Penguin 3.0 Google Algorithm Update

What’s black and white and red all over?
A penguin update with sunburn.

We should probably stop making so many puns when talking about serious Google algorithm updates. But as Abraham Lincoln said, ‘I laugh because I must not cry’ and we certainly don’t want you getting upset.
This is Google’s 6th release of the Penguin algorithm, which focuses on ensuring that spammy, poor quality, irrelevant sites, don’t find their way in to the search engine results pages (SERPs). The first update occurred in 2012 with the aim of decreasing search engine rankings of websites that were / are in total violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines i.e. using black hat SEO techniques, such as buying links, deliberately manipulating search engine indexes with keyword stuffing, cloaking / hiding content, mirroring websites, and a whole host of other sneaky, nasty things, just to increase organic rankings.
SEO-ers have stated that websites and webmasters need to prepare themselves for this update, but we only think this is the case if you’ve participated in any of the above black hat tactics. And our hats are so white, they’re practically halos.
This latest update was released on Friday evening (17th October) and it’s been over a year since the last one was officially announced. The algorithm has become much more intelligent over time, focusing much more now on cutting down on spam and penalizing those who create unnatural links (i.e. buying them or commenting in irrelevant forums).
How do you know if you’ve been hit? Well, if you’ve seen a significant drop in your organic traffic over the weekend, then this may be a weighty sign that something is amiss. There are no quick fixes for this kind of penalty; but there are things we can do to help.
1. Identify what has gone wrong
We can take a look at your link history, identify the ‘bad’ ones, and then help you get rid of them. We count ‘bad’ links as ones that you’ve had to pay for; links from article directories, link farms, article submission sites etc.; irrelevant forums; and non-industry related directories. We’ll go through each and every one (unless it’s blatantly obvious from the domain i.e. and pinpoint exactly what is affecting your site.
2. Getting rid of them
Once we’ve scaled our way through your links, we will then reach out to webmasters and owners of the sites to ask for the links to be removed. However, if this isn’t possible or there’s no method of contact, we’ll place them in a disavow file and send this off to Google for further inspection. This is a long process, but worth it to ensure that you continue to follow Google’s guidelines.
If you have any questions or concerns about this update, do get in touch with a member of our friendly SEO team, who can impart all their wonderful knowledge of algorithms and links.
Take a look at some of our other articles about Google’s Panda update too.

Written by Alex Wright

Head of Search