To understand what the Google Penguin 3.0 update is, and what it’s intended to destroy, we must first understand its purpose. The original Google Penguin update was launched by Google in April 2012 and was intended to target and catch websites that were deemed to be “spamming search results.” Specifically, the update was geared to find websites that were either buying links or gathering them through link networks to increase a website’s Google ranking.
Google Penguin 3.0 is an algorithm update, the fifth of its kind. It’s a mathematically automated cycling system with rules, guidelines, principles and restrictions. It’s not some guy sitting at a desk in Mountain View, CA deciding your site was too “spammy.”
Here’s what has been determined regarding the Google Penguin update:
- All in all, Penguin 3.0 affected a very small percentage of English language queries, less than 1%
- The influence of Penguin 3.0 across the entire internet was deemed it to be a “high impact” update
- Penguin 3.0 upset more low-ranking websites than high-ranking ones
- Based on the top ten search results (for any individual search results), only 1 in 10 rankings were affected, with an average swing of 5 positions (e.g. if a site were ranked 3rd on the first page and negatively impacted, it was then ranked 8th on the first page)
- The majority of its punch hit past the second page of results (in individual search results)
- When considering the top 50 search results, over ⅓ of the results were “touched”
- Approximately 8% of websites that previously ranked on a first page search result dropped by 10 positions or more, moving them to a second page search result
Based on common knowledge of how SEO drives traffic to a website, the impact of Google Penguin 3.0 moving a 1st-page search result to a 2nd-page search result is actually quite huge. Depending on the positioning, keywords and SEO strategy used on an individual website, this impact could increase or decrease traffic significantly.
As the smoke clears, the direct impact of Google Penguin 3.0 on your website depends greatly on your SEO strategy, the industry you operate in, the ranking you have, and most importantly, the competition you’re sharing the search engine results page (SERP) with.
If You Have Seen a Negative Impact in Your Search Results
If Google Penguin 3.0 has impacted your search results negatively, there’s a reason why. I’d highly suggest researching your website via Alexa.com or another similar traffic and/or ranking system to see where your faults lie. It simply may be time for a new website with new SEO-focused content (keep your domain name and remove bad links!).
Keep in mind:
- Any company offering a 100% guaranteed resolution for this update is likely a scam
- Your domain name is not being punished – your website, content and links could be
- Avoid paying for SEO services (specifically monthly billed services) unless you are sure they are 100% credible – these companies often purchase links and use networks that are in violation of Google Penguin 3.0
- Your website IS important, don’t let it go unattended