Penguin 2.0, also known as version #4, rolled out on May 22, 2013. The filter was created to fight against webspam and other black hat techniques that aim to manipulate the rankings. While a lot of webmasters anticipated a significant shakeup in the SERPs for this particular update, it did not have the same magnitude as when the first filter rolled out.
Unlike previous Penguin updates which were only data refreshes, Penguin 2.0 improved on the algorithm itself. The filter focuses on detecting websites that attempt to game the system and get high ranks in the SERPs even if their content doesn’t provide value to users.
Google has placed this measure to spot tactics such as keyword stuffing, hidden content, and link schemes so that it can continue to give searchers the information they need to solve their query. Along with Panda, which focuses on content, Penguin ensures that the search engine promotes high-quality websites by cracking down on the ones that use webspam techniques to deceive users.
In an announcement by Matt Cutts on his blog, Google’s head of webspam reported that approximately 2.3 percent of English searches felt the impact of Penguin 2.0. This figure is relatively noticeable by regular users. The update was more comprehensive than the first version and was expected to have more considerable influence overall.
Several porn and game websites such as extremetube.com and 2dplay.com were found to have lost search visibility for some major keywords. Major brands like the Salvation Army and CheapOair were also part of the Penguin 2.0 losers list.
The most probable reason why big companies were hit was they compromised on their sites’ SEO while others reportedly had lots of untrusted and thin links. On the other hand, top sub-domains after Penguin 2.0 rolled out were Wikipedia, YouTube, and Twitter.
The Penguin filter is a bit more straightforward to optimize for unlike Panda where it can be challenging to pinpoint what exact attributes make up for high-quality content. Essentially, you just need to do white hat SEO techniques to help boost your rankings or ensure that your site maintains its place in the SERPs through this algorithm.
Here are a few steps you can take for your Penguin SEO strategy: