Recovering From A Google Penguin Penalty


Google Penguin – What is it?

A Google Penguin Algorithm was designed by Google to penalize sites that are spamming the search engine giant. These sites were usually those doing what has been tagged as “black hat techniques” such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, getting links through spam, and other techniques outside Google’s guidelines.

The algorithm was first rolled out on April 24, 2012 and more updates came out later. Google Penguin Updates: (From :

Penguin — April 24, 2012 – After weeks of speculation about an “Over-optimization penalty”, Google finally rolled out the “Webspam Update”, which was soon after dubbed “Penguin.” Penguin adjusted a number of spam factors, including keyword stuffing, and impacted an estimated 3.1% of English queries.

Penguin 1.1 (#2) — May 25, 2012 – Google rolled out its first targeted data update after the “Penguin” algorithm update. This confirmed that Penguin data was being processed outside of the main search index, much like Panda data.

Penguin #3 — October 5, 2012 – After suggesting the next Penguin update would be major, Google released a minor Penguin data update, impacting “0.3% of queries”. Penguin update numbering was rebooted, similar to Panda – this was the 3rd Penguin release.

Penguin 2.0 (#4) — May 22, 2013 – After months of speculation bordering on hype, the 4th Penguin update (dubbed “2.0” by Google) arrived with only moderate impact. The exact nature of the changes were unclear, but some evidence suggested that Penguin 2.0 was more finely targeted to the page level.

Penguin 2.1 (#5) — October 4, 2013 – After a 4-1/2 month gap, Google launched another Penguin update. Given the 2.1 designation, this was probably a data update (primarily) and not a major change to the Penguin algorithm. The overall impact seemed to be moderate, although some webmasters reported being hit hard.

Penguin 3.0 — October 17, 2014 – More than a year after the previous Penguin update (2.1), Google launched a Penguin refresh. This update appeared to be smaller than expected (<1% of US/English queries affected) and was probably data-only (not a new Penguin algorithm). The timing of the update was unclear, especially internationally, and Google claimed it was spread out over “weeks”.

After the first roll out of the Penguin Update, a lot of websites received link warnings and eventually received a penalty email from Google. Some were lucky, by just getting partial penalty but for many, they received a sitewide penalty which removed their entire site from Google’s search results. Many webmasters up until now have not recovered from such penalty after months of hardwork on links removal. Most of the time, the reason why the penalty still exist is that they are doing it wrong or doesnt want to remove links that they think are high quality.

One thing that a website owner should consider if they really wanted the penalty to be removed is to do a thorough review and removal of the links. There are a lot of list online that can be used as a guide for google penguin penalty initial assessment. You can also consider getting help from experts.

You can initially remove links that you think you can without reaching out to webmasters and just disavow those remaining ones.

After disavowing those links, you should also consider getting high quality links that are acceptable to Google. There are many strategies you can find online that you use. These links will help you recover and get back those precious rankings.

Vhic Hufana II

Vhic Hufana is ReBuildSEO's owner and founder, an SEO consulting firm. He is an SEO, web designer and coder.

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