John Mueller Says Google Penguin 3.0 Will Happen
The Google search algorithm, with it’s many different names and updates, is a beast in perpetual motion. The ever-evolving algorithm itself forces changes in the world of search engine optimization (SEO), pretty much every week, with names like Google Panda, Google Penguin 3.0, and even a non-Google named update, Google Pigeon.
It looks as if there will be yet another major Google algorithm update sometime this year. It won’t be a brand new algorithm like Hummingbird, but instead will be a significant update to Google Penguin. That’s right, as reported by Google’s Webmaster Trends analyst, John Mueller, SEOs and website owners need to be ready for the latest update, Penguin 3.0, or Google Penguin 6, depending on who you ask, sometime in 2014.
Mueller spoke about this at the Google Webmaster Central office hours hangout that took place on Google+ on September 12, 2014.
“My guess is yes,” Mueller says. “But, as always, there are always things that can happen in between. I’m pretty confident we’ll have something in the reasonable future, but not today, so we’ll definitely let you know when things are happening.”
What is Google Penguin 3.0?
Google Penguin is a code name referring to a Google algorithm, update that was first announced in April of 2012. The purpose of the Penguin algorithm update is to decrease search engine rankings for websites that violate Google’s Webmaster guidelines.
In other words, Google Penguin aims to punish websites using “black-hat SEO tactics” such as manipulating the number of backlinks and other link schemes. Google estimates that Penguin affects approximately 3.1% of English search queries.
Essentially, if your SEO guy is using any manipulative SEO tactics, Penguin is gonna come get you and you’ll end up with your search rankings decreasing. If you’re using manipulative techniques and other “spammy” SEO tactics to achieve high rankings, you will be hit with a penalty.
When is Google Penguin 3.0 Unleashed?
I find it interesting that Mueller didn’t mention any specific block of time that the update would be unleashed. There’s not much left of 2014, so I’m thinking if Penguin 3.0 is coming, it’s likely coming very soon.
We should note that the reason Google/Mueller is vague with timelines is because things are always subject to change.
“I know the team is working on this and trying to find a solution that generally refreshes a little bit faster”
Google Says They Are “Making Things Faster”
In a similar post about Penguin 3.0, Search Engine Watch noted a few things about what Mueller was referring to when he mentioned that Google is trying to speed things up and make things faster. You can see a video here. What does this mean, exactly?
“Baruch Labunski, CEO of SEO and digital marketing agency Rank Secure, then asked Mueller to clarify whether his comment about making things faster meant updates would happen on a regular basis like Panda.
In response, Mueller said:
We’ll see what we can do there. That’s something where we’re trying to kind of speed things up because we see that this is a bit of a problem when webmasters want to fix their problems, they actually go and fix these issues but our algorithms don’t reflect that in a reasonable time, so that’s something where it makes sense to try to improve the speed of our algorithms overall.”
A post that showed up a day later on the Webmaster Central Help Forum, Mueller said that “it’s possible for webmasters to change their sites to improve rankings without a Penguin update if they focus on cleaning up site issues and making sure the sites are as good as they can be in and of themselves rather than focusing on individual factors of individual algorithms.”
What Should You Do With Your Website?
So what do we know about the upcoming Google Penguin 3.0 algorithm update? We know it’s coming soon because Google said it would be unleashed sometime in 2014, and 2014 has only a few months left.
It might be a good time for you to clean up any site issues you may have. Your SEO guy should be checking your Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics as well as running your website through tools like Screaming Frog to check for any crawling errors.
Completing a comprehensive SEO Audit on your website, with a competition analysis should also be on your list of things to do to get your website ready for Penguin 3.0.
If you’re looking for some expertise in that area, please feel free to reach out and talk to me. We offer a complimentary website marketing and basic SEO Audit that will help you diagnose any website issues you may be experiencing, but just not know about yet.
What are you doing to prepare for Google Penguin 3.0?
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