Late last week, Robert Ramirez posted on the Bruce Clay blog huge speculation around Google killing off the Penguin algorithm and many of the signals around links in the algorithm. Gary Illyes from Google responded on Twitter saying he won't comment on speculation, which I interpret as this post on the BC blog is a bit over the top. Gary often comments on speculation, so for him not to even give this the time of day, to me, means it is pure rubbish.
What is the speculation? Robert wrote:
TL;DR – A theory: The next Google Penguin update, expected to roll out before year’s end, will kill link spam outright by eliminating the signals associated with inorganic backlinks. Google will selectively pass link equity based on the topical relevance of linked sites, made possible by semantic analysis. Google will reward organic links and perhaps even mentions from authoritative sites in any niche. As a side effect, link-based negative SEO and Penguin “penalization” will be eliminated.
I agree, this seems wrong and truth is, when Penguin 4.0 is released, I don't think we will see much difference in the algorithm outside of it running in real time and continuous.
Forum discussion at Twitter.