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What Penguin 2.0 Means for Your SEO

By Erin Sparks
September 11, 2013

The effect Penguin 2.0 on website rankings and search engine queries has been dramatic. When it was recently implemented, website owners across the board saw their rankings plummet and had to scramble madly to save themselves from the dreaded Google Sandbox (that is, banished to the nether regions of search page rankings). In worst case scenarios, websites have been banned altogether from Google’s search engine.

Most website owners are finding that once-successful SEO strategies are no longer useful, and in many cases, are even detrimental to search engine rankings. Before the new Penguin paradigm, many websites utilized artificial techniques to pump up content and increase visibility.

Now it’s essential to comply with the new algorithm’s protocols if you want search engine credibility. It’s important to understand the reasoning behind the new development so you can properly design your web content for maximum effectiveness.

What is Penguin 2.0 in a Nutshell?


Penguin 2.0 was designed to improve the quality of web content and steer Internet searchers to sites that legitimately provide accurate and valuable information. Black hat techniques such as back linking to poor quality sites, senseless keyword stuffing, and spammed content are now strictly forbidden.

Instead, the focus is on content driven websites where quantity matters, but not nearly as much as quality. It is still important to have a layered website with multiple pages, but those pages must be industry relevant, unique, and reliable. The more solid content you have, the larger your website will be and your Google rankings will increase.

What is the point of Penguin 2.0?

Apart from clearing away a lot of poorly written and badly researched content, it seems Penguin 2.0 is Google’s attempt to increase the public trust of its search engines. Anyone who has ever searched the Internet for goods, services, or information has at some point come across highly ranked websites that are actually quite worthless.

Filled with little in the way of industry information, these websites still ranked high on Google’s search engines during the pre-Penguin era. Users naturally began to lose faith in Google’s ability to connect them with high quality websites and began turning to their major competitors, Yahoo and Bing.

So Google developed new protocols which force websites to provide strong, worthwhile content that visitors can actually use. By allowing only these types of websites on their search engine, they are re-building customer trust.

Do the New Protocols Really Matter to the Public?

Part of the reason for the change in Google’s algorithm is the undeniable fact that the Internet is changing, as are the expectations of its millions of users who use it to research, shop, and find entertainment. When the Internet first appeared more than two decades ago, its novelty and technological sophistication made people think of it as an authoritative source of information.

If something was on the Internet, it was thought to be accurate and reliable. Anyone who took advantage of those first golden years of Internet marketing saw their fortunes rise, due to the twin factors of almost no competition and having a market that believed wholeheartedly in the dependability and trustworthiness of Internet sites.

Things have changed dramatically, however, especially over the last decade. The Internet has grown exponentially, and likewise user sophistication has matured. Consumers are more educated about the Internet and how it works, and they are better at differentiating between good and bad sites.

Along with our ever-increasing reliance on the Internet, we have developed a taste for solid, authoritative information and highly useful sites. Today’s Internet user knows how to rate a site based on its content, and Google’s new algorithm forces website owners to provide that strong content.

Bottom Line for your Website


Penguin 2.0 is designed to meet the needs of Google as a company (i.e. the more trusted Google is as a source of reliable information, the higher its profits) as well as those of Internet users. Following the new regulations doesn’t just keep you in good standing with Google, but also, if done right, it positions you to take advantage of a new opportunity to improve your SEO rankings by rising to the top like cream.

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