We are seeing drastic changes in how search engines deliver information. Google in particular is striving to deliver not just the most relevant information, but the most useful and high-quality content.
Google has released a series of algorithmic updates aimed at placing sites that promote high-quality content ahead of the pack in search results. The most notable of these updates are Google Panda and Google Penguin.
On October 5, 2012, Google unleashed the latest version of its anti-webspam algorithm called Penguin. Widely known as Penguin 3 and announced by Matt Cutts via Twitter, it announced a refresh that affects sites in several languages:
“Weather report: Penguin data refresh coming today. 0.3% of English queries noticeably affected. Details: http://t.co/Esbi2ilX.”
0.3% may sound like a tiny figure, but it’s a significant signal that should put everyone on alert that the Penguin update is here to stay, and it’s hell-bent on providing search results that are more relevant and more useful.
A brief timeline of Google Penguin updates
Among Google’s algorithmic updates, perhaps none was more striking than Google Penguin. Below is a brief timeline of the Penguin update:
- April 24, 2012 – The first Google Penguin was released. Almost instantly, many sites saw an incredible drop in rankings.
- May 26, 2012 – Penguin 1.1 was released, affecting less than 0.1% of English sites.
- October 5, 2012 – Penguin 3 was announced and released, with about 0.3% of English sites affected by the latest refresh.
How does Penguin 3 fit into the series of Penguin updates?
Penguin is all about ridding the SERPs of spammy websites. If they were overly optimized with low-quality content and links, sites were heavily penalized by the first two versions of Google Penguin.
Penguin 3 has had the same effect on search queries as Penguins 1 and 2, but Cutts was explicit this time about the effect of the latest refresh.
In his tweets, Cutts revealed the size of Penguin 3’s impact on queries in English and several other languages. Below are some of the data on how much Penguin 3 affected searches in various languages:
- English – 0.3%
- Spanish – 0.4%
- Italian – 0.3%
- French – 0.4%
What’s noticeably different?
SEOs and webmasters are probably wondering what’s different in the SERPs as a result of Penguin 3’s release.
With the release, Matt Cutts gave us a clear idea of where we should look for the results of the latest algorithmic refresh: the changes will be “above the fold.”
This means that while the previous two Penguin updates affected the entire first page of the SERPs, Penguin 3 made observable changes within the top 5 search results.
Should you be worried?
If your site has not been severely affected by the previous two Penguin releases, you shouldn’t have any worries. You have probably been doing SEO right as far as Google’s recent updates are concerned.
If you’ve been hit by the previous releases but you made changes to your link-building activities in accordance with current SEO best practices, you should be fine.
Just remember that the key to surviving any update Google throws at you is to make sure your site promotes high-quality, relevant, and extremely useful content; maintains natural link-building practices; and keeps informed of all timely developments in the Search Engine Optimization industry.
In other words, stay on top of things!
I hope this post has provided you with useful information on the Google Penguin 3 update. If you need help making sure your site stays compliant with current SEO standards, contact us. We would love to chat with you about how we can help.
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