What’s all the Penguin 3.0 Fuss About?

For those of you keeping track, before last Friday it had been a little over a year since Google released a Penguin update. Which is somewhat surprising considering the steady stream of updates previously. But it’s here now, so let’s dive right in.

This, the sixth iteration of the Penguin filter — deemed Penguin 3.0 by Search Engine Land — has been developed and upgraded in order to better fight websites that rely on spammy tactics to get ahead in the rankings. This element shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering Google constantly works toward a pristine search field, but the occasion is especially noteworthy when you think about how long Google’s team has been developing this algorithm upgrade.

penguin in water


So Who Will be Affected Most by Penguin 3.0?

The short answer: those in violation of Google’s linking guidelines. As far as SEOs and researchers can tell, the filter has been set up to scrutinize and penalize spammy links into and out of a website.

Penguin is unforgiving. If your site was penalized with 2013’s algorithm change, you’ve had to wait until Penguin 3.0’s release in order to see if your site updates actually worked. That said, there’s no doubt sites and publishers who were hit have been anxiously awaiting their chance to see if the changes they’ve made appease Google. Whether by eliminating spammy links or creating more original on-site content, let’s hope those down-trodden webmasters are rejoicing. Otherwise they’ll have to wait until the next Penguin release.

Penguin 3.0 Nuances

There are a few other things to keep in mind as we move into the Penguin 3.0 world.

  1. If you’ve disavowed links within the past three weeks, don’t expect a change in rankings. It was a valiant effort, but unfortunately it was too late to be considered by Google’s algorithm shift.
  2. As previously mentioned, bad links will not be tolerated by Google bots. This means sites will probably not be penalized for the sub-optimal links, but will most likely see a drop in rankings, as crawlers discount those links’ credit. Visibility will undoubtedly suffer.
  3. Apparently, Google has also mentioned a new system that promotes more frequent refreshes. As the roll out continues over the next couple weeks, we’ll see if that’s true.