Google Shifts the Goalposts – Your Quick Guide to Penguin 2.1

What it its’ Purpose?

The Penguin updates are principally aimed at decreasing the ranking of websites which violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelinesby artificially increasing rankings by manipulating the number of links pointing to the page.

Or in other words…

They are penalising websites that have predominantly irrelevant back links pointing to their website.

So links are bad now?

No, providing they are relevant to what you do and earned from trusted sources.

Nowadays there are about 200 ingredients that make up how Google determine search results. Relevant back links from trusted sources remain an important ingredient, but there are other factors that we pay attention too as well like your “on-page” coding and social media activity.

How Do Google Police These Penalties?

The actual algorithm used by Google is like a secret family recipe which they guard very closely.

However we do know that Google check websites’ link profile and determine the relevancy of the links pointing to your site, and whether the “anchor” text (the phrase the hyperlink is on) is varied.

How Can I Tell If I’ve been Affected?

It’s important to start this bit by saying categorically that the vast majority of our customers will be unaffected by this release.

Google rankings have a habit of fluctuating after a new release of this kind – a bit like a plane going through some turbulence. But if your traffic volumes and positions remain reasonably consistent over the next few weeks then there’s no reason for concern.

However, if you are seeing a sudden downturn in your traffic or Google rankings over the past week then it’s possible your website has been affected.

In some cases you may receive notification from Google directly if some form of manual penalty has been applied to your website.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Affected?

We can help diagnose any problems and resolve them with our SEO Recovery and back link removal services. To find out more about this specialist service email us at or discuss directly with your Account Manager.

If you want to find out more from an independent source we recommend checking out this article on Search Engine Land.