Have you ever stared at something, knowing you’re doing it right, but you’re still … worried it might … not work?
Welcome to the Penguin 3.0 era, Google’s recent launch of the sixth update filed under this project name, almost a year after its last update.
The search engine’s objective for the latest update was to reduce the amount of spam on the internet, offering a better search experience for users.
Google announced the new launch on Search Engine Land, where it was named Penguin 3.0.
Like last year, Penguin 3.0 is estimated to impact somewhere around one percent of search queries (down from the 3.1 percent affected by Google Penguin first launched in April 2012).
Now, thousands – if not tens of thousands – of webmasters and SEO consultants are going to great lengths to remove or disavow EVERY link that could be interpreted by Google as being part of a link building scheme.
The reward for those who work their way into compliance, to this point, has been nil. The reason is that Penguin is an algorithm and not incorporated into the normal and ongoing search engine refreshes.
According to Google’s own John Mueller, Penguin requires a “complete rerun” of the algorithm.
As with any change to the Google algorithm, SEOs and marketing pros are eager to learn about the changes in order to shift their digital marketing efforts if necessary.
To help you make them look stupid in SERPs, here’s what we know at this point…
Google Penguin 3.0 targets websites with too high a percentage of spammy links. But the problem? It’s unlikely that Google knows who developed each link for all the websites laying in Penguin’s wake.
- This is a worldwide update, impacting all versions of Google
- Roll-out of Penguin 3.0 is not complete yet, at least not for the “next few weeks”
- It impacts less than one percent of English search queries but may impact other languages more or less
- Google confirmed the roll out began last Friday
- Websites with bad link profiles will be demoted
- The update, however, should help websites previously hit – but have since cleaned up their link profiles
Don’t Use Private Block Networks (PBNs) – if any are left
Notice how websites like ViperChill, Source Wave and many others popped up in 2013-2014, slapping Google in the face while boasting their link building prowess?
Let it be a lesson that I haven’t seen one blog post from this entire group that DOESN’T NOW ADMIT to getting hit by this update (don’t poke the penguin).
Press Releases and Anchor Text
I will say that because of the last Panda Update, my team is monitoring websites that excessively use Press Releases as a primary source of backlinks. We’re also monitoring the effect of keyword rich anchor text (hyperlinks of keywords – mainly those who match exact webpage title tags), as well.
The Notorious Tale of “Negative SEO” (yes… this is a thing)
Even if you’ve never seen negative SEO yourself (the practice of knocking someone else’s website or webpages out of SERP results by pointing spam links at them), Matt Cutts has already said at SMX Advanced that the “Payday Loan: Part B” (now known as Penguin 3.0) update would help close some of the negative SEO loopholes.
I doubt he would announce closing loopholes for something if it “were not possible” (see negative SEO section in the hyperlink).
A big part of the reason you don’t see much outing on the topic is that people don’t want to create a “roadmap” to doing it. Site owners don’t want to be outed as examples because they fear Google looking deeply into every link aimed at their site that IS helping them.
All of us live in glass houses – especially those who’ve been at this a long time. Methods that were acceptable in 2006 will get a site smacked during review in 2014.
Regardless, I have seen many popular, well-known SEOs directly target inbound links at websites or control for blog post – with Google seemingly unknowing – and the rankings soared.
Is it really that hard to believe you can do the same and swing the pendulum the other way with the right conditions?
What if your tips are too late, JB?
Unfortunately, and statistically, this might be a question for several readers of this post. And with a little digging, I’ve actually located the best source for how to both prevent and recover from Panda 3.0 penalties… from our good friend, Matt Cutts.
To those whom I’m reaching too late…a note of encouragement. Just because you’re under penalty, doesn’t mean that you have to wait for a Penguin rerun to get organic traffic. While replacing the bad links with good ones, you should also spend time and resources on generating traffic that is not Google search dependent.
Here’s one more helpful extra – and with the price rising on November 1st, this is YOUR LAST CHANCE to get our SEO Strategy Excel Template at this low price!
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