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Learn from a Deep Dive into a Penguin 2.0 Victim’s Spam Penalty


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Some of the use cases explained in this case study are not available in lower plans.

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Deep Dive into a Penguin 2.0 Victim: HOME24.DE

Penguin 2.0 - I'm BACK

So the Google Penguin 2.0 update launched on May 22 finally, long waited for.

Some people mentioned it wasn’t as harsh as they expected or hoped for; other’s lost more than half of their traffic
overnight.  Those spammy sites that still stick around are topic of another case study I’m already working on.

Today we’re looking at a definitive loser of the Penguin 2.0 update – HOME24.DE

This is a German site selling furniture and much more and Sistrix was quick to calculate their loss today of -59% for the visibility index.

Since HOME24 this is a major brand, also engaging in TV advertising it’s worth looking into it in more detail, and try to learn what went wrong, and what they could improve or could have improved.

Don't feel turned off because it's a German site. In fact it doesn't matter which language it's in. As long as you remember that "Möbel" or "Moebel" stands for "Furniture" you'll be fine.

cemper power trust is lrt power trustCEMPER Power*Trust is now LRT PowerTrust

You may still see CEMPER Power*Trust™, CEMPER Power™ and CEMPER Trust™ on some screenshots in this case study.

In 2015, we renamed these metrics to LRT Power*Trust, LRT Power and LRT Trust to reflect the shortname of LinkResearchTools - which is LRT.

Not such a surprise?

It’s not a surprise actually; something has been cooking for months.

Here is a screenshot from Sistrix’ (not yet updated) chart, showing a decline since February.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

Looking at SearchMetrics we see that their traffic declined since February, including the Penguin 2.0 drop. And you can tell, that this drop was MASSIVE!

Did they receive an Unnatural Link Warning?

Something we cannot answer here, but suspect, is – did they receive an Unnatural Link Warning in February?

It looks like that month was the month when their rankings started to drop.

Quick Domain Compare – how do they match up?

A first quick look at the affected Home24.DE domain and some of their competitors

in the furniture niche (specific to Germany) using our QDC tool goes like this

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

And a couple seconds later we get the

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

Looks like too much POWER – LRT Power™ to be precise

The first thing that strikes me is that the LRT Power™ value is WAY higher than the LRT Trust™ bar for HOME24.DE,
while their competitors are somewhat more balanced.

Now don’t get distracted by IKEA, which is the winner here, but it’s also I-K-E-A. A global brand, also very popular in Germany. They are a lot stronger than the others, but that should not concern us here. It’s merely to understand quickly what a natural pattern could look like.

If you read up on what LRT Power*Trust is actually here you will notice the popular matrix here

CEMPER Power*Trust™ links

And what this tells you – of course based on a single link, but also true for the overall link profile, that links that have a High Power, but Low Trust are risky. Risky links suck when Penguin comes around, and that’s why we introduced these very popular metrics last year right after Penguin.

Too many site-wide links?

Now looking at the Class-C Popularity, the number of different class-C networks that their links are hosted on and comparing them in ratio to the number of links to the domain another thing
strikes me.

Those hundred thousand-something links come from only 990 different Class-C network and 1.756 domains. That’s ~2 domains per Class-C on average and especially 121 links per domain on average. That’s not very natural. It appears others have similar high ratios, but it’s noteworth that a HUGE brand like IKEA has way different ratios.

So take note of this and let’s dive deeper.

By clicking on the tool icons below I can conveniently start other reports.

SEO Analysis Project Setup

But first we’ll setup those competitors to default for the whole project.

Organizing stuff in projects is important if you work in different markets and countries, just like many from the 87 countries we have clients in work into the US and UK they probably also work into their own country… so pick the project

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

And make sure all the settings for your country match up. After all you don’t want to look at your German site with UK settings or vice versa, especially when we fetch important data from SEMrush or other API integrations.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

As you can see I added 10 total competitors in the German furniture niche, which will help me speed up future analysis in this project, because I don’t have to type them in over and over again.

Quickly Diving deeper into their links with QBL

Using our Quick Backlinks tool I just want to get a feeling for their links, so I click that small purple button to start a QBL for the whole domain.

