There is a lot of useless speculation in the forum right now which is completely off the mark, so much so that Matt Cutts is laughing at us. There has not been enough attention on the history of Penguin, how Google likes to deploy updates. I'll be writing an in-depth blog post on this in the next few days, I'm still researching. But to point you guys in the right direction lets look at the history of Penguin. Penguin works on a page by page basis, if you've been hit by penguin you may notice that only part of your rankings were hit. If you separate your keywords by landing page you'll likely notice that your site was hit only on specific pages, other pages will have rankings intact. Penguin 1 only targeted your homepage and the backlinks pointing to it, Penguin 2.0 dove deeper and started to look at your inner pages too, then back in May Google released this video in which Matt Cutts talks about going "upstream" and examining even further into the backlink profile, what he is talking about is tiered linkbuilding. http://youtu.be/xQmQeKU25zg?t=3m11s Targeting tiered linkbuilding leaves us in disarray, it takes out blog networks supported by it it takes out many many techniques we once used. With this type of targeted update, Google can take many methods in one swipe as most methods are supported by tiered linkbuilding, including blog networks. He also talks about a new technique to filter webspam, this is likely a combination of hummingbird and Penguin. Hummingbird provided Google with a deeper understanding of search queries and keywords, combine this with webspam filters and Google will have an increased ability to detect webspam, especially spun content. Next, i'm sure Google releases several updates on the same day to specifically add to the confusion of why a site was hit. It stops us finding a pattern among penalized websites. Google recently increased their rhetoric about sites not using any SEO at all. This makes sense with the release of hummingbird, since hummingbird has a greater understanding of keywords and meanings, it also means that they may have turned the sensitivity up on their triggers for penalties. Partial match keywords have never been more important in anchor text. With hummingbird, you may not need to place your exact match anchor in your backlinks at all. A recent data chart by Moz showed the importance and strength in partial match keywords, I assume this is taken even further by Google after the past month. Link velocity. Google's rhetoric has also echoed the concept of having sites rank with very few backlinks, this is also congruent with the idea that Google doesn't want webmasters having to do SEO. Now, before you make any new threads on BHW, please do this; Google the keyword your were penalized for and analyze each site currently ranking to see what they're doing differently.