The latest iteration of Google's Penguin update (dubbed Penguin 2.0) rolled out on the 22nd of May and is estimated to have had an impact on around 2.3% of all English language queries.
The first release of Penguin caused quite a stir in the SEO industry, with keyword anchor text ratios and anchor text distribution coming under fire. It forced a large number of SEO's to rethink their previous link building strategies or they would face the wrath of the Penguin.
Google's Matt Cutts discussed Penguin 2.0 before its release, stating that it would be a more comprehensive version of the initial release, with the power to go deeper than earlier versions. Bad news for those still coming to terms with the shift in thinking that both the Penguin and Panda updates have brought with them.
Big brands are said to be the winners from these latest updates with lower quality, and in many cases less ethical in terms of SEO, sites being impacted. The problem is that even if you are living by Google best practices, you may not be in the clear. The majority of big brand websites have been around for a long time and during this period, may have gained links that are now deemed to be against Google best practice. This is why it's important to review your link profile where possible, pruning any links that you feel may negatively affect you moving forward. If you can't remove these manually you can opt for using the Google Disavow Tool to disassociate yourself from past links.
Through our own analysis it is clear that anchor text has received some form of devaluation, with sites with high percentages of overall anchor text for their 'money' keywords dropping in the SERPS. For this reason link building shouldn't focus solely on commercial anchor text and should move towards a greater variation in anchors used with a focus on brand building.
As mentioned, it is clear that the strength of a domain is playing a stronger contributing factor of where a site rankings across the SERPS. It appears for the most part, big brand sites with higher Domain Authority and trust are, quite rightly, appearing higher up in Google, with those with weaker Domain Authority placing lower down the overall SERPS.