Google Penguin is About Inbound Links Now STFU!

Over the past week SEO’s and webmasters have been going crazy about the Google Penguin Update. There is lots of misinformation out there and some bloggers are making it worse. Let me touch base on the Penguin Algorithm and hopefully clarify a few things.

1) Penguin is not about your poorly written content that was called Panda, which started in March of 2011.

2) Penguin is not about de-optimizing your on-page elements. What do you think you did to over-optimize it? Keyword density? Hidden Links? Hello, Google didn’t need Penguin for this; they already had filters for this in their algorithm.

3) Penguin is not about diversifying your anchor text. Again, this is something that Google has had in their arsenal forever. OK, maybe not forever but for the past few years it’s been in their algorithm. Get too many of a specific anchor in relation to your other anchors and you will find yourself with a –30 penalty. Google wouldn’t need an algorithm for this they would simply tweak the dial.

4) Penguin is not about scaling back your internal link anchor text. If anything this may have been addressed with Panda but this was devalued half a decade ago.

5) Penguin is not about exact match domains. I can show you plenty of exact match domains that are dominating their search results. The only ones that did disappear are ones with poor link signals, which I will get into in a minute.

6) Penguin is not about social, at least not entirely. I still see plenty of evidence of websites in some fairly competitive niches that rank #1 with zero social signal. On the other hand I said this algorithm is based on quality links and social can have an impact on where your links come from. How many blogs with zero subscribers link to you? If you don’t have links from trusted sources this could be a signal for Penguin.

So what is Penguin about? Google is targeting websites that get links from poor quality sources. Penguin specifically looks for manipulated articles and low quality blogs / websites. How does Google achieve this? They have several patents about this one patent called methods and systems for identifying manipulated articles as pointed out by Bill Slawski.

What makes a poor quality blog or website?

A) Blogs with spun content
B) Blogs with reused articles from an article directory
C) Blogs from dropped domains that usually have both A and B
D) Blogs that consistently have two or three links to the same website in every post.
E) Blogs that are written by humans but their English skills are poor and the sentences don’t make sense.

Keep in mind this is an algorithm, which are very mathematical. Don’t panic if you see someone that links to you from a poorly worded blog. Algorithms work on math, calculations and percentages. Chances are that you have to have a specific percent of these links before you trigger Penguin. I’m not going to speculate what percent that is but if you have 100 quality links then one or two shouldn’t tank your website.

If you want to recover from Penguin get rid of your links from these sources. It’s obvious these links were obtained for the sole purpose of ranking, Google just got better at determining this.

May 3, 2012 In: SEO Comments (10)


  • Jarvis GracianoLeave a Reply
    May 3, 2012

    Why in the heck do sites rank with few to no links then?

    • July 19, 2016

      An inlletigent answer – no BS – which makes a pleasant change

    • October 10, 2016

      May 1, 2010Congratulations Dean. We all know how important your work has been to the growth of technology and community here in the province! Well done fine Sir!

    • November 14, 2016

      Fantastisk!!! denne skal jeg dele på facern!! ))) jeg veier meg nok litt oftere enn du anbefaler men jeg er på et sted i livet hvor jeg ikke får panikk om jeg har gått opp litt. dessuten er jeg en smule gravid så her i huset er det bare å belage seg på snåle tall på vekten! ))

    • March 1, 2017

      hello!,I like your writing so much! proportion we be in contact more about your article on AOL? I need an expert on this house to unravel my problem. May be that is you! Taking a look ahead to look you.

  • May 3, 2012

    @Jarvis Graciano – It’s about the quality of the links and the authority of the domain.

  • May 3, 2012

    Looking at this latest update it looks like it went after sites that went after quantity instead of quality for their link building.

  • May 3, 2012

    @matt – It’s defiantly about quality. Like I mentioned up above quantity has something to do with it.

  • May 14, 2012

    say what you want , but if this were the case then all I have to do is fire up some cheap software that sennds millions of low quality links out to my competitors sites and get them banned

    Google’s too smart for something that simple

  • May 14, 2012


    It seems like this has been proven several times in the past month that negative seo works.


Leave a Reply