So unless you have been hiding under a giant iceberg somewhere down in Antarctica where most of the real penguins reside you will now know that late last week (Friday 17th October 2014) Google released their long-awaited and highly anticipated Penguin 3.0. This is the third iteration of the infamous algorithm that was first launched in 2012 and targets spammy backlinks in particular.
The first outing of this algorithm back in 2012 caused a huge storm in the SEO and domaining worlds, it turned what most people perceived to be a proven recipe for success in making your domain a valuable asset completely on its head.. For so long the art of link building and creating an intricate web of interwoven backlinks from your domain to others was touted as the my successful strategy for Google recognition. Indeed even expired domains with hundreds of existing backlinks on average tended to sell for a premium over those that had less, and to most people it didn’t matter where these backlinks came from, before Penguin 1.0 quantity really did win over quality.
Of course we all know what happened next hundreds and indeed thousands of domains tumbled from the top of Google search and saw their site traffic literally evaporate overnight. Penguin 1.0 sure made an impact across the SEO world, one that still makes it presence known today. So is that why the 3rd outing of the wingless bird algorithm was so eagerly anticipated and now it is upon us has so many questioning was this really a Penguin update or just damp squib?
The “roll” out begun on 17th October 2014 and according to Google’s Pierre Farr it will spread world-wide over the next few weeks. Additionally this newest version of the backlink targeting algorithm has been termed by Google as a “refresh” giving rise to claims that Penguin 2.1 would be a more accurate name for this latest update. So what does this “refresh” actually translate to? Well according to Google if you own a domain that previously was penalized due to spammy/broken or bad backlinks and you have subsequently fixed the issues, Penguin 3.0 should now recognize this and you will see an improvement in your SERP.
Essentially this update is just re running the existing algorithm to continue to consolidate on the two Penguins that came before, evolution in this case has been small without the big fanfare that was expected but builds on the concept of filtering spam and promoting positive link building. So if you looking to buy expired, expiring or a dropped domain how should Penguin 3.0 impact your decision-making process?
1) Be mindful of domains with hundreds of backlinks – do your research on the history of the domain before buying it. It is very difficult to remove spammy backlinks and with the Penguin algorithm being traditionally run once a year you actually only have a small window to fix a domain that may be targeted.
2) If you plan on adding or already have content on your site remove exact match keyword rich anchor text, once seen as a positive addition to your website, these are perceived to be the calling card for a black hat technique that Google no longer tolerates.
3) Easier said than done but try to control the backlinks to your site, as a rule only allow domains that have a higher or equal PageRank to link to your site.
Only time will tell how big a change and impact Penguin 3.0 will have on the SERP for our domains, there is simply not enough data at this point to ascertain if particular industries, keywords or even TLD’s were targeted, but with a reported 1% of all websites so far impacted we are all still holding our breath in anticipation as to what the real impact of the slowly evolving Penguin algorithm will be.
Oh and don’t forget to check out our expired domains search engine, completely free and updated everyday with all the expired, expiring pre release dropped domains in the industry. www.expired-domains.co