Get Optimized 2 – The Next Google Penguin

By On September 19, 2013 • Link Building Comments (0)

This is the 4th installment of the month long special of Get Optimized Second Series. We asked 8 Filipino digital marketing experts to join us for a round table discussion and give their pieces on 8 of the hottest topics in the industry today.

1. Share your creative and crazy link building technique without the use of content marketing.
2. Share your link building technique where you used a content as tool to bait links.
3. What is the future of guest blogging?

matt cutts

The 4th question was:

“The next Google penguin will be jarring and jolting” – Matt Cutts, SES SF. And Penguin 2 was out. Have you seen it or felt it? Please share your experience.

The answers:

gary v

Right now, some of our ‘new comer’ clients who have been suffering from Penguin 1.0 still felt more traffic drops when Penguin 2.0 came. We have been cleaning link profiles and we are very successful at it reviving them from algorithm issues. We also educate them on what future-proof SEO works should be.

Handling brands is a different ball game for me. If you are aware of the amount of revenue your clients invested in order to build the brand/business they have, you will become more responsible and be more involved in their marketing efforts by sustaining and adding value to their equity online. When you think that way, in no way can you think of marring the brand with shady link building activities.

sheila dela pena

Yes, we have. And it’s not just the Penguin Update that has affected us. For the past 18 months, we have seen the effect s of the Panda, Freshness and Venice Updates as well. The Knowledge Graph Carousel, more of a SERP layout than an Algorithm update, also has a potentially big effect.

As with any Google update, we have had losers and winners among our accounts. We are handling more than 1000 websites and monitoring impacts of any algorithm update has been very tedious.

It helps to monitor websites like, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, Google Inside Search, WebmasterTools YouTube Channel, SEO By the Sea and many more. More often than not, these resources offer some insights and analyses, so we get to have a good overview of what to expect. Then we can conduct our own research and identify the best practice suitable for our niche to mitigate the effect of the algorithm changes.

We were also able to develop a tool to analyze the impact of the Algorithm Updates. This tool, together with the Google Analytics API, which aggregates the data from several Google Analytics profiles made any data gathering easier and more manageable. See below.

algo chart

edward santillan

In the case of my personal test websites that we have used for SEO competition, the answer is yes! But for my work site, nope, I haven’t. I think the reason for that is because the website I am currently working on attracts a lot of quality links that have already built up organically.


Yeah. I’ve seen it from two test sites I’ve been handling for the past several months and I even wrote a comprehensive blog post with my takeaways from the recent Penguin 2.0.

jason a penguin

The new version of the Penguin Update was said to be more comprehensive than the first one – where it’s now able to target, filter and penalize over-optimized links directing to deeper pages of a website (as the first one was only focused on manipulative links pointing to homepages).

It’s hard to recover from this update, especially if the penalized site has hundreds/thousands of pages and links (it’s actually easier to recover from manual penalties). But recovering from Penguin is not impossible.

I’ve shared a lot of insights on the post I’ve shared above. But if you think it’s too long, here’s a short breakdown of what you should do when hit by Penguin:

  • Start removing bad links pointing to your site (links from low-quality sites, have over-optimized anchor texts, obvious spammy links, etc…).
  • Disavow those that you have no control of or can’t be removed (using the disavow tool from GWT).
  • Improve the ratio of good links vs. bad linking domains by building more high quality links to your site (from trusted and topically relevant domains) – to cover and outnumber the bad ones.
  • Start using partial-match and branded anchor texts (as well as co-occurrence) on artificial links.

Need more help? Check out these link building tips from our company.



I haven’t seen any huge changes, as of yet.

Since we have the technology to keep track of the changes on our sites, we can interpret the effects of Panda 2 through unusual behavior in our traffic, rankings, and number of built links or health of the site (Correct me if I’m wrong, but there is no other way aside from the aforementioned, I think). To explain it further, we may experience a slight movement in lost/new links due to new indexed/de-indexed pages. Changes on the both Domain Authority and Page Authority can also be a good indicator that you are experiencing a good/bad change, due to the value of sites/pages that are pointing to your site. Lastly, we can also experience a drop or spike in both traffic and rankings, due to the two aforementioned changes.

Search engine is a big confusion for most people, even for some SEO practitioners, actually. It’s like a “Jenga + Crossword + Puzzle + Rubik’s Cubes strapped on to terrorist who are screaming at you in another language” (Not my original line). You can never predict what will happen next and when will it happen. We can’t even predict what is/are the next animal/s to be unleashed (check out the image on the left). Correct?


I haven’t felt it as I barely engage in activities targeted by it in relation to


Honestly I don’t have enough data to prove that I’ve experienced the hit for SEO Hacker. I’ve experienced the Google Image search algorithm change more than I did the Penguin 2.0. Image Optimization has technically lost its purpose for traffic for my website.


For me, penguin is all about quality and quantity of links compared to user activity in your website. That’s its supposed ‘purest’ purpose.

So I’m steering all SEO Hacker’s web properties and my clients’ websites to the foundation of that which is having a great website in the first place. On-site optimization, although small in its SEO factor in entirety, is gaining more ground as the foundation of where you build your entire SEO strategy upon. I made it a point to suggest to my clients their back-end site speed and I also went out of my way to improve their front-end site speed. These things may seem small but it boosts user activity in a website.


Yes and No

  • New SEO Clients - We get SEO clients all the time, and all first time SEO clients that never did SEO and came in by the last quarter of 2011 are generally safe and have no Penguin problems.
  • New SEO Clients from another SEO company - We also get SEO clients that came from another SEO agency and some with practices that are not that good. Even if we did not build the links, they came in with bad links, so it is really something we just have to face and help clean up.
  • SEO Clients that go against your advice. – They just exist. Even if we tell them what our recommendations are, they still go ahead and find some random link builder, pay them and think quantity over quality and they even try to prove us wrong sometimes. Then after a few months… they get hit.

UP NEXT: Questions #5 – The biggest part of the round table discussion where I asked the 8 experts to showcase their marketing playbook for a 300$ client budget

I want to say thank you to the 8 collaborators of this work. Sir Benj Arriola, Ms. Janette Toral, Sheila Dela Pena, Jason Acidre, Sean Si, Gary Viray, Jon Edward Santillan and Gary Lacanilao.

Please say thank you to our contributors by leaving your comments below :)


Jayson Bagio is the lead strategist of SEOteky. A digital marketing team from Manila, Ph who specializes in content marketing and link building. Get in touch with him using the contact form on the side or by visiting the about page. You can also follow him on twitter & google+.

join conversation

Related posts:

  1. Google Penguin Investigation, Know If You Were Hit By This Mega Update
  2. 70 Ways To Find Guest Posting Opportunities Using Google

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

« »