Ralf Schulz
By Ralf Schulz | SEO | October 22, 2014

Penguin 3.0: What We Know So Far

Past Penguin updates:

  • Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
  • Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
  • Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
  • Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
  • Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 (impacting around 1% of queries)

Google released the beginning of the latest Penguin update late last Friday the 17th. The Penguin algorithm has always looked at a site’s backlink profile to determine that site’s quality. For example, if your website had a poor backlink profile Google might penalize you when it comes to ranking well on the Search Engine Results Page.

Just yesterday Pierre Far released this statement on his Google+ page:

“Penguin update rolling out

On Friday last week, 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.”

Penguin 3.0: What’s New?

As far as we know, and after seeing Pierre Far’s post, this update is just a refresh. Additionally, we know that it will take a few weeks to complete the worldwide rollout as only 1% of the US English search queries will be affected.

What is a refresh? To Google, a refresh means a fresh run of their algorithm to acknowledge sites that have put in effort since the previous Penguin update. If a site still has the same issues then it will continue to get demoted. Because this was just a refresh, they did not add any signals to the algorithm.

Winners and Losers

The following charts are from Search Engine Brief and show how Penguin 3.0 has affected many sites already. Please remember that the rollout is still in progress and that scenarios could still change.






I’ll be sure to update this post as more information comes in about Penguin 3.0. Once we know more, I’ll be sure to  write up a conclusion. Leave a comment if you have anything to add or discuss.

Some Search Engine Optimizers are saying that this should have been called Penguin 2.2 because it wasn’t anything new. What do you think?

Thanks for reading and happy optimizing.

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