SEO and Linking – Penguin 3.0 is Coming…

Anyone in the SEO World knows about Google’s ‘animal farm’ and the horrors that it’s incumbents have wreaked on many websites (but none of ours I would hasten to add) over the years.

There are two main beasts, Panda a set of rules that is built into the algorithm and therefore runs all the time and Penguin, whose effects only bite when it runs.

They both look at different things too, Panda concentrating on the words on the pages of a site, whilst Penguin scrutinizes the links to a site. Both are looking in essence for site that have pushed the SEO ‘envelope’ too far and in Google’s eyes are trying to push a poor website higher than it should go, a bit like doping of horses in a race.

Google do expect the horses to try their best (and to be properly trained) but that is the limit, try any ‘tricks’ and Google will find you out, at some stage, you can be sure of that…

Anyway, we found this article on Penguin 3.0 (coming to your computer screens soon) and thought you might enjoy it…

For some, it will be tears of joy. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of webmasters have performed meticulous link audits after being impacted by Penguin. Specifically, they have gone to great lengths to remove or disavow EVERY link that could be interpreted by Google as being part of a link scheme. The payback for those who have worked so hard at coming into compliance, up 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 John Mueller, Penguin requires a “complete rerun” of the algorithm.

Presumably, once that rerun occurs, those websites that have sanitized their backlink profileAND replaced their spam links with real links will be rewarded with a lift in SERPs.
For others, it will be tears of despair. Years of hard work in building a Web-based business will be nullified, instantly. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people will lose their jobs.

Companies and individuals will go bankrupt. I clearly remember sitting in the audience at SES in San Francisco in 2012, when Matt Cutts dropped this little bombshell: “You don’t want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard. […] The updates are going to be jarring and jolting for a while.”
On August 16, 2012, Matt Cutts expanded on that statement in a comment left under a blog post written by Barry Schwartz:

“…expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact. It’s not the case that people should just expect data refreshes for Penguin…”

Based on that comment, no one should be shocked that 10 months have passed since the last Penguin run. Nor should they be surprised when they see no lift after a link cleanup. I would also caution you to be prepared for the next run to be jarring and jolting, as well. Additional signals will have been added to the algorithm over a period of nearly a year and “spammy” links that may have passed under the radar last round, (i.e.: paid and other spammy links) could potentially trip a filter, aka Penguin 3.0.

The White Elephant in the Room

Because the Penguin algorithm has been so “successful” in driving websites with a spammy backlink profile out of the SERPs, there has been a lot of chatter and speculation surrounding negative SEO. The pinnacle of the negative SEO movement, to date, is the widely reported “extortion email” being circulated – a form of SEO blackmail. No one really knows just how big a problem negative SEO has become.

Google’s official position on negative SEO is that “Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you’re concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don’t control the content of these pages.”

Not too comforting a statement, is it?

Steps to Protect Your Website or Recover From Penguin

For the full article on Penguin 3.0 click the link