Penguins on the snow

Google’s Penguin update is finally here and SEOs anxiously await results of the rollout that began last Friday, October 17. The Penguin algorithm, known unofficially as Penguin 3.0, was released without an official announcement nor any information on the update. It wasn’t until this morning that we heard from Google’s Pierre Far about what we can expect from this year’s rollout. Here’s the latest scoop on Penguin 3.0.

Penguin 3.0 is a “Refresh”

In an early morning report, Far explained that the 2014 Penguin algorithm is just a “refresh,” revealing that this year’s algorithm will simply rerun its same system from last year to rerate SEOs this year. The algorithm works by tracing sites backlink profiles and ranking sites based on the condition of backlink profile. Penguin won’t rerank or “free” a site until the next update. This means if your SEO was hit last year by Penguin, you had to wait until last Friday to find out if you effectively solved all your backlink issues. This has been a long awaited update for all SEOs and many will have to wait even longer. According to Google, the rollout is expected to last  over the “next few weeks.”

Penguin 3.0 affects the globe

This year’s Penguin update will impact less than 1% of English search queries, according to Google.  Less than one percent is enough to affect the entire globe, so SEOs everywhere are expecting to get hit. In comparison to previous updates, Penguin 3.0 stands even with last year’s impact percentage of 1%. Penguin 1.0 impacted less than 3.1% of queries, 1.1 was 0.1% and 1.2 was 0.3% of queries. Penguin 2.0 was 2.3% of queries and 2.1 was around 1%. Other languages may be impacted also, but Google only reported on English users. Still, many SEOs are shocked that Penguin 3.0 is merely a refresh, and wonder why they’ve had to wait so long for it. SEOs were expecting to learn how to improve their sites with Penguin’s remastered algorithm. Instead, it looks like the next Penguin update will be some time from now.

What are your opinions on the Penguin 3.0 “refresh”? Did you expect more from this year’s update?