Two years ago we had Panda. Last year, Penguin. This year? As of now, it looks like Penguin 2.0.

Now, before we go into speculation about what Penguin 2.0 is going to do to the world of SEO, it’s always a good idea to refresh on the concept of New SEO. That is, that quality is king, and the more quality your site is, the better your rankings, and the more resilient your site will be to future Google updates.

If you look at past Google updates, it can seem like Google is a random, destructive force for all SEOs. And that’s true… to some extent. But there are very logical reasons for what Google’s doing. Therefore, if we simply change our perspective, we can easily see why Google does what they do, and what they’re likely to do in the future.

For over a decade, Google has been incredibly consistent. Yes, they’ve improved considerably since the early days. But the goal is still the same – provide searchers with top-quality sites, every single time. Why? Because if someone searches on Google and gets a site that isn’t top-quality, they’ll remember that, and may use a different search engine in the future. Therefore, it’s in Google’s best interest to only show the best quality results to their users.

In all of Google’s past updates, the goal has been simple: improve the number of high-quality, relevant search results, and eliminate sites using spam tactics to game Google’s algorithm.

Look through the past three updates and see this in action. Mayday eliminated “sniper” sites, Panda eliminated sites with poor, spammy backlinks and thin content, Penguin eliminated sites with spam backlinks, poor content, etc.

So we can be confident saying that Penguin 2.0 is going to do the exact same thing: eliminate sites abusing Google, promote sites that are providing high-quality, unique content to their users.

In order to see what effect this update could have, we need to look at places where Google’s algorithm is currently being abused.

The Last Bastian: Guest Posts

Guest posts have been viewed by SEO’s as one of the last ways we can control our site’s rankings. Through a guest post, we get a high-quality, relevant link pointing straight at our website. Juicy!

But there’s a problem. Since guest posts remain effective, people have used this to their advantage, and some SEO’s have been using grey-hat tactics to get a large number of “relevant” guest post links.

As a result, they’ve gained rankings they shouldn’t have. In this upcoming update, look for Google to decrease the amount of SEO authority gained from guest post links. Yes, I know… it sounds awful. However, remember – if the only thing keeping your site ranking is guest post links… you’re exactly the type of site Google’s trying to get rid of!

Social Abuse

It’s no secret that social signals affect rankings – we’ve been saying that for years! And, like all other SEO tactics that work, social signals have recently been abused on a level they weren’t last year. Thanks to websites like, SEO’s can buy hundreds of “likes” or “tweets” for their posts, causing their rankings to soar.

What’s Google’s likely solution? Devalue social signals from low-quality sources, and increase the amount of authority gained by influencers sharing your site’s content. Now, we’re not exactly sure how Google’s going to do this, but the fact is, this abuse exists. And if it exists, Google needs to get rid of it.

Closing Thoughts

These are just two areas where Penguin 2.0 may be aimed at. If you’ve been buying social signals, or spamming guest posts, realize that your time on the top of Google may be limited.

As always, the best strategy is to focus on the LONG-TERM – not the short term! A long-term strategy involves creating high-quality, super useful, and valuable content. Then, people will naturally link to it and share it via Facebook. This is exactly what Google wants to happen! So if your site is ranking NATURALLY, you’re likely to stay there for a long time! 

If you’re abusing Google’s algorithm, you’ll continually be fighting against them. And we all know who wins that battle!

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