Penguin 3.0 – What does Google’s latest algorithm change mean?

SEOs around the world started noticing changes in data late last week and the rumours have been confirmed. Google has officially launched its latest algorithm change; Penguin 3.0. This update comes a year after the previous Penguin update, Penguin 2.1, with spammy link profiles the most likely target again.

Penguin was first introduced back in April 2012 in an attempt to tackle blackhat SEO practice, the major aim being to punish the use of low quality backlinks and this update seems to be no different. However, there is also speculation that this change could penalise those SEOs or Content Marketers who attempt to influence social media posts to gain SEO benefits, either by slipping links into the embedded code or by paying for shares and backlinks. The use of Web 2.0 sites such as Blogger and WordPress as a link building exercise may also come under fire from Penguin 3.0.

Many websites were hit by Penguin 2.1 last Autumn and have been eagerly awaiting this the newest version of Penguin to see if their efforts to clean up their sites have been rewarded with increases in traffic or ranking improvements, but it is likely they may have to wait a little while longer to see any effects.

Early signs suggest that whilst some sites have noticed changes, no seismic shifts have been detected. However, it is perfectly possible that Penguin 3.0 has not finished updating, given that Google’s Panda updates are known to take up to 10 days to finish rolling out. If that is the case, the full effect of Penguin 3.0 may not be felt until next week. It’s worth noting that if you made any attempts to disavow links in the last 3 weeks, it is probable that these changes will have come too late for this update.

So what are the likely ramifications of Google Penguin 3.0? Some speculators suggest that only a handful of especially spammy sites will experience major changes, whereas the majority of ‘legitimate’ sites may only see minor changes. Sites that have been acquiring backlinks through ‘unnatural’ means could see a drop in ranking, with the most valuable keywords expected to be the most affected.

Whilst many will be worried that their site could be penalised in the wake of this latest change, it would appear that, at this stage, Penguin 3.0 is just a continuation of Google’s ongoing efforts to punish lazy, quick-win SEO practices and reward high quality, original content. If you conduct SEO in an ethical, sustainable way like we do here at The SEO Works, then you shouldn’t have to worry about Penguin 3.0 and its potential repercussions.