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Can my website be punished by the Google Penguin Update? Do I have an unnatural link profile?

The two algorithm changes Google Penguin Update and Google Penguin Update 2.0 have the purpose of identifying webspam in the search results and, in turn, will inflict a penalty for violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

In practice, the Google Penguin algorithm will look for unnatural linkprofiles of websites. If a linkprofile of a website is identified as unnatural by the algorithm, the domain will receive a penalty (keyword- or page-ranking demotion).

How do I know that a website is affected by the Google Penguin update?

When you are analysing a domain in the SISTRIX Toolbox, you can gain valuable insights into the most important Google-updates by using the Visibility history for the domain, together with the event pins. These will give you a first impression of whether a website is, or was, affected by the Google Penguin update.

If you notice a massive decline of the Visibility Index value of a domain from one calendar week to the next and an event pin “Penguin Update” is shown for the week, you have a very good indicator that the page may well have been hit by a webspam algorithm penalty.

Visibility loss due to the Penguin Update 2.0 - the event Pin G on May 27th 2013 indicates the Penguin Update as a possible cause

Visibility loss due to the Penguin Update 2.0 – the event Pin H on May 27th 2013 indicates the Penguin Update as a possible cause

A website can be affected by the Penguin Update and its iterations multiple times:

This domain's Visibility was lost twice due to the Penguin Update

This domain’s Visibility was lost twice due to the Penguin Update on April 30th 2012 (B) and the Penguin Update 2.0 on May 27th 2013 (E)

In both examples, the Penguin Update, marked with an event pin, is a possible cause for the drastic loss of visibility. Here, it is important to check the affected websites to see if the have an unnatural link profile.

What does an unnatural link profile look like?

An unnatural link profile exhibits a proportionally high amount of hard linktexts compared to links which were created naturally.

For the two examples above, their linktexts looked as follows:

Unnatural link profile consisting of a high degree of so-called money keywords (keywords with a high cost-per-click, if they were booked through AdWords) besides the domain name

Unnatural link profile consisting of a high degree of so-called money keywords (keywords with a high cost-per-click, if they were booked through AdWords) besides the domain name

Even if a website has recovered from the Penguin filter, it can be caught in it, once again, as is shown by the following example:

The second Penguin Update identified a much too high amount of unnatural links on this website

The second Penguin Update identified a much too high amount of unnatural links on this website

SISTRIX Training: Google Penguin Update – analysing the link profile

Natural or unnatural link profile?

You would like to get a rough estimate of whether your own link profile appears natural without having to look at the quality of the backlinks in detail? This can be done quite easily:

How to check a website for inferior backlinks?

The SISTRIX Toolbox link module offers comprehensive ways to dissect a website for inferior links:

Use LinkRating for an automated link audit and risk evaluation

Would you like the SISTRIX Toolbox to automatically rate the quality of your backlink profile and tell you exactly why we think so?

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