Immediate questions I want to have answered

  •  How do their anchor texts distribute
  •  Do they have something that looks fishy at first glance
  •  Do they have sneaky redirects, i.e. from strong domains that I should dive deeper into

Actually looking at the profile now I realize that HOME24.DE is the rebranded set of shops from FP Commerce, and they used to have separate domains for lamps, gardening and basically every other niche, just like CSNSTORES (now Wayfair).

Apparently they merged all those domains into one using 301 redirects. and their link equity together into one domain.

Ohoh – that’s a lot of potential to maybe have spammy stuff done years ago hit you without realizing at first glance.

Hmm – penalties were said not to pass via 301 redirects in the past – did that change with Penguin 2.0? 301ing was used for a while to get rid of penalties, and it looks like if that change it would open up a whole new can of worms for negative SEO.

Big time.

Hard Money Anchor Texts?

Looking at those strongest 30000 links in the first QBL, I realize that there’s a really tough money anchor text “Möbel Online Kaufen” (means “Buy Furniture Online”) really very present, besides many links for their brand name.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty


This reminds me, that I thought about site-wide links before, and seriously, how likely is it that 470 different people link to you with the exact same money anchor text.

This could be skewed by sitewides, so what I need to do is enable the site-wide filter in a re-run. Skipping more than 5 links in site-wides is the default and best-practice from my experience. It helps overweight sitewides a bit in the stats, but not behave as if 10.000 subpage links would work like 10.000 links from different domains.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty


And Voilá – it disappears, and the biggest Power*Trust transferred is for a quite OK brand name distribution, as it should look like.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty


Now I think this is a good example for showing why the site-wide filter makes sense to apply in link analysis, but it also means, we have to dig deeper.

Doing a quick check for that keyword with a simple table filter we see that while that one money keyword was only placed on two websites, we see “Möbel Online Kaufen” was used in a very varying style in many other links. Something not shown below is that those links are all on pretty low Power*Trust pages, AND the linking urls seem to be quite optimized as well for keywords.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

Time to look at some of them.

Some paid blog posts

Looking at this page for example we see a brief blog post from April 2012 with two money keywords, both linked directly to the site.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

And the stuff I find here doesn’t look much better.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty


They linked phrase  “hier bei – Möbel online kaufen” is what we call a compound keyword, where brand and money keyword are combined (more about that here). This way to combine money and brand phrases became popular a while ago, but frankly, this doesn’t look to natural to me either.

Plus that site quality overall…well…

What I find interesting is that this link e.g. has the CSS class “broken_link”. Now not sure what that is good for, especially since this link is not broken, but Google probably didn’t buy that either.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

Another link from this page screams paid links...

scroll all down to the bottom to find this obviously paid link, albei labeled as “RSS” 🙂

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

And a bit further to the right we find these „related sites”. Take note that the first one even links to an English outdoor furniture site. They are somewhat related, but the whole block stinks like paid links do at first glance, don’t you think?

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

A Quick Competitive Landscape Analysis with CLA

Now realizing there’s something going on here, I want to make sure I understand this industry fully and start the Competitive Landscape Analyzer (CLA). In quick mode it also only takes a couple seconds to give me a full comparison of link profiles of the HOME24.DE site analyzed vs. its competitors.

Looking at the first link profile (a histogram actually) charting LRT Power*Trust™ I notice a couple things immediately.


Penguin 2.0 Penalty

  1. The percentage of LOW quality links with Power*Trust 0 and 1 is WAY higher than the average for the TOP10, TOP5 and especially the TOP3
  2. The percentage of HIGH quality links with higher power trust is really marginal, compared to the competition.

Then switching over to the Link Profile by Keyword classification I immediately see that while the others have around 7% (TOP3) and 14% (TOP10) of their links for money keywords, our candidate HOME24.DE here has 25% of their links withmoney keywords, at the cost of brand keywords (only 57% compared to the average of 69%).

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

Now looking at this we can be pretty sure, that they had a pretty aggressive SEO strategy in place and did not try to follow my standard rule to blend into the competition.

Now what about those redirects?

Since the company merged many sites into one in the last year or so, it probably makes sense to analyze those as well… time for a full detailed BLP (Backlink Profiler) that will give me all details about link locations, site types of linking sites, but more important redirect traces…

As you can see below, we have quite a bunch of redirects, also a lot passing link juice.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

There’s a bunch of tracking URLs that use 302 or meta-refreshes, not passing Link Juice as you can see below… that huge Redirect Trace with 302s in it doesn’t pass Link Juice at all, so I wouldn’t worry about it now.

