July 17, 2024

Update on Google Penguin 3.0

Penguin 3.0 – The Link Profile Analysis Algorithm

Link-Building Is Still a Major Search Positioning Factor but this Update is Minor

Penguin 3.0 - Update - December 2014

Google released Penguin 3.0 in mid-October and the impact was felt negatively by some and positively by others. This is typical of updates from Google.

What is Penguin anyway!?


The primary function of the Penguin algorithm is to look at and determine the quality and structure of a website’s or blog’s link profile. This means that Google’s Penguin algorithm looks at the number and quality of the in-coming links to a website as well as the internal linking structure of the website. It looks at the context of the link (the words that surround the link) and it looks at the words that define the link (known as anchor text). It looks at the authority of the site that is making the links and at the content of the page that is receiving the link. Penguin is an algorithm that specializes in the analysis of your website’s link profile.

Google and the other major search engines place a high priority on the link profile of a website or blog so we need to pay attention to an update of Penguin as it could have a major impact on your search position or on the actions you take to acquire links.


This Penguin update was a global update and Google took a few weeks to roll it out completely. At this point in time, we could conclude that the roll-out has been completed.


Google states that this roll-out impacts about 1% of search queries. This means that it has less impact on search results than prior versions of Penguin. Google’s official language in fact calls this a “refresh”. It also means that Google must think that Penguin is now working properly and that it does not need to make any significant “adjustments” to Penguin.


Therefore, all-in-all this seems to be a minor update. It may even be inappropriate to label this Penguin 3.0 and perhaps it is really better to think of this as Penguin 2.2. However, since we are not in the position of naming the Google updates we will go with the flow and refer to this as 3.0.


Past statements from Google have referred to a “refresh” as a rerun of an existing version to re-position sites that had been penalized that have now fixed their problems and to demote sites that they had not detected before. Google claims that they have not added any new signals to the Penguin algorithm.


Here is the summary of what Google has stated about this update:

  1. This is a worldwide update and impacts all versions of Google.
  2. The roll-out was completed in November.
  3. It impacts less than 1% of English queries.
  4. Google confirmed the roll out began on October 17, 2014.
  5. Pierre Far of Google specifically called this a “refresh”.
  6. It should demote sites with bad link profiles and help sites that were previously hit that have cleaned up their link profiles.


Penguin 3.0 – SEO Advice

  • Continue to build out-standing and delightful content as this will help you to acquire links “naturally”.
  • Also, work with a high-quality SEO consultant that can help you define your content (help you create a content marketing plan for example) and to structure your content to out-perform your competition in search.
  • Log into your Webmaster Tools account as this is the way Google communicates with you if they detect any issues with your site or blog (for example if Google sees some questionable links).