Google’s Penguin 3.0 update affected less than 1% of U.S./English queries in 2014. Granted, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, which translates to a staggering 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide, so Penguin 3.0 ultimately hit 12 billion search queries.
What’s scary though, is that Penguin 3.0 wasn’t too bad. Penguin 1.0 hit 3.1% of U.S./English queries, or 37.2 billion search queries. The quasi-cataclysmic update changed the topography of SEO, leaving digital agencies forever scarred by the memory.
Now, Google is supposedly going to roll Penguin 4.0 out in the imminent future. Everyone expected the monolithic tech company to launch the update in 2015, but the holidays delayed it to 2016. Then, everyone expected it to drop sometime in Q1 2016.
However, the SEO world still waits with bated breath.
Why is everyone so afraid of the Big Bad Penguin?
Google first launched the Penguin Update in April 2012 to catch sites spamming its search results, specifically the ones who used link schemes to manipulate search rankings. In other words, it hunted down inorganic links, the ones bought or placed solely for the sake of improving search rankings.
In the time it took for Penguin 2.0 and 3.0 to come out, digital agencies wised up. They heard the message loud and clear. Once a new Penguin update comes out, they know they have to take action to get rid of bad links.
Google targets links that come from poor quality sites, have little to no relevancy to the backlinked site, have overly optimized anchor text, are paid for, and/or are keyword rich.
However, what makes Penguin truly terrifying isn’t only the impact it can have on a site’s ranking, but on an honest marketing campaign.
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