Google confirmed an algorithm update to Penguin this past weekend. Welcome, Penguin 3.0!
While the details are still forthcoming, here’s what we know so far.
Penguin was first announced in April of 2012. The algorithm affects search engine rankings by targeting websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using “black hat” SEO techniques, link schemes, etc. Google estimates that Penguin affects around 3% of English search queries. Google has made 6 updates to the search recipe, and the most recent one is 3.0, which was released on October 17th and complete by October 20th.
What an Algorithm Update Means
An algorithm update means that the quality metrics feeding into the recipe changed. It’s not a “refresh” of the data. So, for those of you who have been doing link audits, working on cleaning up links on your site, and disavowing links that could be considered part of a link scheme, you could see a positive outcome from this go-around. If you have been neglecting your links, you could see a change in your organic traffic.
As we mentioned before, Penguin targets websites that use outdated and manipulative techniques in order to change search engine rankings. The last Penguin update happened last year in October, and only impacted 1% of queries. Pierre Far said this update affected less than “1% of US queries…The “refresh” helps sites that have cleaned up their bad links from the past, and demotes sites with newly-discovered [SIC] spam.” Changes will also affect international search queries.