It’s been about 10 days now since the Penguin 3.0 update started to roll out. It seems like it still has some way to go, but here are some observations so far:
Penguin 3.0 Seems Much Milder
A lot of SEOs (and webmasters in general) fear Penguin updates. This is because the original iteration of Penguin was so severe and some say indiscriminate in the damage it did.
Updates since have varied between having slight effects to more severe effects, but the original still stands out as the most jarring. Personally I’d say that’s only because it was the first and a bit of a shock to the system.
Penguin 3.0 so far seems to be quite mild. There have been some big swings in SERPs, but they seem to be proportionate to the detected issues with the sites link profiles.
In fact, a few sites that I’ve been watching, expecting that they’d be obliterated with this update, didn’t drop nearly as far as I thought they would. Still, pages 5 to 8 are as good as being on pages 10 to 20 really.
It Also Seems Much Fairer
So far Penguin 3.0 seems like a much fairer update. It seems to be much better at finding and penalising the real link SPAM and not so indiscriminate in hurting legitimate sites. So far I haven’t seen any clear examples of legitimate non spammy sites being hit with penalties or rank / traffic drops.
All of the penalised sites I have looked at so far have had clearly un natural looking link profiles and they probably deserved it.
Diversity Is the Key
I keep reading in the forums that this type of link is targeted, or that type of link, or commercial anchor text etc. But what a lot of the examples given have in common is that they have all really overdone whatever they are talking about.
This update really seems to be targeting overuse of either particular link tactics, anchor text or both. We’ve known for a long time that too much of anything is a bad thing.
If you have too much commercial or repetitive anchor text, too many of the same low quality link sources like directories, blog posts etc. there’s a good chance you will be affected.
You have to think of it in terms of what is natural. It’s highly unlikely that if you have 100 links to your site that have occurred naturally over time, that 80% would have the exact same anchor text, and be from the exact same source.
If you are concerned at all, just contact me here, and I’ll take a look at your link profile free of charge and let you know if there are any issues.
Once the dust has settled from this update, I’ll post further information.