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You’ve heard us talk about Penguin 2.0 for a while now. Google’s commitment to providing relevant and high quality search results has led them to target content they classify as spam, particularly those conceived from “black hat” or “spamdexing” techniques, which the company fears will hinder their users’ search results. These crackdowns have been extremely successful in improving search quality, but have also affected many unsuspecting websites.
According to Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, Penguin 2.0 affects approximately 2.3% of English search queries, less than a quarter of the previous Panda update’s reach.
The update focuses on targeting over-optimized sites, particularly through backlinks and keywords. Continuing with the trend of Penguin 1, greater emphasis is placed on quality of backlinks over quantity. Websites with exaggerated keyword use are also seeing a decline in their rankings.
For some sites, the effect of Penguin 2.0 was immediate and drastic. Searchmetrics.com performed an analysis of the sites that lost the greatest amount of search engine visibility, and unsurprisingly, the majority of the websites were worthy targets.