crobb305 - 1:21 pm on May 18, 2012 (gmt 0)
Ok, so what does this all mean?
That Penguin is more of an exact match filter (as opposed to Panda which is supposed to be more domain wide)?
Also, another example of Penguin (I am pretty sure) at work is when my target page dropped out of the SERPs and was replaced by my home page.
That dropped page is NOT back in the SERPs when using ANY of the -keyword / -domain/tld techniques mentioned above. (although it does rearrange the listings of the SERPs for the other sites that are in there).
I am wondering if it can help us see if a site is penalized (with a possible penalty expiration at some unknown date in the future) vs. deindexed or has complete backlink devaluation (will not appear even with -example.com, assuming example.com doesn't exist on the site) vs. partial backlink devaluation and temporary penalty (-example.com brings the page back up, but not exactly where it was). In my case, the operator brings my site back to position 4 or 5, but not #1 where it used to be. In this case, I think it tells me that some of my backlinks have been devalued, and when/if my penalty is lifted, I won't rank as well as before. This is just a theory. Many here report they are still #1 with the operator...maybe those pages have been dinged for lighter forms of spam or fewer unnatural links (very sensitive filtering process).
I feel that if backlinks were truly devalued, as some have speculated, then those links would no longer have any impact on ranking, even if some gibberish were appended to the query string. To me, that's the takeaway. We may glean some insight into the fraction of backlinks that may have been permanently devalued. Or, maybe a page is filtered/penalized for a reason unrelated to backlinks.