Google Rolls out Penguin 3.0 Updates: What Does It Mean For You and Your Business?

On Sunday October 19th, Google confirmed that they rolled out Penguin 3.0, the latest addition to hundreds of algorithm updates. Everyone wants to know what’s new and how this update will affect rankings. Because Google doesn’t just tell us what’s changed, it’s up to us to analyze deviations in performance and draw our own conclusions.

What’s new in Penguin 3.0?

This version of Penguin has been described as a ‘soft’ update. In other words, most sites haven’t seen huge changes in rankings. When Google released its last iteration of Penguin about one year ago, they stated that sites would have to wait until this year’s Penguin update to realize the benefits of any changes site owners made to accommodate the previously released algorithm. Among the changes sites were encouraged to make were removing spammy inbound links. Google sees those links as “fake votes” and stated that sites trying to bolster their visibility by using them would be penalized. How much site owners are rewarded for making these changes remains to be seen in the coming weeks. 

In the same vein, Google may be cracking down on how people are link building. While social media channels are still an effective way to build natural links back to your site, sites will run into trouble when they try to influence the link instead of letting the content speak for itself. In other words, posting content socially and allowing it to proliferate naturally is Google’s preferred course of action.

The bottom line is that Google wants to let the quality content speak for itself. This update, like many others, is an effort to emphasize the content itself while de-emphasizing how users arrive to it.

How do I protect my site against any adverse effects of Google updates?

The answer to this is actually quite simple: give the people what they want. Produce quality content that offers an exciting, unique perspective on the issue it’s covering, then Google, and more importantly the users, will reward you. Search Engine Journal’s Managing Editor Kelsey Jones said it best:

“Amazing content is the only thing that is Google update-proof. Google will never penalize useful, unique content that the user is actually looking for. Instead of spending your time on trying to beat Google algorithms, you should be focusing on asking yourself what your ideal end user really wants. After all, that’s what Google is doing. If you aren’t sure what type of content would go over best with your audience, run a reader survey, put yourself in their shoes, or answer the question in a way that blows your competitors’ out of the water.”

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