Google Penguin 3.0!

Although there’s been no official announcement from Google, it looks like they have finally unleashed their Penguins to once again tighten up their search results and dish out ranking drops to those trying to manipulate their rankings with artificial links and other bad, frowned-upon practices.

I logged on today to check my rankings as usual and, although all of mine remain the same (top) or better, I noticed that everything around me had shuffled quite considerably – too much, in-fact, for it to be put down to common SERP fluctuations. It’s definitely Penguins.

EDIT: Google have now confirmed to Search Engine Land that they have indeed rolled out the next version of their Penguin algorithm, just as we thought.

Google Penguin 3.0 – What is it?

Penguin 3.0 is the latest version of Google’s Penguin algorithm, which is aimed at decreasing the rankings for site’s trying to manipulate their search results with practices such as buying links, participating in link networks and similar ‘black hat’ link building methods.

This update comes just over one year after the last Penguin update, which I understand must have been extremely frustrating for those hit back then. It’s been a long time.

In a recent Google+ Hangout with Google’s John Mueller, a question was put forward about the length of time between the Penguin updates and whether he thinks there will be more regular updates / refreshes in the future, similar to that of their Panda algorithm.

John Mueller, of Google, said:

We’ll see what we can do there. That’s something where we’re trying to kind of speed things up because we see that this is a bit of a problem when webmasters want to fix their problems, they actually go and fix these issues but our algorithms don’t reflect that in a reasonable time, so that’s something where it makes sense to try to improve the speed of our algorithms overall.

So it seems that there may be light at the end of the tunnel for genuine website owners who get burnt by bad SEOs. But for now, there’s very little you can do in the short-term.

ALSO READ: How to Create and Submit a Disavow File to Google

Result – A Crippling Update

This update looks like a big one – I’ve tried many searches that I usually keep an eye on and there’s not many sites sitting in the same positions as before. Not many at all.

There’s no doubt in my mind that this update is going to completely cripple a lot of businesses who will have to shut down as a result, leaving thousands without jobs. That’s the sad reality of Google Penguin. It’s a real threat to those who ignore Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or those who are mislead by bad SEOs and dodgy Digital Agencies.

It’s not perfect. As usual, there are still many sites that are clearly utilising black hat methods that have survived this update, but that’s normal, and they’ll likely be caught in the next update as Google’s low quality and artificial indicators improve.

Been Hit? Here’s What You Can Do

As mentioned above, there’s very little you can do in the short-term. You cannot recover before the next update, but you can start working to clean things up.

If you’ve been hit by this update, you now have two options…

1) Link Profile Cleansing – Ouch!

If you’ve been building and/or purchasing bad links yourself then you already know what you need to clean up, but if you’ve hired an SEO agency or freelancer then you’re probably going to need to hire somebody else to help you with your link clean-up efforts.

Our Disavow Generator will help you with your clean-up. It’s awesome!

Unfortunately, if you do choose this option then it could be another full year before you actually recover in Google’s search results. It’s not ideal and Google may move to more regular updates in future, but until then option 2 could be better for you.

2) Start from Scratch – Double Ouch!

If sitting around and waiting for another update, after doing some clean-up work, doesn’t sound good for then you could be better off just cutting your losses and starting up under another domain. It could be the same name, but with a different extension.

For some businesses, though, even this may not be an option. Some will be closing down on Monday and letting staff know that their position no longer exists at the company.

Been hit by the Penguins? Let us know in the comments below.