BTW – do you know any other link tool that provides you that detail?

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

So let’s focus on those domains that seem to have

A) Sufficient linking domains

B) Sufficient Power*Trust

C)  Therefore deserve our attention for now

Link Detox to analyze the risk in your links for own and redirecting domains

I hear you – where’s Link Detox in the game. The previous steps were just required to gain an understanding of how the link structure is built up – and owners or SEOs of a website usually have that.

Now I want to look at Link Detox results and the Link Detox Risk calculated for not only HOME24.DE but also those major domains redirecting to it.


So I started Link Detox for

and the previous niche-sites (furniture) (the company site) (lamps & lighting) (outdoor furniture) (chimneys)

which were all redirecting completely or partially to the mainsite…


The results were… interesting.


43.8% healthy links, is a pretty toxic link profile.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

And some links in there possess a huge risk already. Let’s look at them.



A link page with > 1000 links (SUSP17)


Then blogspam on pages like this

Penguin 2.0 Penalty


Which is by the way on the same IP as 30 other linking domains (SUSP7)


That all carry enlighted content like here, fully of money keywords linked from questionable blog posts. Please note, these are 3 links to HOME24.DE, not one.

In that one line of text.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

Redirecting site

This seems to be a previously promoted niche site that now redirects all link juice and traffic into HOME24.DE.

And as can be seen below, 293 links to a sub-page “/betten” is 301ed to the respective category on the new HOME24.DE.

That makes sense. You wouldn’t want a domain with 15k domains just sit ther without helping your new domain, will you?


But then, this redirect game has been going on since 2006 when I started buying expired domains like many others, just to exploit their link juice of the past.


What I wrote last year for the EMD update seems to be true here again. Did Google finally close some loopholes they had open for years?

Let’s take a look at the actual Link Detox Risk for that redirected domain

Oh yeah – lot’s of sitewide links filtered.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty


And again, only 40% healthy links.

Penguin 2.0 Penalty


And when I pull up some of those not so healthy links I see



And more money keyword links in a paid blog post



(BTW – this template looks so familiar, think I’ve seen this on paid blog post sites that Interflora used as well)


And then this spammy post comes around at

Penguin 2.0 Penalty


Now that URL alone freaks me out, but just take a look at all those money keyword links, all going to

Redirecting site

Another site, previously promoting gardening and outdoor furniture. Redirected to the main site HOME24.DE at some point.

Just look at this money keyword link here.

Luxiourous gardening stools. Not so anymore.



And another “paid” or “built” link on this made-to-sell-links site at

Penguin 2.0 Penalty

I guess you get the point. Another SEO story of the past. Pushed into the SERPs back then, when Google didn’t really care or enforce action against link schemes like this.

Redirecting Site

And a third one to complete the picture. Merely 40% Healthy.

a “free for all article directory”. Guess what, Google doesn’t appreciate free for all sites for a while.

And there’s another money keyword link embedded inside 100 poor German words


And there’s ton’s more like that.

Conclusion of the Link Detox mania

Without spending more hours diving into this for you, I can tell you that the redirecting sites don’t look healthy or natural at all.

And for like seven years now it was the “best-practice” to 301-redirect domains or pages that received a penalty or got filtered,
simply because Google “forgot” about the penalty and just passed on the Juice.

It looks like


Conclusion of this Penguin Penalty deep dive

This is the first part in a series of deep dives into Penguin 2.0 victims. But frankly. What we see here screams SPAM.

If we assume that redirects work differently now, then this is a game changer.

We’ll see a whole new stampede of negative SEO attacks that are really easy to do. All you need is a couple sites that were penalized in the past, and you can buy them en’masse on expired domain networks, and redirect those to your competitors. Nice, ha?

The case here isn’t negative SEO, but a proof of how the game changed, once again.

My favorite comment on the Interflora penalty post was this



Yes, damn. That’s it.


