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Google’s Penguin Update 2.0: Loser analysis

The good news first. The data in Searchmetrics Suite and Essentials is fully updated providing the most current and accurate information. We usually do updates from Saturday to Sunday, but because of Google Penguin update 2.0, we did it today.

Yesterday night, May 22nd, Google finished rolling out the second generation of its Penguin updates. Looking back at the first release of the algorithm in April 2012, the focus was primarily around webspam. Since then, there have been only iterations; with the bases being more like “data refreshes” as seen in the most recent update in October 2012. Now with Google Penguin update 2.0, the update is specific to the search algorithm of Google – and this time the impact will only affect around 2.3% of English queries, a decrease in comparison to the first generation of webspam (3.1%).

Penguin 2.0: Google Webspam Update

The update not only affects the U.S. or English-speaking countries, but is fully rolled out globally for other languages as noted yesterday in Matt Cutts blog:

“The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.”

Penguin-Update 2.0: Tweet von Matt Cutts

This is surprisingly early. Especially because Cutts, who is the Head of the Google webspam team announced another attack on link farms, Over-Optimization, “Black Hat” and keyword stuffing in a recent video scheduled to release over the coming summer. It seems that Penguin 2.0 will just be the beginning as made known in the video announcement:

“We’re relatively close to deploying the next generation of Penguin, […] Internally we call it ‘Penguin 2.0’, …and again, Penguin is a webspam change that’s dedicated to try to find black hat webspam, and try to target and address that.”

It’s only been ten days since the announcement on May 13th of what to expect in the coming months and they have already rolled out 2.0 – ending the life of several pages with bad links. Cutts has stressed that the impact of the second-generation webspam update will have a much deeper and greater influence this time around.

“So this one is a little more comprehensive than Penguin 1.0, and we expect it to go a little bit deeper in have a little bit more of an impact.”

After the first update we did a deep dive analysis into the impact Penguin 1.0 had in a posting called “Bad SEO” Update. In a similar fashion, we have analyzed our data for an in-depth look at understanding the impact of Penguin 2.0.

Who are the top losers from the Penguin 2.0 update? Our analysis uncovered whose SEO Visibility was seriously impacted, with sites like, and the

Domain Cluster SEO Visibility Current Diff in % games 8781 -12610 -58,95 business 11783 -15678 -57,09 games 7965 -8719 -52,26 business 4000 -2430 -37,79 blog/community 13783 -8059 -36,90 games 30248 -17616 -36,80 blog/community 53685 -28446 -34,63 business /edu 28496 -14575 -33,84 business 32019 -16361 -33,82 blog/community 40808 -20269 -33,19 blog/community 19503 -8715 -30,88 price comparison 59613 -23950 -28,66 blog/community 5504 -2577 -31,89 games 39099 -14747 -27,39 business 59561 -22172 -27,13 blog/community 84020 -30646 -26,73 business 48854 -16778 -25,56 porn 77194 -56086 -42,08 porn 56000 -36604 -39,53 porn 28222 -15850 -35,96 porn 24547 -13147 -34,88 porn 379467 -180123 -32,19 porn 73911 -28036 -27,50 porn 248177 -92927 -27,24 porn 233411 -77958 -25,04



It’s not the update I was expecting. I thought that this Googles Penguin update would have had a bigger impact similar to Panda 1. But that didn’t happen. My first analysis shows that many thin sites, sites with thin links and especially untrusted links face the problem. In addition, some small business sites were hit because they haven’t taken SEO serious enough. Google itself confirmed that the impact wouldn’t be as high as many thought – maybe this is just the calm before the storm and the big update is really coming in the future. We will see. I will continue to keep you updated with our results.

If you’re interested in seeing if you were hit? Check your domain using our Searchmetrics Essentials Research Tool!

Marcus Tober

Marcus Tober

My name is Marcus Tober and I’m the founder of Searchmetrics. Because we really love to analyze all kinds of online data, we can give you more insights than any other company in SEO, SEM and Social Media. It’s not a job, it’s passion.

81 thoughts on “Google’s Penguin Update 2.0: Loser analysis

  • Alok @ SEO Company India 2013/06/10 at 6:15 pm

    As per my view, I have preferred to do Content Optimization and Social Media Optimization. And that’s what I am getting a better result of that strategies. That’s What I would like to share. If you do a real and natural work then it will help you a lot to get optimize your website over search engine website.

  • @Vishal – Yes Google would like to transition to a non links based algorithm but I just can’t see it happening. The internet is all about interconnecting website and as much as Google would like to stop links as an algorithm, I just don’t think it can. Citation links is the next thing with Google but I can’t see it catching on. Rand Fishkin made a whiteboard video about this.

  • latest seo updates 2013/06/13 at 8:55 am

    If any website hit by Penguin then what should they do and how they recover.

  • thanks for this article which is on the first rank on goolge. I actually liked to know about latest google penguin update 2.0. I got it and happy to know about it which came to remove web spam.

    Thanks cheers:)

  • Rob @ Ottimoseo Italia 2013/06/18 at 2:44 pm

    Yes I saw lees impact with this 2.0 update. S few losses of a couple of spots in the serps.

    I also noticed that it may have gotten smarter as some pages with more diversified anchor text were spared or even promoted.


  • Great article and analysis.

    I have also noticed a less drop in serps on some of my sites. These sites have probably too many exact keywords as anchors.

  • Preventivo Posizionamento 2013/06/19 at 6:51 pm

    I have read many articles on the penguin update and I have to say this is what I believe is the most complete … see you soon

  • Thanks for the information. My sites was hit by Penguin update, pageview was drop. What should I do to recover it back? Thanks

  • Hi, the above mentioned site that I monitor seems to have almost disappeared from Searchmetrics and is not picking up any new stats. This does seem to coincide with the latest Google update.
    Could this be an affected site? Would be really grateful for some advise on this as I am relatively new to SEO : )

  • I would be interested to see how it is now since google has been doing so much tweaking the last few weeks…

  • Great and useful article!

    I was surprised too at the quick update. I am learning about SEO for a short time but I found a lot of valuable information in this blog.

    Thank you very much!

  • Google is being so unfair .. it was promised that spammers will be hit on this update but what i can see from my search is just the spams all over the web after penguin update!

    I think we need to move to some other better search engine because google is just out of control now!

  • For the most part if your not doing anything shady, Penguin 2.0 has probably helped you. At the same time theres quite a few spammy sites and sites with completely black hat backlink profiles that rank in the top. This is especially bad in the big competitive niches that have always been dominated by spam.

  • Do you have any advice for companies that may have gotten hit by a Google update? We have bounced around frequently but were mainly hit by the October update and are looking for recourse.

  • As a general advice for issues regarding link related penalties or the penguin update I suggest to read our blog post dealing with the expeda analysis /us/2014/01/22/seo-analysis-why-expedia-com-lost-25-of-their-visibility/, especially the last paragraph. Without looking at the respective domain in greater detail, it’s difficult to say more than: Be careful with hard anchor texts, bad neighbourhood and automatic link building (like cms-templates).

  • I visit every day a few web pages and blogs to read articles,
    except this weblog provides feature based writing.

  • What do you say to the new Penguin 3.0 update. What changes brought?

    Kind Regards


  • Do you know when the next update should be ?

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