Google’s Penguin algorithm was initially released in April 2012 with the intention of penalizing websites that created unnatural links in an attempt to “cheat” the search engine’s ranking systems. One example of unnatural linking would be on-page links with anchor text stuffed with keywords. Penguin basically evaluates how trustworthy a site’s links are, rewarding those that follow best practices and penalizing those that don’t.
The latest algorithm release, Penguin 3.0, started rolling out on October 17th and was officially announced on October 21st. Google has planned a slow and steady roll out for Penguin 3.0 updates, so the “tremors” keep on coming and are rumored to take a few weeks to complete.
Google has been relatively quiet about this update, but the effects are major. Unlike previous releases when sites had to fix the issues the Penguin algorithm found or wait for the next algorithm refresh, the frequent refreshes of this release are keeping a site from being buried deep within search results for long periods of time. The algorithm ignores “bad” links rather than penalizing sites for them.
Reasons why your site’s search rankings might be hurt by Penguin:
- Past SEO strategies have generated a lot of unnatural backlinks
- Your site uses unnatural anchor text and “stuffed” keywords
- You have employed automated linking tools in the past to create unnatural link velocity
We expect sites following best practices to benefit from Penguin 3.0. New Penguin algorithm releases shouldn’t be something website owners fear. As long as you’re providing an exceptional digital experience for your users with quality copy and relevant links, you’ll be just fine.