In a video on YouTube, Google's John Mueller confirmed that the Google Penguin 3.0 update had been released yesterday. How will this affect the rankings of your web pages and what do you have to do now?
What is Google's Penguin update?
Google Penguin is a filter in Google's ranking algorithm that targets websites that use spam methods to get backlinks. For example, Google does not like paid backlinks, automatically created backlinks from forums, blogs, etc.
When did Google release the new Penguin update?
Last Friday, some webmasters began to notice major changes in Google's search results pages. The update was finished yesterday.
This is Google's fifth update of the initial Penguin algorithm that was released in April 2012. The last Penguin update was last October.
How will the new update affect your web pages?
When your website has been penalized by Google's Penguin algorithm, you have to wait for the next update until your website can recover. That's the reason why so many people have waited for this new update.
If your website was penalized in the past, and if you removed the spammy back links in the meantime, your website might recover now.
It can also happen that your website rankings drop if you have many links from low quality pages. That does not necessarily mean that your website has been penalized.
If Google discounts some link types, these links no longer count as votes for your site. If your site benefited from these 'fake' votes, your web page rankings might drop.
What do you have to do to secure your rankings?
Google also announced that they will update the Penguin update more frequently. Chances are that your website can recover faster if it has been hit by the new algorithm.
To make sure that your website does not get penalized, remove the bad back links that point to your site.