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Penguin 2.0 is upon us - May 22, 2013

     
12:52 am on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Matt has announced Penguin 2.0 (Penguin 4). Either way it is out there and affecting.

Is anyone noticing much movement in the serps? I personally haven't seen much flux but Mozcast seems to be feeling something.

[mattcutts.com...]

We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin webspam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.

This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh), we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally. For more information on what SEOs should expect in the coming months, see the video that we recently released.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 12:12 pm (utc) on May 23, 2013]
[edit reason] added quote [/edit]

2:58 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Panda is sitewide. Penguin is on a per page basis. According to Cutts, Penguin 1.0 was home page only. Penguin 2.0 goes deeper.


I think it's even deeper than that. My observations make it about per page->per keyword, i.e. a page will be penalized for certain keywords, not overall.
3:00 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My observations make it about per page->per keyword, i.e. a page will be penalized for certain keywords, not overall.


absolutely what I've seen as well.
3:15 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm monitor Google DC along with Google all day and do not have any reason to be happy at all. There is not any penalty but i see that my 4 major term (from 15) going down for 2-5 position.

If your terms are in top 5 and then you go to position 8 or 10 then it is big change.
I monitor DC all day and see Google dance for top 10. It is too early to say anything but first impression is not to optimistic.

[edited by: dolcevita at 3:35 pm (utc) on May 23, 2013]

3:20 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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No changes that I've seen so far, but got a call from a panicked ex client who dropped like a rock. I know for a fact he never did any link building (he's more a candidate for Panda than Penguin) but he does some weird internal linking stuff that might look off to Google.

Matt posted a link to submit spam that still appears, so knock yourselves out if you've a mind to. I don't report this stuff myself because spam is in the eye of the beholder, but I know others do.

[docs.google.com...]

(won't be clickable because it's https)
3:22 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing huge effects in my queries, but then none of mine are big money keyphrases, so I guess they attract less spam to begin with.

My Penguinized site, which had a partial recovery on May 9 (still can't line that up with any known update), is seeing a small boost from long tail phrases. At this point, however, it could just be that the index is shaking up and users are responding with longer tail phrases to find the results they want. Have to wait and see.

Another of my sites that has always ranked well and never been penalized is ranking 1-2 on some new phrases, though it's not making a huge change in traffic because, again, my keyphrases are not individually big money. This started yesterday.
3:41 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Still early in the day but it looks as if my traffic has shifted from a couple of categories to other categories. Resulting in a gain on one site, with a possible slight loss on the other. The only problem I see with the categories that were affected is the anchor text in the links is a little over-optimized - is that web spam? Google's been a little erratic over the past few months - so it's early days yet.
3:46 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If you've still got spam above you post penguin, MC has just tweeted a link where you can report it.

Penguin Spam Report
[t.co...]

If you see a spam site that is still ranking after the latest Penguin webspam algorithm, please tell us more about it.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:36 pm (utc) on May 23, 2013]
[edit reason] vetted shortened link, added Google title and quote [/edit]

3:53 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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^^^ By heck, where do I start?
4:01 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Finally looks the update rolled out to the spanish version as well, was really really awful, having many searchpages indexed on first pages from same site. Looks a lot better. However the big brands, the intenational are still on top, my and other locals on page 3, but were on about page 10 before, so its an improvement.

And in google.se, we always been a brand,
using 2 keywords we are still number one, and using only 1 keyword (city) we are on page 2, among with this weird page, same as with facebook:
Twitter / Search - #city

google really needs to look at this,
how can a hashtag be on page 2 for a city search?
4:17 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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^^^ By heck, where do I start?


Hey, you've got a spare 30 hours, right? ;)

Another possibly totally uninteresting observation: two of my sites that have never been penalized have had their rankings shifting around a little for the past week or so - nothing too alarming, just noticeable. Now they appear to be 100% back to normal. Combined with how my Penguinized domain saw recovery on the 9th, I'm wondering if everything I've been seeing was some kind of user testing for Penguin?
4:41 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So advertising using Facebook ads is now considered spammy? Is advertising using Adwords also considered spammy? Since when is advertising spam?


