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Insider talk: more about Google’s new Penguin algorithm

In a podcast, Google’s Gary Illyes
revealed more information about Google’s latest Penguin algorithm
update. Here are the most important statements of Gary Illyes from that

insider information

Penguin is mainly (but not exclusively) about link spam

Although Google says that Penguin is a
web-spam algorithm, it focuses mostly on link spam. If your website was
penalized because of the Penguin algorithm, you have to focus on the

is] not just links. It looks at a bunch of different things related to
the source site. Links is just the most visible thing and the one that
we decided to talk most about because we already talked about about
links in general.

[Penguin] looks at different things on the source site, not on the
target site, and then makes decisions based on those special signals.”

The linking site is important

It’s not just the link that can cause
problems, it’s the website that
links to your site (the ‘source site’). If the majority of links to
your site come from empty profile pages, forum profile pages and
similar sites, Google’s new Penguin algorithm will discount those links.

example, like I was looking at the negative SEO case […] and
basically, the content owner played hundreds of links on empty profile
pages, forum profile pages. Those links with the new Penguin were

like if you looked at the page, it was pretty obvious that the links
were placed there for a very specific reason, and that’s to game the
ranking algorithms. But not just Google’s but any other ranking
algorithm that uses links.

you look at a page, you can make a pretty easy decision on whether to
disavow or remove that link or not. And that’s what Penguin is doing.
It’s looking at signals on the source page. Basically, what kind of
page it is, what could be the purpose of that link, and then make a
decision based on that whether to discount those things or not.”

The new Penguin algorithm ignores these links

The old Penguin algorithm penalized
websites that had a lot of these links. The new Penguin algorithm
simply ignores these links, i.e. they have no value at all (positive or

in general, unless people are overdoing [links from these sites], it’s
unlikely that they will actually feel any sort of effect by placing
those. But again, if they are overdoing it, then the manual actions
team might take a deeper look.”

Google labels your links

Google adds labels to links and a link
can have multiple labels. For
example, a label can classify a link (‘is footer link’) or add an
attribute (‘was disavowed’). These labels help Google to rank a web
page, and they can be used by Google’s manual action team to determine
if they should apply a manual penalty to a site.

[the manual action team sees] that most of the links are Penguin
real-time labeled, then they might actually take a deeper look and see
what the content owner is trying to do. […]

are tons of different kinds of links on the Internet. There are footer
links, for example. There are ‘penguinized’ links, and all of these
kinds of links have certain labels internally attached to them,
basically for our own information.

if the manual actions team is reviewing a site for whatever reason, and
they see that most of links are labeled as Penguin real-time affected,
then they might decide to take a much deeper look on the site.”

Do not use automatically created links
to get better rankings on Google or other search engines. Better use
white-hat SEO methods that lead to lasting results. If you haven’t done
it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

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