Is your site affected by Penguin Algorithm?


Google announced on 24th of April 2012 a new algorithm that would improve the quality of the search results.

One of the reasons for that new algorithim was the violation of Google’s quality guidelines from many SEOs & Agencies on backlinks.

In the pursuit of higher rankings or traffic, a few sites use techniques that don’t benefit users, where the intent is to look for shortcuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be ranked. We see all sorts of webspam techniques every day, from keyword stuffing to link schemes that attempt to propel sites higher in rankings.

Google is taking webspam very seriously, if you are caught violating their guidelines in regards of backlinks, it’s very likely that you are already in trouble.

We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.


As mentioned before, Penguin is an algorithm that focuses on the off-site part such as the backlinks their signals. It’s very important for you to know that one of the main differences between Penguin and Panda is that Penguin affects your site on page level instead of domain level which Panda does.

Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.

That’s why, if you have noticed a signficant drop in traffic anywhere from 20% to 100% on a specific landing page or a block of pages on your site in a very short timeframe, then it’s very likely that your site has been affected by Penguin algorithm.

Google Penguin Offsite SEO Common Cases

Since 2012 there have been more than 5+ updates.

Site-wide links

Site-wide links implemented across many website’s pages. Usually those kind of links are located on footer, or sidebars & tag clouds.

Paid links, advertorials, etc.

Another SEO tactic that’s against Google’s webmaster guidelines and has been used till today by many SEOs & Agencies. Commercial or hard anchor text is the first signal of a paid backlink for Penguin.

Low quality directories

Old-school SEO from the 90s which has turned like boomerang to many websites that used to utilized those old SEO methods.

Irrelevant links / sites

Backlinks nowadays is all about quality rather than quantity. Having thousands backlinks from irrelevant / low quality / spammy websites risks your site to get flagged by Penguin.

Links from deindexed sites

If a website is deindexed from Google, most likely it has been penalized. Having backlinks from those sites is extremely risky.

Forum / Bog comments

Another favorite backlink building tactic for many SEOs & Agencies which has been used during the years to the point that gets to be abused and trigger Penguin.

Our Approach to Penguin Recovery


Backlink Profile Analysis

We will collect all the backlinks for your site from your Search Console, Majestic, Moz in order to build a complete view of your backlink portfolio and use that as a starting base for the Penguin recovery.

Offsite Backlink Analysis

We perform an in depth backlink audit for your site. Our main focus is to create your backlink profile based on: anchor text distribution, toxic or clean websites and integration type.

Create a Penguin Recovery Plan

We arrange a meeting during which we present the findings from the backlink audit and discuss the action points that will take to recover your site and the follow up steps after the cleanup.

Execute the Recovery Plan

We start the backlink cleanup plan. That means we remove all toxic backlinks and build up the disavow file that at the end will upload to your Google Search Console account.


Similar with the Panda Recovery there is no rule of thumb on the recovery as everything depends from the root causes and the overall quality of your backlink portfolio.

On the 23rd of September 2016, Google announced that Penguin is now part of the core algorithm and it is real-time.

Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page

In other words, the sooner you start the recovery process and clean all the toxic backlinks the quicker your site will recover from Penguin.


We would love to tell you YES but that wouldn’t be true. The truth is that you will recover a percentange of your rankings and here is why:

Assume that your website has in total 100 backlinks from which 40 are toxic and based on these you used to rank on position 2 but now you rank on position 20.

If we cleanup the toxic backlinks, your site’s rankings will be re-calculated and evaluated by Google on the next update based on the 60 remaining backlinks.

As it’s expected the value of the 40 toxic backlinks will not be taken under consideration within the calculatuions and that’s why the updated rankings won’t be the same as before.

Ready to Recover from Penguin?

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