Google Penguin 3.0 is Here

Penguin 2.2 or 3.0?

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Key points to take away:

  • The update is global affecting 1% of English search queries
  • If you were hit by Penguin in October 2013, any changes you’ve made will have been reviewed
  • It’s being called a “refresh” so no official change to the algorithm
  • Some are calling it Penguin 2.2 and some are calling it 3.0

On Friday 17th October the latest Penguin update went live. Google confirmed this update aims to target sites that are spammy, and specifically sites that violate Google’s linking guidelines.

This is the first update in over a year hence we’re calling it Penguin 3.0. Since Penguin 1.0 was released in April 2012 there have been five further releases.

What has Google said?

The update isn’t complete and will be rolling out for a few weeks affecting all versions of Google. Less than 1% of English search queries will be impacted and the update aims to target sites with bad link profiles.

Penguin 2.2 or 3.0?

Pierre Far, Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google said the update is a “refresh” which means the algorithm hasn’t changed and has basically just been re-run. Due to this, as there is no official name for the update, some are calling it Penguin 2.2 because it’s a refresh, and others are naming it Penguin 3.0 because it’s been a year since the last update.

What does this mean for site owners hit by the last Penguin update?

If you’re a site owner who was penalized by the last Penguin update in October 2013, this latest Penguin release will be music to your ears. So if you’ve made any changes to your site then these will have been reviewed, it’s worth looking at your rankings and organic traffic to identify if these changes have now resolved the issue.

That said, if no improvements can be seen then site owners will have to wait an unknown amount of time until the next Penguin update. For site owners who have disavowed bad links in the past 3-4 weeks then the changes won’t have been made in time for this update.

With the release of Penguin 3.0 Google has indicated that it will have a new system in place in time so that refreshes can occur more regularly.

What if I see a drop in rankings or organic traffic?

From reports so far few sites have seen a dramatic change in rankings and traffic; as the Penguin update is still being rolled out this might explain this.

Some site owners may see a drop in rankings; this doesn’t necessarily mean the individual site has been hit by Penguin. As Penguin focuses on spammy links, site owners may find links they have accrued over time no longer pass on the link juice that they use to. This could mean less ‘votes’ to a site which could impact the sites ranking.

If you’re concerned we advise reviewing your link profile and identifying any links that could be classed as spam (or we could do this for you as part of our SEO services). Remember though any changes you make won’t be registered until the next update.

Help! What can I do to future proof my site from Google updates?

One thing that is a certainty is that original, fresh content will only help your site. Think of your user and what they want; ultimately the answers to the (relevant) questions they are asking in Google should be found on your site. Keep your site content and blog posts original and interesting and you’re on a good path.

Confused by all these penguins, pandas and pigeons? Don’t fret, let the SEO experts at Upperdog digital agency in Bournemouth help you out. As mobile SEO, local SEO and technical SEO experts we can help make your site more visible in the search engines. Get in touch today!