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Penguin 3.0 Much Ado about Nothing?

October 30th, 2014 - Posted by joe under SEO Industry Insider

For the uninitiated Google’s Penguin update is nothing more than another cute word for an algorithm update that you know nothing about but occasionally mention to impress intelligent members of the opposite sex at tech trade shows and after hours mixers.

For those who have had their organic rankings affected by the Penguins of the past, never has the mention of a cute little bird, beloved of children and wildlife conservationists carried such connotations of pain and lost revenue.

Penguin’s original intent was mainly focused on stopping the over-use of keyword specific link anchor text and to penalize sites with spammy link profiles. It worked, in today’s world, SEO’s watch the quality of their client’s link profile and anchor text like Santa watches the naughty list.

A ding from Penguin can have devastating and long lasting effects. In-fact, too long, the last time Google updated the Penguin algorithm was over a year ago. October 4th 2013 to be exact when Penguin 2.1 was released. Theories abound when it comes to how often, when and how the Penguin update refreshes. Many SEO’s have seen a bounce in rankings upon cleaning up spammy links with the Disavow tool and correcting what link anchor text they could. Suggesting that once you do some reverse SEO and submit your spammy links to disavow, Google re-runs Penguin on your site and forgives all your spamful sins, restoring you once again into the good graces of Larry Page. Others report not seeing immediate if any results from the same actions.

Getting back to P3.0, some SEO’s are claiming that they are seeing big changes in their client’s traffic, others are reporting no noticeable changes. That might sound confusing but honestly, when can you believe anything you read online? One of the most reliable sources for ranking data is reporting that this update is basically unrecognizable on their daily data charts.

Here is what we actually know about Penguin 3.0.

1.) Google confirmed the roll out happened Monday October 20th.
2.) Google is telling us it impacted 1% of English queries.
3.) Pierre Farr (an important Google guy) called it specifically a “refresh.” (not an update)
4.) It is a worldwide update, not just here in America kids.

That is about it… thus the title of this blog.

Here is the good news, most likely this Penguin “refresh” was not an actual update but a get out of jail free card of sorts for websites that had cleaned up their link profiles and simply needed a chance to prove it to Google. Thus hopefully gaining back some of the ground they lost in the rankings from previous Penguin updates. The painful part is those hit by Penguin 2.1 had to wait over a year to glean the redemptive benefits of this Penguin refresh.

So if you are still suffering Penguin penalties and have yet to clean up your link profile, my best advice is that you do so immediately. Then pray it’s not another year before Google decides to refresh their web-spam devouring Penguin who is quick to penalize and, so far, slow to forgive.

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