Google finally released the latest of their Penguin updates, named Penguin 3.0 by Search Engine Land on Friday 17th October 2014. This update is almost one year on from its previous update and many website owners and search professionals have been waiting in anticipation with much speculation throughout the year that a ‘big update’ was on its way.
Google’s Penguin updates have always shared a common goal in the simplest terms, to rid their SERPs of results secured by ‘unnatural/spammy back link techniques.’ Many including Search Engine Land, have labelled this update one of the most eagerly awaited algorithm updates for Google, as for those hit by Penguin previously have endured a long hard road of updates and correctional work to earn back their SEO stripes and until now, not known if their efforts have paid off. But has it been an all singing all dancing algorithm update or simply a data refresh?
According to Google UK’s Pierre Far,
‘On Friday last week [17th October 2014], we started rolling out a Penguin refresh affecting fewer than 1% of queries in US English search results. This refresh helps sites that have already cleaned up the webspam signals discovered in the previous Penguin iteration, and demotes sites with newly-discovered spam...It’s a slow worldwide rollout, so you may notice it settling down over the next few weeks.’
There has been a great deal of conversation peppering the web and social channels that this update has not been as significant as first supposed, so how has it affected UK results? Well, as Pierre mentions above, fewer than 1%. For the sites I manage, I have not noticed any significant change in rank or traffic yet. That said, we have noticed competitor websites dropping which has been to our advantage, which is always helpful. I am of the opinion shared by many that this is a scaled down version of the ‘big’ Penguin update we were expecting and that Google are taking a slightly more cautious approach this time, as Penguin 1.0 hit so many websites so hard.
I will be keeping my ear to the ground over the coming weeks, monitoring my websites and analysing trends to see if Penguin 3.0 really is a slow burner, or whether it is only the once imagined Penguin’s little brother! I will keep you posted and if you have noticed anything significant you would like to share; please do get in touch.
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