Yes it looks like that Penguin is back after a very low profile for over a year. Once again Google has sent chills down the spines of all business website owners and internet consultants as the latest update was rolled out in the last week of October.
Unlike other updates Penguin 3.0 has been given little initial promotion from the guys at Google and was only confirmed the day after it presumably impacted. Estimated to effect 1% of queries, it is now global but Google have said that full roll out is not completed yet – it may go on for a week or so. Just like its predecessors it is aimed at sites which specifically deal in spammy links. So it is predominantly affecting the ranking of sites which are set up for paid links or link farms (such as article websites) and sites which link back to these sites from their own sites. Google now is clear what constitutes a natural link and if you do not keep to these guidelines you could be putting your website in danger of being penalised – the result being a fall in the search engine rankings.
A double-edged sword
As much as some have been dreading this new update, for some marketers it is a kind of double edged sword. Following Penguin 2.2 many website owners have been attempting to track down those links which are classed as spammy and have them taken down. Even though they may have been successful in this task, they will not know whether it has a positive effect on their rankings as this will only become apparent when a new update (such as 3.0) is released – so it may be good news and bad news.
However it is a fact that if you tried to disavow your bad links in the last three weeks they will not take effect with this update.
Penguin 3.0 is just a refresh
Pierre Far at Google commented that Penguin 3.0 specifically, is a “refresh” which suggests this is another sweep rather than introducing any brand new guidelines. He reiterated that, as stated above, it should demote sites with bad link profiles and help sites that were previously hit that cleaned up their link profiles.
So in a sense this is just a re-run of Penguin 2.2. Those website owners who spent good time in clearing out their dodgy links are likely to see a positive effect in the SERPS but there may be bad news for those who were missed by the flightless bird the last time it was doing its rounds.