The hotly anticipated rollout of Penguin 3.0 began last week, late Friday night the 17th to be exact. Google confirmed it on Sunday afternoon according to Search Engine Land.

Analytics for all accounts that I have access to went haywire over the weekend, and so far, it doesn’t appear that the rollout has finished. While Search Engine Roundtable reported earlier today that the roll out was complete, they’ve updated their post to reflect a Google+ conversation between John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst, and Barry Schwartz (Rustybrick) where John says:

I might have spoken a bit early, hah – it looks like things may still be happening. I’ll double-check in the morning.

I chatted with a few of my favorite penalty experts to see what they were seeing, and the consensus seems to be that the US impact is minimal so far. They are reporting significant impact to the sites they monitor in UK and Australia.



This matches what I’ve seen as well; my UK and Australian sites are looking like they may have recovered. I’m not seeing much impact to the US yet, positive or negative.

I want to emphasize, when we talk about significant impact, we’re referring to the sites we monitor – almost all of which have been impacted by Penguin prior to this or which we were trying to actively save from a Penguin impact. We have no data from Google on how many queries were impacted, but I would expect it to be small… 3% or fewer most likely.

So all we know so far is that we don’t know. If you’re concerned you may have been negatively impacted by Penguin 3.0, feel free to contact me or another expert, but don’t panic yet. Let’s wait until the rollout is complete.


A bit more information on Penguin 3.0 was released today:

The highlights:

  • This is a worldwide update, impacting all versions of Google
  • The rollout is not complete yet, it will continue for the “next few weeks.”
  • It impacts less than 1% of English queries but may impact other languages more or less
  • Google confirmed the roll out began on Friday
  • Pierre Far (of Google) specifically called this a “refresh”
  • It should demote sites with bad link profiles and help sites that were previously hit that cleaned up their link profiles

With the rollout expected to take “a few weeks”, it is quite likely that we won’t see any major drops in our analytics like we have with previous updates. Therefore you should look for a steady decline in the number of Google referrals to see if you have been impacted. If you’re looking to recover, it’s likely you won’t see a “hockey stick” style recovery either, but rather a gradual increase over time.