The problem with any grey hat stuff in general is:
You are walking uphill towards a cliff and
you never know which step is one step too much.
Especially if the cliff itself moves backwards

The past or present SEOs acted right with what was “best-practice” in 2011 or 2012, but in 2013 the risk of your links is defined not only by what you do today, but what you did in the past.

I repeat – if you don’t watch out for the risk inherent in your past or present link building practices, you will be doomed and suffer, just like this site.

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Christoph C. Cemper
Christoph C. Cemper is the CEO and Founder of LinkResearchTools and Link Detox. A well-known and distinguished expert in SEO who started link building for clients in 2003, building the Link Research Tools since 2006 and marketing it as SaaS product since 2009. When the famous Google Penguin update changed the rules of SEO in 2012, Christoph started Link Detox, software for finding links that pose a risk in a website’s backlink profile. He introduced ongoing link audits and risk management to the market in early 2011. In 2015, Christoph introduced Impactana, a new technology platform and SaaS product to measure the success of content beyond "social buzz", to find content, videos and people that make an impact.
Christoph C. Cemper
Christoph C. Cemper
Christoph C. Cemper

Latest posts by Christoph C. Cemper (see all)


  1. Tom on May 24, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Wow, great insights on Home24 🙂 I assume that the redirections are bad and came because of the name change they did! The companies brand was Moebel-Profi before. Interestingly the content is not mentioned here. In my opionion the Speed of Building links is also an issue, and it was fast!!!

    • Christoph on May 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm


      great point. I agree that even deeper research will be helpful, and I actually wanted to write even more on this case, but I decided to do further analysis and views on this in a second step, since it was pretty obviously already.


  2. Ben Hansen on May 24, 2013 at 3:00 am

    thanks for the insightful report that redirect issues seems a bit worrisome.

  3. Fionn Downhill on May 24, 2013 at 3:37 am

    They must have been under a rock for the past year to let that link profile stand. Nasty hit none the less.

  4. Alastair McDermott on May 24, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Great in-depth analysis – and nice demo of your tools too 🙂

    “devaluing assets you built up yourself over months or years hurt, doesn’t it?”

    Yes, but that value is long gone. Do it and move on – don’t even waste your own time (and the linking sites owners) by requesting removal.

    Anyone with 10 minutes experience of using the web can identify those as incredibly spammy links. Never should have been valued by Google, and now no longer.

    I’d be very interest if you revisit this particular site later in your series on Penguin 2.0 and see how they got on with clean-up. Must stick a reminder in the calendar for 3-4 months time to check up on them 🙂


    • Christoph on May 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm


      that’s actually a gread idea. A follow up will make a lot of sense!


      • Andrew on May 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm

        Christoph, do you consider that all links with money keyword are paid ? If I make a new post and I need to refer any authority domain I go to google and take a link from top 10 google serp. In this case it will be a paid link from you point of view but the owner will have no idea who did this link.

        • Christoph on May 28, 2013 at 10:29 am


          this screams “standard footprint” – you know we’ve been talking about adding “authority links” for co-citation for many years, but a simple 100 word post doesn’t get better if you link to a wikipedia page and your site with a money keyword. A lot of the concepts introduced (also by me) in 2005 or so were overly simplified to scale them up, and the result can be seen now.

          Best, Christoph

  5. @WojKwasi on May 24, 2013 at 4:53 am Redirecting domains=no good; can confirm my old photography site no longer ranks for electric motor conversion 🙁

  6. Darren Shaw on May 24, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Nice analysis Christoph. With regards to this comment…

    “We’ll see a whole new stampede of negative SEO attacks that are really easy to do. All you need is a couple sites that were penalized in the past, and you can buy them en’masse on expired domain networks, and redirect those to your competitors. Nice, ha?”

    …one thought is that they could diminish the effectiveness of this negative SEO tactic by looking at the date of the redirect. If the redirect was in place prior to the release of Penguin 2 then penalize, but if the redirect was added after Penguin 2, simply ignore so that it doesn’t pass any value.

