Penguin 3.0 Algorithm Update Confirmed by Google

After weeks of speculation and anticipation by SEOs and webmasters, Google has officially announced the release of the Penguin 3 algorithm update.   Based on early internal data, the rollout began Saturday morning and is expected to continue through the middle part of this week.

We expect the confirmation of a Penguin update to mean that Google is adjusting link weights and backlink factors to clean up web spam.

How will this affect clients?

While it is too early to speculate on the specifics of this update, we are anticipating that it is both a data refresh and contains new algorithmic signals.  This would mean the possibility of big recoveries for our disavow & penalty removal clients as well as potential fluctuation across all niches. We are investigating this update and how it affects our clients including:
  • Possible incorporation of Google’s “Hilltop” patent (defining “Expert & Authority” pages) (“Hilltop in Plain English“)
  • Deep link ratio – how many links back to a site simply target the homepage vs inner pages
  • Less reliance on anchors (or a lower “spammy anchor” threshold)
  • Age of links may matter more (or less) than before
  • Age of the site a backlink comes from
There are a number of other factors we will be monitoring.  We are going to be completing data analysis on link types as well: guest blogging, infographics, local directories & citations, resource/link pages, links from blogs and articles, and many more. We are also gathering data from all the major news sources (see the references section below.)

How big is the impact?

Google has not yet announced how much impact this update will have.  Based on previous experience, we anticipate most of our clients will be pleased with their new rankings.  Clients who recover from previous issues should see anywhere from “improvements” in general to a massive spike in rankings.  As always, when some businesses go up, others must come down so we will also be monitoring these patterns and working on updates for anyone affected. This update rolled out worldwide so our SEO clients in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and the rest of the world should also be aware that we are working on processing worldwide data as well as Australia.

We do not believe that this algorithm update is going to reverse 100% of Penguin issues, nor will it completely remove the consequences of negative SEO.  We do anticipate some “tweaks” to the update as Google monitors the effects of worldwide rollout in the upcoming days.

What are WME doing now?

Our action plan started on the weekend when we began data collection & analysis for this update. We will:
  • Collect data – internally and externally – to analyse exactly what changed and what effect it had on clients.
  • Inform clients of the update & let those with recoveries know about the good news. This process has already begun and will continue most of the week.
  • Formulate strategies for those who did not have recoveries or whose ranking was not positively affected by the update.
  • Continue to monitor our news sources and update as necessary.

What’s Next?

Google said that updates should come more frequently in the future – especially with data refreshes.  This means disavow recoveries should also be quicker to sort for clients. We monitor hundreds of industry blogs and forums with the intent to stay current on SEO trends. If you want to read along with us on leading industry sites to get more info, check the links below. 

Penguin 3.0 Reference Articles