Well it’s official. Google Penguin 3.0 has rolled out and this has had a tremendous impact on some websites that would appear to have, lets say a very dubious or dodgy back linking profile. Websites that lost ranking are those that would have had far too many what is termed ‘black hat’ links. That is, sites that have far too many back links from bad places that have absolutely no relevance to your website.
These were all picked up in the latest Google algorithmic change and these roll outs are expected to become more frequent – so be very aware that if your site has suddenly shifted in the rankings then you have been hit by this latest Penguin 3.0 update.
So was this a completely new algorithm or just a Google refresh of its last change?
After reading a lot about this online I would say that it is just a refresh. That is, it was re released to pick up any websites that were non compliant over the last 6 or so months. No new signals or vast algorithmic amends were added to this latest roll out but we can safely assume that it was a re-run or repeat of the last algorithm update. Google loves to do these kind of updates to keep SEO agencies on their toes and other would be companies looking to get a foothold onto page 1. Those SEO players who were able to rank websites very quickly have now found out the true meaning of a Penguin update. By this I mean what was working for them and getting them a good ranking are now not working.
If these techniques seemed manipulated or contrived by Google, the results are now very evident. I often warn my customers about this and the huge problems that can occur if web ranking results are too quick.
How to tell if your website has been affected by the Penguin 3.0 update.
If you have suddenly noticed a decline in phone calls or inquiries over the last week or so then your site may have been affected by the update.
The best way to check this is go to your webmaster tools account and look at the traffic numbers. If there is a sudden decline then this is a cause for concern. Make sure this is from your organic searches and not other channels like your social media. If there is a dip (and this is not seasonal) then you should start taking action to get out of the penalty.
The best thing to do is have a look at your back link profile and begin the tedious and long process of removing suspicious links. You can generally tell them by the relevance to your site. If they look as though they have no relationship to your business then the link should be pruned. If you are unable to get in touch with any of these sites, make a list and submit them as a Google disavow. For most businesses this is a little out of their comfort zone so we do suggest getting professional help in this instance.
How long does it take to recover from a Penguin Penalty?
There is no set rules to this but this will depend on 2 main factors; the ability for you to trim links and how quickly you can disavow them. Personally, I would start this process immediately and gauge my ability and time frame to contact the web owners that the troublesome links are on. If there are thousands of links then you have a battle in front of you. For more information on how to disavow links please read this: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en