Penguin 3.0’s On Its Way–And Why Businesses Should be Welcoming Its Arrival

August 18, 2014

It has been nearly a year since the last Penguin update was released–10 months to be exact, leaving many wondering: When exactly will the next update be coming?

According to Google’s representatives, we won’t have much longer to wait.

Many of Google’s algorithm changes have become increasingly subtle. Changes are constantly being made to improve the results the search engine’s provide, rolled in with their regular refreshes and made without any kind of announcement from the webmasters at Google. Panda, for example, which is designed to penalize websites with poor quality content, is happening regularly now about once every month without being officially “rolled out.”

Penguin, however, is a much more complex update, and according to Google’s John Mueller, it has been a long time coming. “I know it’s something the engineers are working on,” announced Mueller in a webinar hangout for webmasters hosted by Google earlier this month. The changes necessary to improve the way Google’s algorithm recognizes  “It’s been quite a while now….I can’t imagine [Penguin] is going to be that far away.”

SEO Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz did the math–showing the average wait-time between the Penguin updates of the past.

  • 1 month between Penguin 1.0 and 1.1
  • 4.5 months between Penguin 1.1 and 1.2
  • 7.5 months between Penguin 1.2 and 2.0
  • 4.5 months between Penguin 2.0 and 2.1

At over 10 months, we’re well past due–begging the question, how soon until the next Penguin hits? But even more importantly, what will the next Penguin update mean for you?

What to Expect When Penguin 3.0 Hits

Penguin’s on it’s way, and there are essentially two potential scenarios.

One outcome of the roll-out of Google’s anticipated Penguin 3.0 is the same outcome that many sites have experienced from the Penguins over the past few years–link penalties, drops in rankings, drops in traffic, and your site and your business suffer.

If you made it through Penguin 1.0, 1.2, 2.0, and 2.1 without being affected or, more importantly, without changing the way you go about building your online authority, linking, or handling any Google penalties you may have received–then Penguin 3.0 may seem as daunting as those first updates all those months ago.

But the other, more likely scenario: Welcome home Penguin 3.0!

If you’ve been investing in creating real connections, building better links, creating better anchor text, and spending your time and energy harvesting real online authority instead of spending your money bulk-buying factory farmed links–then all this should be welcome news.

Why Penguin 3.0 Should Spell Good News for Sites

If you’re like one of the many sites that have been hit by Penguin before, you’re all too familiar with what Google’s looking for. Google’s Penguin updates are designed to eliminate sites that relied on mass-produced, poor-quality links from the top pages of their search results.

Sites all over the world were hit with Google penalties and were forced to re-evaluate how they should be building their link profile and what it really means to get quality links and measurable online authority. They suffered ranking fall-offs and traffic drops, and as a result, began implementing organic search strategies that relied not on link farming, but on quality SEO, real content marketing, real relationship-building and diligent link removal.

For most people, optimizing for (or recovering from) Penguin has already been on their radar. These SEOs responded to the last Penguin update, or those before it, as they should have: by building better links through genuine outreach and content sharing, as well as submitting low-quality links for reconsideration and removal. If that’s you, this should be welcome news, because essentially Penguin 3.0 will act as nothing more than a refresh–giving Google the tools they need to finally recognize the work you’ve put into improving your site’s link profile. This is the moment so many of  you have been waiting for.

Ideally, with Penguin 3.0, all of the sites who’ve been submitting reconsideration requests, following Google’s guidelines, and more, will finally see their rankings recovering after all the hard work they’ve put into that recovery process.

If you’re in that first group, however–if you’re just now starting to clean up your link profile, this may not be the case. Either way, there are countless ways to prepare for Penguin, as well as recover from Penguin, so if you have any questions about how you think your site will be impacted or has been impacted–you can contact your account manager, give us a call at 877-866-6699 or email us


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