    • Christoph on May 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm


      thanks for your feedback! You are right – timing and also target def. will play a role in how redirects will be evaluated. This used to be the case already, and I sense it got even fancier now


  7. @ljcrest on May 24, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Enlightening => Deep Dive into a #Penguin 2.0 Victim – #Penalty #Analysis and lot’s of spammy links via @cemper

  8. Bhavesh Patel on May 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

    just sit back and check your rankings first
    I guess there is already a solution for this which I call White Hat Content 🙂

  9. @UlfHeyden on May 24, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Sehr spannende Analyse des Penguin-2.0-Opfers Home24

  10. @LinkDetox on May 24, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Images fixed on: Deep Dive into a Penguin 2.0 Victim – Penalty Analysis and lot’s of spammy links #latenightbugs

  11. Nathan on May 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Excellent stuff, thanks again cemper

  12. @jacknorell on May 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Fantastic case study write-up on Penguin 2.0 by Chris Cemper: #seo #penguin #links

  13. @theovdzee on May 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Deep Dive into a Penguin 2.0 Victim

  14. Surf on May 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks for the useful info. Than Penguin is giving me a lot of headaches.

  15. Viktor Dite on May 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm


    all your “blamed” Domains that had got paid Blog Post Links were rising in SI, how do you explain that?

  16. Andreas on May 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    broken_link is applied by a broken link checker plugin to have it shown with strike-through or similar design in order to stand out.

  17. John on May 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    The actual 4th generation Penguin 2. 0 Google algorithm updates is developed to combat with spam at a very webpage level while subsequent Penguin updates filter at homepage level solely. Google now enforce every online marketers, webmasters and business owners to change their tactics and put wonderful effort on creating remarkable content that people can employ it so that they can’t resist to express and link it throughout the web; however, high value content is not enough without employing various outreach strategies to let the world know and also to diversify traffic sources to risk-free income and traffic. Some of the most effective outreach strategies are guest web site posting, social media, email marketing and advertising, forum and community engagement.

  18. Eric Lancheres on May 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Great in depth analysis of the site, have you been writing non-stop since Penguin came out ? 🙂

    On a more serious note though, the analysis of the 301 redirects is quite interesting. They WERE previously passing the penalty (even prior to this update) but it appears as if they are now more severe. (If you have multiple 301s pointing now, it appears to trigger some sort of penalty, makes sense.)

    Previously, having a penalty on a 301 and redirecting it to another place passed the penalty (Tested on multiple subjects) so I don’t think it’s entirely accurate to say: “Before it didn’t pass penalty, and now it does” (Maybe I misunderstood your statement).

    Regardless, I enjoy the analysis, the incoming links from a ton of hosts on the same IP is definitely a big red flag… and so are all those 301 redirects.

    In the end though, we know that Google is targeting the most common link building techniques (blog networks, ‘buying links’, etc) so we should on identifying those pages & sites that are causing the drops.

    • Christoph on May 26, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Eric!

      Yes, been writing nonstop – and the next case study is up already with more findings.

      regarding the 301/penalty passing I agree that this was maybe to simplicistic.

      as usual the target sites’ Power and Trust decides on the (negative) impact here as well.

      But I think things have def. changed with this update.

      Cheers, Christoph

  19. Sebastian Rastrear on May 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Excellent deep dive, good use of the tools to examine the latest Google Update. Reading your article it doesn’t seem to be a radical update, but the correction of past changes (after all it is named Penguin 2). Interesting point about the 301 redirects, i know purchasing old domain with PR and redirecting was a quick way to collect PR juice. Thanks again.

  20. Joe Wong on May 25, 2013 at 1:18 am

    We were hit by Google penguin 2.0 because few months ago some SEO agency called us and offered to do SEO for our company but unfortunately after 4 months, we found out that they are doing massive non quality or related business link building. On 22nd May 2013, our ranking suddenly dropped and disappear. We would like to check with the expert, does anyone know how to recover? We got a big team of employees to support and we are very stress over this. And also is there anyway we can sue that SEO company for using blackhat tactic? Please advice.

    • Henry on May 26, 2013 at 1:33 am

      Hi Joe,

      I am quite surprised that if you got a big team of support and you hired a cheap SEO company, That is the biggest mistake what companies do. I would suggest you to hire professional individuals and they should use LRT. I helped many companies to clear their backlink profile with this tool.

      In the meantime you better start building strong links to improve your ratio with your already existing spam links.

      Good Luck

      • Christoph on May 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

        Hey Joe,

        rather than wasting your time on a lawsuit I would go and try to perform cleanup action ASAP.

        SEO is a moving target, especially since the Penguin update punished “cheap link building”.

