A Penguin in lockup.

No Sandbox For Penalized Sites With Penguin

As anyone familiar with Penguin knows, the timeframe between updates was a killer for many businesses.  On the plus side for Google; this created an environment where fear over multi-month or even multi-year penalties encouraged compliance with their rules.  Penguin sought to punish those who violated Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and there’s no doubt, a punishment was doled out.

With the launch of Penguin 4 we were informed that the detection of spammy links would be “as they were crawled” and the impact immediate.  We were also told that recoveries would be as quick.  Something about this nagged at me however.  Essentially this would create an environment wherein website owners and SEO’s could build any type of link they wanted, reap any rewards and if a penalty hit, simply remove said links or disavow them and expect to be released from website purgatory.  So I took the question to Google and here’s how the Twitter exchange played out:


So there we have it.  Google’s Gary Illyes has confirmed that there is no trust-based delay or sandbox sites go into after a Penguin-related penalty.  I have to wonder if this may cause issues with website owners and SEOs risking Penguin penalties believing they can get out of them quickly when caught.  What I believe Google would reply with is that they are confident in their systems and if the tactics work at all it won’t be for long and the ROI on such activities is far less than doing the job right.

Nonetheless, a very interesting revelation from Google and one which I’m sure many will take interest in.  Hopefully it’s the right people but if not there will be some interesting black-hat tests about to be run.

2 Comments

  1. Burton says:

    Thanks for this post on Penguin 4, still lot more to know about this latest Google update to tackle link spam.