Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team tweeted about Google launching a ‘data refresh’ of its Penguin algorithm on 5th October, 2012. Including the original launch of Penguin algorithm this is the third update and it is termed as Penguin 3. In his tweet he mentioned that 0.3% of English queries and 0.4% of non-English queries would be affected by this update.
It was released on the same day as it was announced. Thus the impact on the affected sites was visible by Friday and Saturday. If the sites which were earlier affected by Penguin and made changes accordingly can compare their analytics results from last few Saturdays to 6th October’s results to find if it was released from the Penguin update or not.
History so far…
This being the 3rd update of Penguin algorithm here is the list of all the updates of this algorithm along with it’s release date. Also mentioned with these updates is the percentage of queries it impacted.
Penguin 1: April 24, 2012 (3.1%)
Penguin 2: May 26, 2012 (less than 0.1%)
Penguin 3: Oct. 5, 2012 (0.3%)
Details of its effect
Apart from affecting 0.3% of English queries this update of Penguin algorithm has also affected a small percentage of queries in other languages as well such as Spanish queries were affected by 0.4%, Italian queries were affected by 0.3%, 0.4% of French queries were affected.
How Google determines the impact on queries
Till now it was a mystery as to how Google measured the impact on the search queries of all its updates. However this time this mystery was revealed upto some extent by Matt Cutts. In his conversation with Rob Watts, Cutts said:
“@robwatts Basically. Swapping a #10 result for a different #10 result might not be noticeable. Swapping out in (say) top 5 ->more noticeable”
When the Penguin update was launched initially, Google talked about targeting webspam. However the real impact was seen on websites which Google considered had too many low quality inbound links.
Google’s update drive
Since the 1st week of October there have been some of the major updates in Google algorithm. The refresh of previous updates might have created a positive impact for some of the websites. However there would be many which would be negatively affected by these updates. Following are the updates launched in the last few weeks:
EMD Update on September 28th
Panda Algorithm Update on September 27th through October 6th
Google Image Update on around September 29th
Penguin Refresh on October 5th
With what Matt Cutts replied to Rob Watts it is quite clear that Penguin 3 made changes within the top 5 search results in the SERPs.
Should you be worried?
The sites which were affected by the previous Penguin update and made changes accordingly would be free from being affected negatively.
The key to survive any of these updates by Google is to promote high-quality, relevant and useful content which would be appreciated by users. Hiring a good SEO professional to keep updated about all such changes and being on top of things to maintain and improve rankings and traffic.
With Google’s major changes in algorithms the site which are designed keeping in mind the users and not the search engines are bound to get noticed and receive recognition.