Google unleash new ‘Penguin 3.0’ upon the digital marketing world
You have to wonder why Google has made it their mission to tarnish and warp the world’s perception of some of the more historically loved animals. For over a century, the exotic allure of Penguin’s from the Antarctic and Panda’s from China – spawned from fascination – saw them ascend to the very upper echelons of human affection, appearing in a plethora of fiction, film and media to reinforce their popularity.
Then came the 24th of April 2012. For all who are unfamiliar with the significance of this date, it marks the first occasion of the Penguin programmes application to Google’s algorithm. It also represents the end of an era – an internal purge by Google itself of the black-hat SEO cowboys who had grown, spammed and profiteered their way to the top by exploiting the multinational’s meteoric rise. No longer would keyword overloading, illegitimate link building and aggressive spam strategies ensure a top page ranking. Instead, the message from Google was clear – “We intend to display higher quality sites in the top page rankings of our platform”. Any failure to adhere to their webmaster guidelines would result in an offender’s site being de-indexed, stripped of its rankings and being forced to go back to the drawing board to start all over again.
Since that date, 5 new updates of the Penguin algorithm have been launched, and naturally every update is met with a wince from the marketing community, who are forced to frenziedly speculate about the nature of the requirements which will be imposed on them and whether they are at risk of being brandished a penalty. The latest of these updates was last Friday – the 17th of October – with Search Engine Land confirming that the newest update has begun its rollout phase.
Thus far, no conclusive data has been produced about the frequency of sites and search queries which have been initially affected by the new algorithm update, though there has been a noticeable change in the composition of a large number of search results – signifying the latest victory for Google in its never ending game of one-upmanship with black-hat innovators and pioneers.
Six of the Best
The most recent update marks the 6th different incarnation of Penguin algorithm, with the last version before this month’s coming over a year ago, on the 4h October 2013. It is this extended timeframe between the last two updates which compelled Search Engine Land to give the newest version the title “Penguin 3.0” – a moniker that will most likely stick across the web-based community.
The previous updates were launched periodically between 2012 and 2014, though only the major releases – 1.0 and 2.0 – dished out critical damage to the digital marketing contingent.
Here are the release dates and query affects of the previous editions:
- Penguin 1 released on April 24, 2012 (affecting around 3.1% of queries)
- Penguin 1.1 released on May 26, 2012 (affecting less than 0.1%)
- Penguin 1.2 released on October 5, 2012 (affecting around 0.3% of queries)
- Penguin 2.0 released on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
- Penguin 2.1 released on October 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
Am I at risk?
The year-long gap between Friday’s update and the previous Penguin has meant that the former’s introduction has been one of the most hotly anticipated Google updates in years, mainly because any marketer who is handed out a penalty by it will have to wait until the intangible release date of the next edition before they can re-enter the search rankings.
It is this logistical reality of the recovery process from a Penguin update that has augmented the magnitude of Friday’s rollout – the date marked the first occasion that offending websites are able to compete in Google since October 2013. That means that despite trying to rectify their site links, SEO and adherence to Google guidelines, many businesses have had to wait a whole year to learn whether they are able to get back into the search engine giants good books.
If you were someone who falls into this category, then you will most likely notice a rise in your sites traffic levels in the next few days, providing that you have remedied the compliance of your website and ensured that it is organically optimised to legitimately warrant a high search ranking spot. Without disconcerting those who haven’t done this too much – a failure to have bought your sites practice in line with Google’s regulations will mean that you will have to wait with the new offenders till the next update – with no release date even in the pipelines at the moment.
It should also be noted that anyone who attempted to remove bad links from their site in the past month will still be at risk of suffering penalties from the new Penguin, so don’t be surprised if you have been hit despite trying to cram your link optimisation over the past few weeks.
The good news is that for all people have been hit; a redemption date should be closer than it has been in the past, with Google suggesting that they will start rolling out more updates over shorter timeframes. Whilst nothing is conclusive, I’m sure such speculation will be music to the ears of those accused of malpractice, which will not have to suffer the ignominy of a 12 month wait in order to bring their businesses back into the game – without any guarantee of resurgence.
For our previous insight into the new update, check out: https://jseo.com/featured/webmasters-beware-what-are-you-going-to-do-when-penguin-3-0-comes-for-you/