No but ADVERTISING LINKS require the rel="nofollow" attribute use because "advertising" isn't earned.
4:45 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am under the impression that Penguin was a site-wide authority devaluation. Maybe Matt Cutts' comment implies that it will only apply to sub-sections of a site instead.


That impression can still be quite accurate.

Your homepage generally connects to all important pages, and those, by proxy, tend to connect to the complete website... so what happened at the singular homepage doesn't just stay there... e.g. trickle-down.
4:48 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have an online store in Canada and did not see any change in my key words ranking, and perhaps it might be a bit better. (from position 20 to 11, to 15).
The only problem that I have is the visitors flow have dropped since 3, 4 weeks without any reasons.

Any one else have noticed a drop in visits to their online stores?
5:03 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing sporadic cases of the EXACT same url appearing twice in SERPS, for example once on page 3 and again on page 4. Is that a fluke or is anyone else seeing that?
5:23 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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No but ADVERTISING LINKS require the rel="nofollow" attribute use because "advertising" isn't earned.


No one is talking about ADVERTISING LINKS.
5:37 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So I just took the nofollow off all my links because clearly that didn't make a difference. So wev. I guess I'll just never know.

Interestingly, I've had two industry links directories approach me within the last six months about including my website pages and I saw last week that one has settled in at 7th place on page 1 of the serps for the main keyword phrase I lost, and was unaffected by Penguin 2.0. I'll take my traffic however I can get it.

[edited by: purplekitty at 5:41 pm (utc) on May 23, 2013]

5:39 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Umbra, I am seeing that too.
5:46 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Do you guys think that the anchor texts of navigation links from the home page are being looked at?

@submitx,

one thing I know is that 4 of his major keywords that lost rankings were over optimized with too many exact anchor text links.

Is the home page the page ranking for these keywords?
6:34 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My section of the SERPs for specialised construction products seems to be settling down now.

Quite a few scraper/spammy sites have disappeared for the moment, my better sites and several other quality sites have done ok with most having risen nicely. The lesser quality sites, including some of my older ones, have been pushed down, some by as much as 20 places. I know what needs doing to them to bring them up-to-date but may remove them altogether since far superior information and images are now available on my better sites.

Sometimes I'm seeing as many as 8 images as the first two lines of results from generic and branded stores not only on the first page but also on the second page. Generic forum boards also seem to have done well and also crowd image sourcing on a specifically annoying site that Google seems to have fallen in love with. As usual Chinese directory sites are everywhere, they're not useless for trade buyers however they are for Joe Public.

For the first time ever I'm seeing people/companies using LinkedIn mentioning their widget names ... Visiting their LinkedIn pages is like a mini brochure site, hmmm, is that what it was meant for? Only asking ...
7:37 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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This is the first major Google update I can remember where, so far at least, I haven't seen any significant traffic change - good or bad - to any of my sites.
8:02 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Well, I've just re-learnt lesson number one in life all over again, never jump to conclusions without investigating back to source first.

All my sites seem unaffected by Penguin 2.0 except one which dropped 75% of its page views yesterday. I put it down to the new penguin update. It wasn't too important a site at the moment, just for the future so I took it no further action.

Today I just checked and surprise surprise, not a single page view.

Then I remembered, three days ago I changed my hosting package and at the time was assured it would have no effect. Now when I look, the site is totally down. The package change obviously did have an effect, it made the site disappear totally.

Never jump to conclusions, always judge the situation on the facts not your perception of them. Perception most definitely is not everything.
8:54 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I noticed a change on the main key word that effects my main account website. The page which for many years was #1 for the key words has drop to page two on Google. It still does extremely well as of today on other search engines.

This page helps define for customers what type of the product. So there is some redundant aspects to terms on the page. The main key word phase is often used for 3-5 types of the product. I think over time Google sees it in conflict of redundant to one my type or design of the products.

My main website products all can be called the same thing based on where in the world you may live. The terms even have cross over here in North America. For years the page was the bench mark for my competitors to steal or use terms and explanations off that page.

