Google have recently dropped some news regarding their Penguin algorithm, the system that was launched in April 2012 to target poor quality links. After nearly a year since the last update, Penguin 2.1, Google’s John Mueller has spoken in a Webmaster Hangout, announcing that work is being carried out on the next update – Penguin 3.0.
Mueller was pretty vague about dates on this, stating that “it’s not happening today”, however, going on to say that he anticipates this by the end of the year.
In addition to this looming update, we have learned that Google are working on quicker refresh times for the algorithm. This would mean that any sites that have been affected by Penguin can work to recover from this, seeing a positive impact sooner.
Anyone who has been hit by Penguin will be hopeful over this news. It’s most likely that you have worked hard to remove bad links and cleaned up your link profile in an effort to move back up in the rankings, only to be left waiting for the next update to see any results. We may eventually see Penguin head in a similar direction as the Panda algorithm, which now refreshes on a monthly basis.
With less than 4 months of 2014 left, this update could be here very soon if all goes to plan at Google. We’d recommend reviewing your backlinks and making sure any bad ones are dealt with in anticipation of Penguin 3.0.
Mueller added “we’ll definitely let you know when things are happening” so it’s a case of waiting on more news for now, but be prepared.
Speaking at Search Marketing Expo East in New York, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst and Search Quality Engineer, Gary Illyes declared that the new Penguin refresh may be launched next week (week beginning 6th October).
The update, which has taken nearly a year to release is the result of much hard work from Google and is more of a re-worked algorithm than just a refresh. By taking the time to deliver this update as opposed to more frequent refreshes, Google hopes that a solution has been achieved that will keep both users and webmasters happy.
Illyes spoke also about the disavowal of links, stating that any disavowed links submitted to Google from around two weeks ago up until now will probably be too late for the new Penguin update to take into account. However, the new algorithm will refresh on a more frequent basis.
So, depending on how well the testing phase goes and any problems are avoided during this, we could well see the new update next week. Again, watch this space.
We've all been keeping a close eye in recent weeks for signs of the much-discussed Penguin 3.0 algorithm and it can be confirmed that the wait is over, with the arrival of the update over the weekend.
Google's Pierre Far took to their social network, Google+ to confirm the introduction of the new algorithm with the following post:
"On Friday last week, we started rolling out a Penguin refresh affecting fewer than 1% of queries in US English search results. This refresh helps sites that have already cleaned up the webspam signals discovered in the previous Penguin iteration, and demotes sites with newly-discovered spam.
It’s a slow worldwide rollout, so you may notice it settling down over the next few weeks."
Some may have been bracing themselves for this, whilst others confidently expected an increase in traffic heading their way. So whether you've been working hard to clean up your bad links, or on the other hand, been up to some poor quality link building, then it's likely you have seen some noticeable changes in your search rankings.
If you haven't noticed a change yet, then make sure to keep a look out. As Far mentioned in his post, this is a slow roll out, so things may well continue to change over the coming weeks.