As I've mentioned here before, although we'd NEVER use them on client sites, we maintain a portfolio of "experimental" sites that we throw "amateur" and black-hat SEO techniques at just to see what works and what doesn't - multi-tier stuff, automated links, etc. (BTW these sites are far from being throwaway sites - they're feeder sites for leads to our money sites!)
Here are the changes we've seen as of this morning post Penguin 2.0:
1. Link networks
As with all previous updates, sites ranked with our private link networks either held rank or gained rank.
2. Multi-tiered link building
This includes sites ranked using Matthew Woodward's method, and purchased link tiers from providers such as TheHoth. Overall these sites lost a bit of rank. I'm very surprised Google hasn't whacked this method yet, but I suppose there really is no safe & reliable way for them to do it. We do not use multi-tiered linking on client sites, but it's interesting to see the effects on other sites we test it on. Overall, these sites weren't harmed too badly, they lost anywhere from 1-5 positions. Tiers done manually using Matthew's method fared better than purchased tiers from Hoth.
Overall they can be recovered quickly with good links, or maybe even more link pyramids.
3. SAPE Network
After hearing all the hype about this Russian network, I threw a few hundred SAPE Network links at a couple of sites. These definitely took the worst hit of all but still it wasn't too bad - the worst damage so far is that one site lost 6 positions, which can easily be recovered within weeks using quality links. I will say that this site is relatively new, and domain age seems to be a factor in Penguin 2.0.
Other than SAPE and our own private networks, I have not tried any other link networks so I cannot comment.
4. Automated links/GSA-SER
This was a shocker - sites ranked solely using massive spam links generated by GSA Search Engine Ranker either held steady or even gained a few! I just about fell out of my chair on this one. I guess we'll wait and see if this remains true or if the sites crash but as of now they're doing fine. Which means that the purpose of Penguin 2.0 was all b.s. and it seems instead to have imposed the heaviest penalty on the Russian network links.
EMDs held steady. The only drop we saw was one EMD that was pumped up with multiple runs of Matthew Woodward's method. It went from #1 to #3. It's been almost a year since any new Tier 1 links have been built to it so one more run will probably recover it. All other EMDs remain at #1.
So that's that. Another algo update that's been smooth sailing for those using high-quality linking, and just a small bump in the road for the multi-tier and automated linking crowd.
Now it's back to business as usual!