I am puzzled what to do, I need or want to be on the first page for the main keyword phase. I had been #1 for 10+ years going back to late 90s. I have tweaked it and over the years it has held up well till the last two years. The latest update has not fair well for me and this page.

I am kind of lost at this point want to do. The last time I tried to eliminate it from Google I got a warning in in Webmaster Tools I was trying to eliminate a important page. *scratching my already balding head.
8:59 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am with Jane_Doe so far I see no real changes in traffic either way. I have looked at some other areas I was involved in for a good time and see major changes in rankings. I will wait till the dust settles before making any conclusions.

nomis5 another lesson is always check everything after anything just to see it with your own eyes. In other words don't believe anything until you test it yourself. Learned that one a long time ago.
9:23 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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From my end and from the forum posts I've read...this is a pretty tame update and not much changed.

Cutt implied something far different earlier, so I wonder if this project got scaled back.

Certainly no bump from all the forum posts I've read for link scrubbers/disavowers from Penguin 1.x. While multiple sites I know of who blatantly link build aren't scathed at all. In fact on other SEO forums, a lot of people are bragging how all their various link building techniques didn't get touched at all and they rank as well as ever.

I suspect google got behind on the project and rolled it out earlier than they wanted to meet an artificial deadline. Maybe they tested more severe versions of Penguin 2.0 and deemed it caused too much friendly fire.
9:58 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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According to Matt, this update activated a new internal engine for Penguin. That's why they called it Penguin 2.0 - not because it's only the second update, which it clearly isn't. My best guess is that this new code is designed to allow future real time integration, just as they did with Panda.

Yes, there clearly are some ranking changes, too. I've seen some big data sets in an initial analysis that indicate drops as high as 50% of keywords lost for some of the more visible sites.

[edited by: tedster at 10:35 pm (utc) on May 23, 2013]

10:15 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmmm......
10:32 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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From what i have seen (Uk Based) there has been an update which my site dropped many keywords only to partially recover some 8 hours later, but for me some of my keywords are over optimised and thus i think is the focal point of this update.

Home page hit hard, inner pages actually it was the reverse with 90% of my pages taking big jumps up the rankings so not all bad.

This is the first update where i have been hit and kind of know where the problem lies as all the big keywords have dropped some by 100 places but hey its clearly evident when you delve deeper into the site and look at the anchor text ratios, and see

blue widgets
cheap blue widgets
low cost blue widgets
free blue widgets

all its seeing is blue widgets ignoring the longer tail version and kind of focusing on too many blue widgets which is not really new but looks like they upped the filter tipping point a little.
10:35 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@tedster is there any info on how often this new penguin internal engine will update?
11:51 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I've seen some big data sets in an initial analysis that indicate drops as high as 50% of keywords lost for some of the more visible sites.

From what I'm seeing overall traffic drop can be that high, yet some URL's are hardly touched. Pages that are sometimes hit hardest are not even linked to externally, whereas others with the same scenarios are.

Is there a pattern evolving of Penguin hitting more major traffic keywords associated with exact match anchor text hardest?

I'm wondering if a URL attracting heavy exact match anchor text can by association affect another URL on the same site with similar on page keywords, yet not linked e.g.

- Red Widgets Wide [ URL heavily linked to with IBL exact match anchor text and commercial keywords - is affected ]
- Red Widgets Narrow [ is affected by association with the first 2 keywords of the former URL ]

Does anyone see this scenario / theory playing out?

At this stage things do look randomised and I'm wondering how far this update has to go before it settles.

[We're 24 hours into this, yet a lot of churn was going on in the 5-6 days leading up to the update release].

For those that are downplaying the disruption, the feedback I'm getting from a range of well established sites, sometimes brands, mostly all sites [ from a large sample ] have been affected. It would be good to have some back up on this observation from those either managing a lot of sites or close to folks that are willing to share. As always we need a lot of good inputs to get on top of these updates.
12:47 am on May 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Should I be reporting the spammy Google+ community that is ranking first page above other decade old, well-respected communities I wonder?
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