Published May 15, 2012

Blog Networks & Penguins

By Geoff Kenyon

This past week I spoke on Google’s recent deindexation of blog networks and Google’s recent roll out of the Penguin update. You can check out the slides and read through some of my notes below.

Blog Networks

Build My Rank is the most prominent example of this as they have been very public and transparent about being deindexed. Most blog networks were not nearly this transparent so we really don’t know the extent of these updates. I believe that the deindexation of these networks is a manual implementation, not algorithmic; otherwise we’d be seeing a lot more people complaining and we’d be seeing false positives getting deindexed.  Further, I’d plan on seeing more sites deindexed – and I would plan on them being algorithmic as these sites leave really big footprints. In the future, I would expect that Google may even include blog networks as a part of Panda.

The bottom line is that you should stay away from blog networks, there really is no long term value in getting blog network links.


At this point we really don’t know a lot about Penguin, but there is a lot of speculation. Here is what we know:

  • It launched on April 24th
  • Originally referred to as the ‘Over Optimization’ update
  • It impacted a lot of sites
  • Targets keyword phrases, not pages or sites

I believe that the following are what triggers of Penguin:

  • Spammy types of links (articles, comments, sidebars)
  • Anchor Text (exact match)
  • Exact Match Domains (this might have a correlation with exact match anchor text though)

The reality is if you have been on the web for any significant amount of time, you probably have spammy links, whether you built them or someone else did, they are probably there. If you only have a few, don’t worry about it. If you have a lot, you will probably need to invest in cleaning them up. To clean them up, Google Webmaster Tools and Open Site Explorer are going to be your best friends. You are looking for a few different things:

  • Lots of exact match anchor text
  • Lots of links from bad sites

If you have been using these kind of tactics, you should stop and start investing in links that will take longer to build but will provide value for a longer period of time. If you need some help, here are some tactics to get you started:

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