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The Most Dangerous Thing About Penguin 2.0 is Talking About Penguin 2.0

Posted by JamesLee on Jul 10, 2013 9:23:20 AM

Editor''s Note: Today we have a guest post from James Lee of Vertical Leap. In this short-but-sweet piece, James gives his take on Penguin 2.0. In James' mind, user experience needs to come before links and the danger of Penguin 2.0 lies in talking about Penguin 2.0. He also tells us of his undying love for herbal tea. See James' take on the matter below!

A post talking about not talking about Penguin 2.0


When Google launched Penguin 2.0 my email inbox quickly stacked up. Not with clients panicking about sudden drops in search engine ranking; probably because the update only affected around 2% of websites. My inbox was full of newsletters, articles, updates, tips and nearly every form of propaganda us SEO’ers love informing me about Penguin 2.0.

I am just going to say it; I think we should not care about Penguin 2.0.

Here is why…

Google is not hunting us

If you are looking for a fierce search algorithm update name to terrorize the web you should name it lion, shark or snake. Google calls it Penguin for various reasons but it is a helpful reminder that it's not out to hurt quality websites. It is out to get rid of the spammy, low value websites we all dislike. Let's put ourselves in Google’s shoes…

Google does it for our good

When we search for information on Google we want content that is super relevant to our search query. I am an herbal tea addict.

When I search “buy best herbal teas” I do not want sites that are:

  1. Not about herbals
  2. Not ecommerce sites
  3. Spammy

If I Google my search query and the top results are useless, I do the inconceivable: I use Bing.

Google wants us to have great search results so we continue to love and adore them.

So why should we stop talking about Penguin 2.0?

Why we should stop talking about Penguin 2.0

If we stop talking about Penguin 2.0 we can start focusing on what matters: visitor experience. Instead of wondering whether our anchor text contains too many keywords, our directory entries are in the right sector or 6 different ways we can use 301 redirects, let’s focus on user experience.

Google has continually espoused the philosophy of ‘think of the user, not the search engine.' That philosophy is one many of us gave a casual nod towards and then carried on with our search engine focused activities. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines have been around for a long time, and Penguin 2.0 is the strictest enforcement we have seen to date.

Perhaps, we – I definitely include myself, need to fully adopt Google’s long standing philosophy and focus 100% on users. When we focus on users we have no reason to discuss Penguin.

More creatures are on their way

We may scrape through Penguin 2.0, all the while still focusing on search engines through skill and a little luck. Google is open with the fact that more updates are to come. Our website ranking may survive this Penguin update, but eventually anything non-user focused will be sunk. There are rumors the newer update is imminent.


If we create a high quality website, useful material and build relationships in an honest way, then we have nothing to fear from Penguin.

So please, let’s stop talking about the update and keep creating quality website with helpful content.