Google’s 2014 First Penguin Update – 3.0 Released Late Friday Night
ALERT, ALERT!! Google Tsunami ALERT!! Google has finally made its first 2014’s Penguin Tsunami on late Friday night, 17th of Oct and completed on Monday, 20th of Oct. Though the Penguin update was already speculated to arrive, it took many of the marketers of guard with its huge spikes.
Dozens of inbound marketers saw a mild to dramatic waves on the SERP. In fact, many of the victims even had their sites thrown out of the SERP, most probably due to heavy black-hat optimization or the acquisition of substantial unnatural links.
Nonetheless, it is a “DELIGHT”, as promised by Google’s John Mueller, to those who went through the trouble of retracing their steps, amending their tactics and waiting for over half a year for the next penguin refresh.
Is It a Refresh Or a New Update Altogether?
We are afraid to inform you that this time it isn’t just a simple refresh, but a ‘SOFTER’ update in the Penguin algorithm, concealing within it some new changes or factors to fight off spam. However, the most interesting part about this update is that it hasn’t made any such major impact on the SERP, but a few hits here and there- as pointed out by Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz.
Not seeing any signs yet of a large-scale Penguin shake-up yesterday. If it did happen, more likely big changes to a small # of sites.
— Dr. Pete Meyers (@dr_pete) October 19, 2014
Although there hasn’t been any confirmation on the percentage of the effected search query, some may see terrible fluctuations in the rankings. However, it doesn’t mean that Penguin 3.0 is behind all that cause.
The fluctuations can be experienced due to a number of reasons. For instance, it may be because of Google Dance, since the update had filtered out many bad links from the SERP paving way for other – more deserving links – to get the spot. It can also be due to a manual link penalty, or due to a penalty to those sites that were once passing the credit to the victim site. Regardless of the case, only time will tell whether it was Penguin or some other factors.
Penguin 3.0 – Any Details Out Yet?
No, not yet. We know how Google pretends to be ‘All-Knowing’ but ‘No-Telling’ even ‘No-Gossiping’, when it comes to detailing the specifics of its algorithms. Still, the investigation is ongoing, let’s hope to that we can learn something new out of it- “fingers crossed”.
Apart from the algorithm update details, it has been pointed out by SearchEngineLand that with the latest version, Google may probably develop a new system that will allow the Penguin refresh to be more frequent than before. Marvelous, isn’t it. It’s good news for those who have been hit by the update and can’t wait for a whole year for the next one to show up.
So, Any Recovery Steps Just Like Old Updates?
Of course, there are. Penguin isn’t an absolute Hammer from God you cannot lift off if you are struck by it once. It is indeed a recoverable penalty that, however, needs a bit of patience and some amendments. So, if you are experiencing an abrupt, dramatic drop in your rankings or traffic, you can be assured that it is the Penguin that’s been messing up. Hence, you need to take some immediate steps to lift off the penalty and re-dominate the SERP like you did before. Well, here we go:
Identify Bad Links
The first step to every penguin recovery is, as usually, the identification of bad links pointing to your site. These links may include link farms, low-quality article directories, paid links and irrelevant links from forums, communities and other such sources. Plus, you also need to be wary of spammy links or anchor texts. For instance, keyword rich anchor texts and etc. Other than irrelevant or spammy links, manipulative inbound links are also the major cause that attract penguin penalty.
To identify bad inbound links, you may use popular SEO tools like Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, Open Site Explorer, etc.
Disavow Bad Links
The only way to eradicate the bad links is by either asking the webmasters of the source websites to remove your links or using Google’s Disavow Tool. However, it is suggested that you first try the former method and in case you don’t get any response from the webmasters, then you may have Google to remove the links for you.
Penguin recovery doesn’t stop at the removal of bad links, because if you keep the same practice continue in future, you are 100% guaranteed to get penalized by Penguin again. Hence, it is highly important that you re-strategize your link building strategies and this time get links only from relevant and authoritative sites. Secondly, you also need to keep variations in your anchor text as well. Try to build natural links instead of keyword-rich links.
As said earlier, there’s a high chance that we might not experience a major penguin update anytime soon now. However, we may probably experience penguin refreshes in the near future. All the Google guidelines are here before us and they are not difficult to follow. Hence, we can keep our businesses safe from Google penalties if we keep our arrows straight.