Penguin 3 release date

Google Penguin 3.0 – first analysis

October 18, 2014

Today, October 18th 2014; one year and 2 weeks after Penguin 2.1, we’ve finally got a new, fresh Penguin 3.0!

This time, the update wasn’t as obvious as Penguin 2.1. I believe it rolled out slower and didn’t hit some websites as hard as the last one. This meant there was a lot of doubt in the SEO community as to whether it is really Penguin.


Penguin 3.0 Recoveries 

There is quite a lot of recovery samples all across the internet. I will focus on just one that I can share (got the green light from the owners).


The website was hit with Penguin 2.0 and then with 2.1. I have worked on this website for a few months now and managed to triple their visibility in SearchMetrics. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get any higher because of Penguin. Now, the site seems to have recovered to an extent.


  • Recovery is visible because of the 100s of keywords going up and which almost flooded my position checker.
  • Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the site has fully recovered yet, as our expectations were much higher. Its either Penguin 3.0 is still rolling, or the  website didn’t recover as good as we expected.
  • Some keywords plummeted in rankings totally.


Sites penalized – examples


Fully dropped

Penguin 3.0 - rankings

Penguin 3.0 – fully dropped

Partially dropped

Penguin 3.0 - partial drop

Penguin 3.0 – partial drop

Some examples of sites hit with Penguin 3.0 (negative impact)




So far, I’ve counted around ~50 sites deeply affected by Penguin 3.0. Recoveries of my Penguin customers, just as well as affiliate sites and spammy sites. I am working on a group analysis of all the websites I’ve managed to gather so far. Soon, I will publish all the findings here and also on www.linkresearchtools.com.

SearchMetrics winners

SearchMetrics - penguin 3.0 winners



SearchMetrics – losers



First conclusions

  • Googlers mentioned a few times that the next Penguin updates will be rolled out on a monthly basis (just like Panda).
  • From the few websites I saw already, I wonder if Penguin will also be applied on a page level instead of domain level (it was like that so far). Some of my findings confirm this, but it is most likely just a coincidence.
  • 90% of people mentioned that they are really disappointed with this Penguin. Most likely because the “spam” tolerance is much higher than many expected.
  • It didn’t fix the negative SEO problem (again Penguin hit the negative SEO websites, including my “Kumar negative SEO” customers).

Overall, I hope it is still rolling or that maybe they will create some backdoor for small business owners hit with real negative SEO (for example Kumar’s directories etc.). So far, Penguin got most of the spammiest sites, but guys doing “some” black hat, are still doing fine.

Update – October 21st 2014

Before the Penguin 3.0 release, we heard a lot about Penguin being updated on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, today’s hangout with John Mueller didn’t confirm this information.

Later in the discussions, John mentioned that the holiday season is coming, and he is not expecting any major updates during that time.

Later in the discussions, he also mentioned that he is not expecting any further updates till the beginning of next year.

In my opinion, John Mueller wasn’t informed about the update and it seemed like he is a little bit confused with the questions. Pierre Far confirmed it for me in his Google Plus announcement today.

Pierre Far

So we’ve got two statements now, one from John Mueller and one from Pierre Far. I believe that Pierre wanted to correct John Mueller’s answer from yesterday’s hangout.


In my opinion, Googlers are not too happy with the scale of Penguin 3.0 and will run it again with a stronger “threshold” this time. Matt Cutts mentioned a few times that they read black hat forums after releasing new algorithms. Imagine Matt Cutts (or whoever has taken his place now) reading a “So why I survived in Penguin 3.0?” post on www.blackhatworld.com.

Blackhatworld post


Therefore, I would expect Google to push the red button again quite soon with a stronger threshold this time :)

Penguin 3.1 red button

original post with Penguin 3.0 prediction

I hope you guys managed to dodge a bullet, but if you weren’t so lucky, you can use my Orca Method or just contact me about a link audit!



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Bartosz Góralewicz

Bartosz specially deals in services such as On and Off-Page Optimization and comprehensive SEO Strategies, all geared towards helping businesses rank higher in organic search results; whilst gaining better visibility needed to reach target audience.

