “What is the Google Penguin Update and What Should I Learn?

  1. Vin

    Great overview on the Penguin update. I totally agree that it’s all about anchor text diversification. My current goal for anchor text is to have 25% exact match, 25% phrase match, 25% unrelated, and 25% unanchored links to all of my sites. In addition, I want to tone down the spun content I’m using to build links. It’s going to be a pain to add that much more unique content to tier 1 links, but I’m sure it will be worth it in the long term. 


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