Google has recently launched a new Penguin update (3.0) almost a year after its last one. However, before you start panicking about your search rankings being affected, we have some good news…
According to Google engineer, Pierre Far, the Penguin 3.0 update that was confirmed to have been launched last Friday will affect fewer than 1% of English search queries. He was keen to stress that the update was actually a refresh and not a fully-fledged update, with its aim being to help websites that have made the effort to clean up their web spam penalties.
If you carry out ethical SEO practices, there’s no need to be scared of the latest Google Penguin update.
The difference between an algorithm refresh and algorithm update is that a refresh doesn’t add any new signals into the mix, whereas an update does.
Whilst the latest update will affect less than 1% of English search results (a significant drop from the 3.1% of search results affected by the original Penguin algorithm) Google will be using the update to target spam sites. In his post, Far pointed out that they are keen to ensure that sites with ‘newly-discovered spam’ get demoted in the search rankings.
A slow roll out
Whilst it was announced that Google began rolling out its Penguin 3.0 algorithm update on 17th October, Pierre Far stated that they were conducting a ‘slow worldwide rollout,’ which will last week’s rather than days.
This means that the full impact of the refresh cannot yet be fully determined. So in a way, you shouldn’t be too relieved if your site rankings haven’t been negatively affected nor should you be too worried if your SEO hasn’t recovered after the changes you have made.
If your site rankings were affected by the previous Penguin update and you have spent time cleaning up the spam signals, then you still have a few weeks left to see if your site has fully recovered. It may just be the case that the refresh hasn’t hit you yet.
You only need to worry about the Google Penguin 3.0 refresh if you have used black hat SEO techniques or created spam as a way of improving your search rankings.
If you have been improving your website’s SEO ethically, then there really is no need to worry about any negative impacts to your search engine rankings. As we said before, it is a refresh, so there are no signal changes that could possibly affect your rankings.
However if you have conducted ‘black hat’ SEO or ‘spammy’ activity, then we wouldn’t sigh a breath of relief just yet! Just because you haven’t been caught out yet, it doesn’t mean you won’t be when the Penguin 3.0 update is rolled out fully.
Is a future update on the cards?
Many SEO experts believe that because Penguin 3.0 was just a refresh and not an update, there may be a major update coming from Google in the near future. Seeing as we have waited a whole year for just a small refresh, it could be in the search engine’s plans to roll out a major update that will shake up the search engine rankings significantly.
Watch your analytics
If you are unsure whether or not your website will be affected by Penguin 3.0 (perhaps you’ve been up to no good) then we recommend keeping an eye on your analytics. If your site suffers a dramatic drop in traffic, your website may have been demoted in the rankings as a result of Penguin 3.0.
If this is the case, it suggests that you are doing something to upset Google and should look into rectifying the issue with the help of a professional and reliable SEO company.
Feel free to contact us here at WP Design and we can advise how to best approach ethical SEO in light of Google updates.