What's The Difference Between Google Penguin vs Unnatural Links?

Jun 25, 2012 • 8:44 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google PenguinThere is still a huge amount of confusion in the SEO space around how the Google Penguin update differs from the unnatural link penalties being sent out.

I don't blame anyone for being confused, I am confused.

We know that Penguin is automated and the unnatural link notifications are manual. So the clear distinction is if you receive a warning in webmaster tools for unnatural links, then it is that. If you saw a drop in rankings when Penguin launched or refreshed then it was Penguin.

But if you didn't have any of those details, how can you tell if a site was hit by Penguin vs unnatural links by just looking at the linkage data?

If I had to guess, I'd say:

  • Unnatural links is more about link networks, paid links, blog networks and unnatural link patterns.
  • Penguin is more about low quality links with weird looking anchor text, plus other SEO related link building techniques.

What do you think?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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