        Make sure you join my webinar on Link Detox also here

        Good luck!


        • ~e~ on June 3, 2013 at 7:40 am


          Other than highly publicized sites, can you name a single recovery from Penguin 1.0 ?

  21. @kentjlewis on May 25, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Learn from a Deep Dive into a Penguin 2.0 Victim’s Spam Penalty

  22. Sammy on May 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

    That was excellent reading thanks. Especially the redirect info.

    I still am confused as to why some of the named culprit sites are so obvious paid links. were they all connected to a network or same ip as well as using keyword anchor text?

    anyway, was wondering if you could help me?

    My link profile has way more bookmarking links using keyword anchor text than other links, Does that spell trouble to your trained eye?


    • Christoph on May 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Hey Sammy,

      yes there were network patterns, money keywords and of course obviously and blatant embedded links in really poor content. Typical “cheap” link building.

      >way more bookmarking links using keyword anchor text than other links

      I would recommend to get the starter plan and analyze your site ASAP. Then remove/disavow all those links that you already have a bad feeling about.


  23. @DianaVersteege on May 25, 2013 at 9:27 am

    das erste grosse SEO-Opfer bei Google: #penguin via @jkrisch

  24. on May 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    This is my first time go to see at here and i
    am actually pleassant to read all at single place.

  25. @mkress on May 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Deep Dive into a Penguin 2.0 Victim – Penalty Analysis and lot’s of spammy links via @cemper

  26. Stellan on May 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Schöne Analyse Christoph – ich denke auch, dass jetzt ein anderer Wind wehen wird…

  27. Lrahm on May 27, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Wow, really nice analysis with interesting insights!

  28. Marc on May 27, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Hallo Christoph,

    tolles Auswertung, ich muss immer wieder “schmunzeln” wenn ich sehe, mit welchen Mitteln die vermeindlichen “Profis” und großen Brands arbeiten.

    Auch die “kochen nur mit Wasser” und probieren mit den klassischen Bloglinks im großen Stil erfolg zu haben und auf den Seiten finden sich dann häufig die “preiswerten” Textbroker Inhalte wieder.

    Das zeigt aber mal wieder, dass auch die “Großen” manuell Backlinks aufbauen müssen, nur auf freiwillige Links zu hoffen reicht schon lange nicht aus.

    Danke für die tolle Auswertung !!


  29. @MarcusSonntag on May 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Deep Dive into a Penguin 2.0 Victim – Penalty Analysis and lot’s of spammy links via @cemper

  30. Felix on May 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Hallo Christoph,

    vielen Dank für die ausführliche Analyse.

    Ist es aber nicht verwunderlich, das home24 immer noch für “möbel online kaufen” so gut rankt? Ich hätte eher gedacht, das sie dort verschwinden.

    lg Felix

    • Christoph on May 28, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Hi Felix,

      it looks like they still rank for that specific phrase, albeit many other higher traffic keywords dropped big time. And that’s what really hurts.
      For that specific phrase I don’t see it overdone, except for that sitewide.

      Will be interesting to revisit the site in a couple months tough.

      Best, Christoph

      • Felix on June 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

        Hello Christoph,

        thank your for your feedback. I will observe this 😉

        Best, Felix

  31. Andy on May 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Hello Christoph,

    thank you for showing us this great report and explanation. But i would like to know, what would you change at the linkbuilding from Home24. Means you would never use guest blogging? Or you would never take a backlink from blog articles? What is the main answer/advice behind your report?

    best regards


    • Christoph on May 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Andy,

      Google specifically objected the abuse of Guest blogging and advertorials in the last weeks/months, as could be seen also with the Interflora example

      (detailled deep dive here )

      With the guestposts, the problem is that many “made for guestposts” sites exist, just as many “made for paid blog links” sites exist, and these artificially built up networks don’t have any future or value in Google, especially if they talk furniture in one post, loans, dating and gambling in the next ones.

      Interesting aspect for those is that of course with Authorship-ID launched by Google they will be even more capable to weed out the crappy ones. We have that already in the tool, and it’s worth a 2nd look in CLA and Link Detox if that played a role here.

      Regarding better links, I think a post like this follow up to the Interflora penalty will be interesting to read for you as well, and I might create another one like this when we’re thru the penalty analysises and have more insights.

