Google Penguin 3.0 Update: What You Need to Know


Earlier this month Google’s Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst and Search Quality Engineer, said at SMX East to expect the rollout of a Penguin refresh. Google confirmed to Search Engine Land that it updated its Penguin filter on Friday October 17th, 2014. This latest update is one of the most anticipated in history, with rumors of roll outs earlier this year and over the summer proving to be untrue.

This is the sixth release of a Penguin aimed algorithm update the first dating back to April 24, 2012 and most recent Penguin 2.1 over a year ago on October 4, 2013. Those familiar with Penguin will remember that this particular filter focuses on a few things:

  • Over-optimization: aimed at sites with a high percentage of exact match anchor text backlinks
  • Links schemes: purchasing links, private blogger networks
  • Spam signals: irrelevant or unnatural backlinks, spammy redirects, bad neighborhood links and concentration of links to internal pages

Dr. Pete Meyers with Moz wasn’t seeing signs early in the week of October 20th and other SEOs were frustrated with this seemingly weak update – according to tools. By Thursday October 23rd SEOs in this Webmaster World thread started reporting an uptick in rankings, after rumblings the update had already rolled in. Looks like we’re in for more in the coming days. Christoph Cemper with dives deeply into Penguin 3.0, arguably one of the first in depth posts worth checking out. He uncovers a few winners and losers such as Ebay and notably sites in Australia.

What Makes Penguin 3.0 Different?

Experts are still combing over the winners and losers with the preview of Penguin 3.0. The full details on what exactly Penguin 3.0 focuses on are still being investigated, but early indications reveal a continued focus on eradicating the above offenders from the index. Additionally, experts are starting to sound off with their disappointment, that it was “underwhelming” and “disappointing” at best.

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