fathom - 7:28 pm on May 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
Fair enough - you discount my anecdotal evidence by presenting your own anecdotal evidence. People tend to learn from their experience. But if they want to hold their personal experiences up to scrutiny, they go deeper and get involved in some data collection and research. That's what I did. I'm a developer, and so I asked other developers. Ones I knew personally (and trusted), and ones I didn't know via forums. We all noticed commonalities between many sites that got Penguin demotions - i.e. sites that didn't engage in off-page SEO getting penalised. Very perplexing and disturbing. Clearly there's more to Penguin than purely off-page signals. That's my experience. I guess your only recourse to disagreeing with me is to flat-out call me a liar, but that's what my research found, no matter how counterintuitive it is to you.
And then....when you look after Penguin updates in many of the niches that the affected sites were competing in, brands really took over (and even more so after Penguin 2.0).
I'm not calling anyone a liar.
Question to a developer: how does Google automatically program to favor only brands so that whatever a non-brand is can't get in on it?
Surely they don't do that manually.
They suggest (not me) it is primarily link oriented.