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Penguin 3.0 Born One Year After Its Predecessor

Many webmasters were not pleased after Google’s first release of Penguin 1.0 in 2012. Now, one year after the release of Penguin 2.1, Google released its latest update and the search marketing world is bracing for its impact.

Google confirmed to Search Engine Land late last week that they had in fact updated Penguin. Like its predecessors, Penguin 3.0 affects sites that are not following Google’s clearly articulated guidelines. 

Overall, Google has remained pretty silent about the new Penguin release. However, in a Google+ post this morning, the company released the following statement:

“On Friday last week, we started rolling out a Penguin refresh affecting fewer than 1 percent of queries in U.S. 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.”

What Makes Penguin 3.0 Different?

Penguin 3.0 is said to affect 1 percent of search results. Below is the estimated impact from the previous version of Penguin from Search Engine Land:

  • Penguin 1.0: 3.1 percent
  • Penguin 1.1: 0.1 percent
  • Penguin 1.2: 0.3 percent
  • Penguin 2.0: 2.3 percent
  • Penguin 2.1: 1 percent

According to an article in Forbes, Google confirmed that it has made a major algorithm change from Penguin 2.0 to 3.0. If webmasters haven’t seen an impact already, they should be expecting one.

The changes could be either good or bad: The update could either negatively affect those not following Google’s direction or positively affect those that have made changes since the last update.

Linking strategies will have the largest impact on whether Penguin 3.0 has a negative or positive affect on your website. Google support recommends avoiding the following linking tactics:

  • Buying or selling links
  • Excessive link exchanges
  • Using automation to create links
  • Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases
  • Low-quality directory or bookmark site links
  • Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites
  • Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature 

As with any search engine algorithm change, your best bet is to strictly follow the policies and guidelines outlined by Google. 

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