Punching Penguins @performinsights 2013

A little earlier this year I was invited to sit on a special panel at A4U Europe, hosted in Amsterdam.

The panel, jovially titled “Punching the Penguin” featured search superstars Joost de Valk (of Yoast.com), Marcus Tandler (of Mediadonis), Christophe Cemper (of Cemper.com) & was moderated by the legendary Bas Van den Beld (of State of Search).

Thanks to the great people over at Performance Insights, its now available below!


It was a really fun session with some great people,

let me know your feedback below!

3 thoughts on “Punching Penguins @performinsights 2013”

  1. Well, I watched this an no real answers apart from the same advice we all give our clients – concentrate on content and wait for Google to recognise that. In the case of ‘What to do when my site has been banned by penguin?’ I think Yoast came up with the best idea, if its been banned once, ditch it and start again, it will be a while lot easier. Martin, I respect your work and have probably learnt more in the few months I have been following this blog about analytics and the techy bits than I have learnt in a couple of years.

    But man, you are ANGRY – calm down, Google is what google is and just like you and me – they are in business to make money – it’s not their fault they are the biggest search engine out there, it’s ours so we have to abide by their rules and not act like a bunch of whinging idiots blaming them for rebelling against what ‘we’ have done in the past – live with it and work around it you are better than the language exhibited in this video – to me, you came across unprofessional and to swear quite so much in a very public way is not in my view appropriate. – You are a thought leader – act like one and you will get even more respect from business.

    Links still add value – but thank goodness for Penguin et al – at least it got rid of a load of spammy websites with zero UX – it’s up to us to persuade our clients to invest in better and more effective ways for the long term in which we can help them promote their businesses. Search is just part of the marketing mix and if we are honest, we all need to get a grip and tell our clients the truth – you want to be number one – then you are gonna have to pay for it – long term. There are no quick fixes in our world, unless you want to pay through the nose and put even more profit in hands of Google thru’ adwords.


    • Angry? That was quite calm by my normal standards :p

      In all seriousness though, I agree that there may well be a view that “punching the penguin” would infer that we might reveal some technical workaround for sites that have been penguin filtered. The simple truth is that if that IS possible, its not something that we know about right now.

      Going way back to the MayDay update, I think I was the first person to fully discuss what you needed to do with regards to frequency and uniqueness of content as a ratio of pages on your site in order to get out of that particular filter, but the problem overall with Penguin related issues that its caused by off site problems that you dont have full and immediate control over most of the time. (Unless you happen to own every domain that links to you of course!).

      The other major issue is that for the first time in a LONG time, its really tough to measure how and when something is fixed given the less than frequent nature of data refreshes for bad links. That by itself makes an algorithmic deduction pretty much impossible.

      In these times of uncertainty therefore, I guess the overall message in the entire video is: “If you’re comfortable with churn and burn, its got easier, if you want to build something long term and dont want to risk reputational damage, DONT buy spammy links any more”. Unfortunately.



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