Google Said The Penguin Algorithm May Not Just Ignore Links, It May Target Whole Site

Oct 31, 2021 • 10:38 am | comments (5) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Penguin

When Google released Penguin 4.0, Google said that update was about devaluing links, not demoting links. Meaning, Google would simply ignore the spammy and bad links and your website would not be demoted because of those links. Well, Google said sometimes Penguin can also demote your site.

This kind of goes against all the messaging Google has been saying since Penguin 4.0 was released? Maybe John was not specifically only talking about the Penguin algorithm, but link algorithms in general?

John Mueller of Google was asked at the 37:06 mark "Is the penguin penalty still relevant at all or are less relevant/spammy/toxic backlinks more or less ignored by the ranking algorithm these days?"

John replied saying that in most cases, Google will just ignore the links but in some cases, where there is a clear pattern of spammy and manipulative links by the site, Penguin may decide to simply distrust the whole site.

John said "I'd say it's a mix of both" when he answered that question. Meaning, Google Penguin can both ignore links and demote sites, if necessary. John said "if our systems recognize that they can't isolate and ignore these links across a website." John added that if Google can see a "very strong pattern there" the Google "algorithms" can lose "trust with this website" and you may see a "drop in the visibility there."

Here is the video embed where he said this:

Here is the transcript:

Is the Penguin penalty still relevant at all or less relevant spammy toxic backlinks are more or less ignored by the ranking algorithms these days.

I’d say it's a mix of both.

So for the most part when we can recognize that something is problematic and any kind of a spammy link and we will try to ignore it. If our systems recognize that they can't isolate and ignore these links across a website. If we see a very strong pattern there then it can happen that our algorithms say well we we really have kind of lost trust with this website and at the moment based on the bigger picture on the web, we kind of need to be more on almost a conservative side when it comes to to understanding this website's content and ranking it in the search results. And then you can see kind of a drop in the visibility there.

But for the most part like the the web is pretty messy and we recognize that we have to ignore a lot of the links out there. So for the most part i think that's fine. Usually you would only see this kind of a drop if it's really a strong and a clear pattern that's associated with the website.

Forum discussion at YouTube Community.

Update: John was asked more about this story after it was posted:

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