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Deconstructing Google’s Penguin algorithm

by Andreas Voniatis

Google's Penguin Algorithm

Google’s Penguin 2.0 algorithm was rolled out during May 2013. MathSight, a company that Andreas Voniatis helped found attempted to deconstruct the algorithmic update using deductive mathematical reasoning.  In layperson’s terms what the once secret ingredients were.

According to the data, MathSight found that Penguin 2.0 and 2.1 was targeting the reading age or readability levels of website content.  The findings were of statistical significance such that readability proved to have a treatment effect for sites that gained and lost traffic as a result of the algorithm updates.

The difference between Penguin 2.0 and 2.1 was  highlighted by the data asa  change in the weighting of the algorithm “ingredients” such that 2.1 had a greater emphasis towards the reading metrics used in Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease and away from Dale Chall.

Artios has since proved that reading age is specific to the market sector.  For example, sites wishing to succeed in SEO for wedding planning searches will require a vastly different reading age to LED light bulbs.

The original MathSight data science study has been reproduced below:



Deconstructing Google’s Penguin 2.0 from Andreas Voniatis
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