Google Penguin 2.0 : The SEO practices and recommendations

October 2016

Since May 2012, Google rolled out a series of updates to its algorithm, in order to penalize websites making use of abusive SEO techniques (such as spamdexing). "Penguin 2.0", targerts especially netlinking automation processes used to improve the positioning of web pages on Google. Here below are the good SEO practices adhere to reduce the risk of penalties!

What is Google "Penguin"?

Penguin is the code name for a series of updates to the Google algorithm that seeks to penalize the ranking of websites using abusive SEO techniques to improve improper positioning of pages in the Goolge search results.

The Penguin has already known several updates (with two major updates):
  • Penguin 1, released April 24, 2012 (3.1% of queries impacted)
  • Penguin 2, released May 26, 2012 (0.1% of queries impacted)
  • Penguin 3, released October 5, 2012 (0.3% of queries impacted)
  • Penguin 4, released May 22, 2013 (2.1% of queries impacted)

Differences with the Panda algorithm:
  • The update of the Google algorithm codenamed as "Panda", deployed in 2011 seeks to penalize the ranking of low quality sites (content farms).
  • Google Penguin seeks to penalize websites using abusive netlinking techniques. This update focuses therefore on external SEO criteria (backlinks).

Penguin 4.0: The good practices

Choosing the backlink anchor text

Avoid the systematic use of the same anchor text for your backlinks: it is important to vary the queries associated with backlinks.
  • Pay attention to overoptimized SEO anchors that correspond to "exact queries" . They are abusively used to improve the ranking of a web page based frequently typed keyword. The proliferation of this type of anchor is a warning signal for Google.


  • Avoid buying links back through paid networks.
  • Avoid reciprocal links exchange
  • Avoid positioning backlinks from sites connected by nested links
  • Prevent the publication of backlinks from websites whose overall theme is not related to the target site (and sometimes off-topic)

You should also avoid:
  • links positioned in irrelevant or low quality content.
  • links shared from low quality bookmarking or directories.
  • Over optimized links.

Disallow backlinks

Google provides webmasters with a tool to disavow backlinks via the dashboard of the "Google: tool for webmasters" service.
  • This tool can be used to remove low quality backlinks.

Going further

  • According to information from Matt Cutts, head of Google's anti spam team, several future improvements will be made to Google's algorithm :
  • The advertorials (infomercials containing do-follow links) will tend to be penalized because tend to increase the Page Rank
  • The effectiveness of spam links will be reduced with the introduction of a new system for analyzing links
  • Google plans to set up a system for early detection of sites containing malware and a tool to assist webmasters to avoid penalties.

Related :

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