Why do People get Penalized by Google?

We now know unequivocally that Google uses and continues to use statistical tools far more advanced than simply looking at the quality of individual links. Our teams’ understanding of Penguin and its content-focused predecessor Panda is that Google now employs machine-learning techniques across large data sets to uncover patterns of over-optimization that aren't easily discerned by the human eye or the crude algorithms of the past. Spammy links will get you penalized, but high quality ones can cause harm as well.

To determine a websites vulnerability to a Google penalty, we look carefully at the overall quality of the links, but we use a few other techniques as well. First, we used standard mean Spearman correlations to give us an idea of the lay of the land. These allow us to build a crude regression model for further analysis. The real magic happens when we apply the same sorts of machine-learning techniques to the data set that Google uses in building models like Penguin. Our thorough analysis methods enable us to detect problem areas and work to make adjustments that will positively impact a website's perception by Google.

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