      Best, Christoph

  32. […] werden, dass Veränderungen immer auch andere Gründe als den Pinguin haben können, aber auch Christoph ist der Meinung hat es provoziert mit etwas zu viel unnatürlichem […]

  33. Vishal on May 27, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Just want to chime and let everyone know one critical piece of information and that is that Google has different dial-tones set for different niches based on their popularity. So, the algorithm may forgive one thing in a niche but possibly not in another niche.

    That is why comparing with the top ranking sites is so important here. in Christoph’s tool.

    If we are not to get confused – we need to keep this in mind that Google may have different Penguin2.0 updates across different levels of niches.

    I’ve been using LRT for many months and am nothing short of IMPRESSED each time with it. This tool kicks all other tools I have used before.. you name it.. i have tried many… but this one ROCKS.

    You could lower the price a bit though 🙂

  34. Valerio on May 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    ..great post, thank you very much.. I’m actually looking for a reason for some drop in search engine and you just opened my eis on the 301 redirect. I guess tomorrow I’wiöö try and let see if something in the futur change. If there is a penalty for redirect 301, what do you think will be the time to wait for, once those redircets are gone?

  35. derek on May 27, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    It’s amazing how many spammy blog comments I found in this blog post. Looks like link research tools does not moderate comments because a lot of people just spammed the comment area, pretended they read the blog post with a pre-written response that’s been used on other blog’s.

    Not a good impression for me.

    • Christoph on May 28, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Hi Derek,

      I personally review all blog comments here, try to respond and cleanup the link droppers. If you find anything I missed, I would be glad to hear from you.
      Other than that I hope you found my post insightful.


    • Rob on June 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      I may be wrong, but I think what you are seeing is a mixture of comments and trackbacks.

  36. @highrank on May 28, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Nice post by @cemper using my favorite toolset (LRT) for analyzing backlinks, especially sites affected by Penguin.

  37. @derantiwarhol on May 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Verdammt gute Penguin Analyse:

  38. @sujanpatel on May 28, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Deep Dive into a Penguin 2.0 Victim – Penalty Analysis and lot’s of spammy links

  39. nakshaat on June 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Google is going to be paying much closer attention to your credentials, so if your site is considered an authority in your specific niche, expect to see that pay off in the form of higher rankings on the search engine.

  40. ~e~ on June 3, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Something else you are clearly missing from these studies is the comparative Detox ratings of the competing sites.

  41. Pinguin 2.0 ist da - Seite 3 on June 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    […] interessante Artikel zum Penguin 2.0 (englisch) mit detaillierten Case-Studies gibt es hier: Deep Dive into a Penguin 2.0 Victim – Penalty Analysis and lot's of spammy links – LRT LRT Link Rese… a Penguin 2.0 Penalty and Deep Dive into Spammy Links LRT Link Research Tools […]

  42. Mark on June 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks for this. very useful info for creating a proper link building strategy. Anyone has idea on how long the disavow tool takes to come into effect? we removed a lot of junk backlinks almost 2 weeks ago and still no signs of improvements 🙁 …. has anyone tried recovermyrankings com ? Been seeing them around and not sure if it’s worthwhile using such a service?

  43. […] gilt auch für uns. Wie bei der Veröffentlichung von Penguin 2.0 und der vorhergehenden Penguin 2.0 Fallstudie versprochen, ist hier der nächste Einblick in ein Opfer von Penguin 2.0. In diesem Artikel werden […]

  44. Nikki on June 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    interesting post with lots of deep and thoughtful insight. but after reading this, i ask myself if every link is a bad link.. seems like there are no healthy links anymore.. you guys even see every link in a blog or article that has relevant content as a paid link. so i beg to question, what is a good link?
    on top of that, anyone can build any kind of links to any site, even bad links to competitors. that means that any link is still a link that has minimal positive effect.

  45. Dominik on June 21, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Well this was a great review!
    As a German I do understand all the stuff that was in the linking sites and it was just some weird shit. I am really glad that google came up with penguin 2.0 so full-of-spam sites don’t kick the good sites with great content of the SERPs.
    The best part of the article is the picture where it shows that the 30 domains are all of the same IP-adress and the names of the domains are mostly some weird german nonsense.

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