Update Sunday 10/19/2014 6pm EST – Google has in fact confirmed that this is is Penguin 3.0 rolling out, no official press release has been issued at this time. We’ll continue to stay on top of this as it happens.
Update Tuesday 10/21/2014 7pm EST – Google has confirmed with us via Twitter that the update is till rolling out slowly and will help those who have cleaned up their site since the last update. In addition to this tweet, Pierre Far has confirmed on Google+ that it will be weeks before Penguin is fully rolled out. But that could just mean that they are rolling out the update one country at a time. In my opinion it is doubtful that it will take weeks for an entire region to roll out, based on past history.
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) October 21, 2014
Our suspicions on Friday night were correct, this is in fact Penguin 3.0 or “Penguin 6” rolling out. In the past, Google has not confirmed algorithmic updates (usually on minor updates) and just rolled them out casually. In times like these, we can only draw our own conclusions and look at the evidence of other users. If there is anyone I am going to listen to, it is Dan Sharp of Screaming Frog.
Finally got a chance to check the Penguin update rumours. No debate, definite update. Includes client who only disavowed late Aug too. — Dan Sharp (@screamingfrog) October 18, 2014
Mr Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz also seems to see some major activity going on. He linked to a discussion on Inbound.org where a number of people including myself have seen tons of movement:
CCarter, co-founder of SERPwoo has also spotted a lot of volatility in the SERPs thanks to his tool that does a great job of keeping track of tons of data within the SERPs.
Stu Long did an amazing 3 hour live report webcast of his findings on Penguin 3, and should not be missed!
We are also seeing a ton of chatter about Penguin 3.0 on Webmaster World. At least 2 dozen webmasters are reporting major SERP fluctuations and/or recoveries in their penalized sites.
I think it is worth noting that in Google’s tweet to Elite Strategies, they went out of their way to mention webmasters waiting to see recovery. This update couldn’t have come soon enough for certain webmasters who have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting.
Keep in mind Google has confirmed that you cannot recover from a Penguin penalty without a site refresh.
A few weeks ago John Mueller of Google announced in a Webmaster Central Office chat that it would be rolling out “in the reasonable future” and “will definitely let you know when it is happening.”
The last Penguin update, Penguin 2.1 (#5) started rolling out on October 4, 2013, more than 1 year ago.
As far as naming conventions go this Penguin update will be considered Penguin 3.0 or (Penguin #6).
Typically major software updates are given full decimal updates, and minor updates are given fractional updates.
We still know very little about what is going on right now. I beleive we started to see the update rolling out around 1am EST on 1/17/14.
(Image via super secret Skype group)
One of our major concerns is inheriting a Penguin penalty from a client who had some shoddy SEO work done on their site in the past. We always make our clients aware that this could / might happen, but do our best to mitigate the situation by getting their site in order by disavowing or removing as many links as possible.
Keep in mind that there is a question mark in this title.