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Google's Penguin 3.0 Algorithm Update Is Officially Here!

3 MINUTE READ | October 22, 2014

Google's Penguin 3.0 Algorithm Update Is Officially Here!

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Kerry Dean

Kerry Dean has written this article. More details coming soon.

Well, folks. Here we go. It’s the update we have been waiting on for over a year now. Penguin 3.0 is rolling out.

It all started last Friday night, when several forums started buzzing about some sort of Google update. The first industry post I saw was late Friday night over at Of course Google would release something this big after hours on a Friday night. To make it even better – it wasn’t until Sunday that Google actually confirmed that it was in fact an update to the Penguin algo.

On Monday, Googler John Mueller said that he was under the impression that the Penguin 3.0 update had finished rolling out. But then another Googler, Pierre Far, posted: “It’s a slow worldwide rollout, so you may notice it settling down over the next few weeks.”

Knowing that the rollout is actually taking place over several weeks, we recommend keeping a close eye on organic search data from Google. We will also be looking for anything out of the ordinary in Google WMT and various rank-checking platforms.

As usual, has a concise, bulleted list of the most important details of the Penguin 3.0 refresh:

  1. This is a worldwide update, impacting all versions of Google

  2. The rollout is not complete yet, it will continue for the “next few weeks.”

  3. It impacts less than 1% of English queries but may impact other languages more or less

  4. Google confirmed the roll out began on Friday

  5. Pierre Far specifically called this a “refresh”

  6. It should demote sites with bad link profiles and help sites that were previously hit that cleaned up their link profiles

One of the more nerdy aspects to the Penguin 3.0 update is the fact that Pierre Far referred to it as a ‘refresh’. In Google/SEO terminology, a refresh and an update are two distinct things. Because Pierre called this a refresh, some SEOs are saying that this is not Penguin 3.0, but merely a refresh – the next version of Penguin 2.x. Don’t be surprised if you hear that topic being discussed. SEO’s can be funny about naming stuff. Personally, I’m hoping that the name ‘Penguin 3.o’ sticks. It just makes things easier.

In the coming days and weeks, be on the lookout for posts from SEOs and industry experts about the sites that were affected by Penguin 3.0. So far, we have read anecdotes of winners and losers of Penguin 3.0, but there hasn’t been any substantial data for major sites. Since we are only 4 days into Penguin 3.0, there are still more questions than answers.

Some of the best stories I have heard are about sites that were penalized by an earlier version of Penguin. For some websites, previous Penguin-related penalties have been lifted with this update. It’s awesome to know that Google is letting some websites out of the dog house.

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