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  • Rick Lomas

    Indeed Bart! If you are a black hatter it’s time to buy some new domains and move your content over. If you are a white hatter it doesn’t matter because you don’t get any traffic anyway. If you look after your link profile, It is now time to hand in your disavow files and wait to see what positions you can gain when others fall.

  • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

    “If you are a white hatter it doesn’t matter because you don’t get any traffic anyway.” – Heheh nice one Rick! 😀

    • Rick Lomas

      I always feel like I am one of those reformed car theives who now tell you how to keep your car secure. But I still know how to get a nice car for the best price!

      • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

        I get you 100%. We got huge White Hat team in our agency. I love White Hat as it is really creative and it is actually what I wanted to do (“real” marketing). I am not involved in that though. I still try to have my black hat projects so I still stay in the game… 😉

      • Łukasz Rogala

        I like the idea of “reformed car thieves”. Is it bad if I learn people how to secure their “cars” better but sometimes I still steal them? ;P

  • Andrea Moro

    assume your theory is correct i woukd probably say that you missed one day. in my opinion itshould be may the 2013

    • Rick Lomas

      May the what?

      • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

        My bad! Great work Andrea with spotting my mistake 😉 It was 23rd in Łukasz’s notes http://lukaszt.pl/penguin-3-0/

        Hmm, now it got me thinking – how did you know the date Andrea? 😀

        • http://lukaszt.pl/ Łukasz T

          He just read my post 😉

          • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

            Probably :)

  • Mór János Deák

    very interesting thoughts :-) I’m curious who will take it

  • Aaliya

    A clear hypothesis of Google Penguin 3.0. looking forward for 23rd MAY 2014, to get my report card :)

  • http://www.cheese.com/ John Goatbirth

    What a load of nonsense.

  • Perry Bernard

    I’m all excited and can’t wait! Bring it on, May 23rd! :-)

  • Mike Linley

    Penguin 3.0 just hit yesterday so you were off by 9 days. Not bad but we all knew it was coming by the end of May as it always does and then again before the end of October.

    • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

      This is an interesting theory. I got around 50 affiliate sites and they will be down as soon as Penguin hits, trust me 😀

  • Faisal Imran

    All Site with huge number of links will be down..
    Down sites will gain some traffic with this update. 😀

  • http://ignaciosantiago.com/ Ignacio Santiago Pérez

    My blogs are waiting…

  • http://www.elite-strategies.com/blog Patrick Coombe

    today’s the date…lets see how right you are :)

  • http://hmam.alafdal.net/ mohamed sayed

    thanks for share .

  • John Bosch

    June 2nd and no update…so much for your calculations

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  • Larry Betts

    Any new thoughts on the release date of Penguin 3.0? We’re chomping at the bit on this one. We’ve been cleaning up our link profile and are ready to push above those that have been practicing black hat. More traffic. WOOT!

  • http://www.wordpresscorner.com/ Marty Rogers
  • Ken

    Hoping Google stops letting those extortion directories count against us. We have had a home page penguin problem that has been painful. We disavow those damn directories as fast as we find them, but it seems we find 3-5 new ones each week. We have disavowed about 400 of them.

  • http://www.ishir.com Meenakshi V.

    I’ve not able to find out any website which actually got major drop in their search rankings.

    Can some one tell me some of them?

    • Jackson Bore

      My web site got hit http://www.drpharande.com

      • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

        What link building strategy did you have?

        • Jackson Bore

          Just Normal One..
          Book Marking, Blog Submission, Blog Commenting, Article Submission, Classified Ads, Business Listings etc.

          • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

            Yeah, that clearly explains Penguin visiting your website :)

          • Jackson Bore

            ohhh so What link building strategy I have to follow.?

          • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

            White Hat SEO link building strategy. Buying links will not get you anywhere now

    • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

      How about the ones mentioned in the article ?

  • http://www.imobdevtech.com/Services/iPhone-App-Development Dava Smith

    This is really helpful points here for my site. But I can’t understand that my site hasn’t any penalty and more unnatural links, so how it lost all ranking on Google? I hope anyone will suggest me to get my ranking back.

    • http://goralewicz.co Bartosz Góralewicz

      Hi Dava, looked into your case and it is quite clear – please contact me – I will give you some details.

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