Jul 21, 2012
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Hi all,

I just returned from SMX East and was on the hunt for Penguin 4.0 information since this update hasn't performed liked the past updates. I'll assume everyone understands what Penguin is and how to recover. That said what we learned last week is a significant change from previous statements from Google regarding Penguin.

Key takeaways:

  • It is not a Penalty anymore
  • Google is devalueing spammy links but not penalizing.
  • Google recommends a Dissavow but it's not exactly necessary

This is how they are baking it into the algorithm by not making it a penalty. If Google crawls what it judges is a spammy link, they will devalue it so it shouldn't affect how a web site ranks in their search engine.

My thoughts for the community:

1. Why upload a dissavow for clients anymore? If Google is devaluing what they determine to be spammy links then submitting a disavow list can only hurt your site, right? All we are doing is telling Google to devalue more links and not to lift a penalty.
2. Does Google still need to crawl the spammy links before they get devalued.

I spoke with Christoph Cemper of Link Research Tools at SMX about item 2. Christoph does think that the links need to be crawled which is in keeping with previous updates. He also recommended pinging your clients competitors spammy links to get Google to crawl those links as well. They have a product Link Detox Boost that does this but I don't want to sound promotional so there are several ways to alert Google to crawl a link like submitting them to Google +. Use whatever works for you.

It's still early and I'm confident the algo update is still rolling out. However, if you haven't kept up with the latest on Penguin 4.0 this should get you up to speed.

- Chris


Oct 10, 2015
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Google said you should still disavow spammy links that are new and high volume. This might send a signal to Google to manually penalize your site if you do not.
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