The Difference Between Penguin And An Unnatural Links Penalty

Before we get to define the difference between penguin and an unnatural links penalty, we will briefly describe the Penguin and the Unnatural Link Penalties in this context.

Penguin Penalty

In an effort to reward high sites with high quality material, Google came up with an algorithm change whose aim was to fight against the rampant web spam. Prior to the name Penguin, it was called the ‘Web spam Algorithm”. Penguin affected web sites that had a widespread stuffing and over use of key words and those that participated in link schemes.

This penalty is more about links of low quality and those that have weird looking anchor texts and other search engine optimization related link building techniques. Penguin is not a manual penalty but an algorithmic penalty, therefore there is no reason at all to disavow or remove back links to web sites that have been hit by Penguin. Remedies to this penalty include generating links that are of a higher quality to your site making sure they are not over using any of your keywords in the anchor text.

The Unnatural Link Penalty

Unnatural link warnings are sent by Google when they find back links in a website’s link profile they do not approve of. It is more about link patterns that are unnatural, blog networks and paid links. They are manual penalties that can be placed on web sites by Google when they determine that the site is attempting to modify the search engine results by creating links.

This can come about when someone opens a spam report against you. This leads to your site being opened up for a manual review by a Google employee. The employee looks at your back links to check if you have been engaging in practices that are considered as link schemes.

The Difference between Penguin and an Unnatural Links Penalty

Having described what Penguin and Unnatural Links Penalties are, we isolate their differences here. The main difference between the two is that Penguin is an algorithmic related issue whereas Unnatural Links penalties are manual. By manual we mean that which is levied by a human being one site at a time.

Penguin is not levied one web site at a time. An algorithm created by Google was designed to find sites that have been engaging in unnatural link building tactics. Web sites that have been flagged as engaging in web spam will be affected on the date of the update and no human is directly involved in determining whether it is affected or not. A Penguin penalty affects a site on a page and keyword level whereas Unnatural Links penalty can affect the entire site, a single page or even just one keyword.

In worse case scenarios, a site can be penalized and be totally removed from the Google index. Generally speaking the Penguin penalty does not affect an entire site.

Reconsideration requests can be filled after cleaning up especially for Unnatural Links but for Penguin a reconsideration request cannot be filled.

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Kirk runs the SEO team at Imperial SEO NY. His team specializes in large USA SEO projects and works with brands like Ford, Apple and IBM. Follow at Zinzz.