By Gary Nugent

Penguin 3 ArrivesGoogle released the Penguin 3.0 algorithm update for its search engine last Friday (Oct. 17th) and it’s rollout was completed this morning.

Penguin targets sites that are deemed to be spammy, and hones in on those sites that are found to be in violation of Google’s guidelines about linking.

Google hasn’t yet provided any information on how many websites have been impacted by the change. They also haven’t said just how big a change (or not) Penguin 3.0 is.

The 3.0 version number isn’t official, but it what SEO people have been calling it until Google officially provides a name for the update. So far, Google have released 6 penguin updates (info from Search Engine Land):

  • Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
  • Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
  • Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
  • Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 (impact not yet released)

So it’s been just over a year since the last Penguin release.

If your sites were hit by Penguin 2.1, and you made changes so that your sites would be in compliance with Penguin 2.1, you probably thought Google had taken note of those changes.

Penguin 3.0Nope. Google is only acting on those changes now with the release of Penguin 3.0.

Does that seem reasonable or acceptable to you (it doesn’t to me)? – a year is a long time in the business world.

So if you were trying to remove spammy links to your site(s), Google has only just taken note of what you did over the last year with the Penguin 3.0 release.

And, if you disavowed any links in the last 3 weeks…well, you were too late to get those changes taken care of by Penguin 3.0. Search Engine Land has more info on that in this post.

We can now expect to see some shuffling of results in Google’s search engine. Even if your site is not directly affected by Penguin, other sites in your niche may get better or worse rankings because they are affected, and your position could change as a result.

Again, while your site may not be directly affected, links to your site could be. Spammy links that may have been responsible for improving your site’s ranking will now be discounted and you could lose link juice (and position) because of this.

Oh, the joys of Google!


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