Google Released 3rd Penguin Update: Not Jarring Or Jolting

Oct 8, 2012 • 8:47 am | comments (63) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Penguin #3Late Friday Google's Matt Cutts announced a Penguin update, a basic data refresh, that only should impact about 0.3% of English queries and 0.4%. of non-English queries.

In fact, it was announced and fully pushed out the same day - so if you were impacted, you should have seen a major change in your analytics from Friday to Saturday. Well, most sites see major dips from Friday to Saturday, so compare last few Saturdays to this Saturday and see if you see any decline in traffic. If you were previously hit, you should see a major increase in traffic from Google's organic results - if you were released from the Penguin update.

Honestly, after waiting four and a half months since the second Penguin refresh, I was expecting more. Why? Well, Matt Cutts of Google said we should expect something jarring and jolting but I guess that never happened.

Talking about the percent of queries affected, someone questions Matt what that means and he responded on Twitter saying "Swapping a #10 result for a different #10 result might not be noticeable. Swapping out in (say) top 5 ->more noticeable." So that means, Google looks at the top 5 results to see how much that changed.

Were there recoveries? Yes, I spotted at least one person claiming a recovery at Cre8asite Forums.

Past Penguin Updates:

Recent Major Google Updates:

In the past week or two there have been some pretty major updates taking place at Google. So it can be confusing trying to figure out if you were negatively or positively impacted by one or more of these updates. Here is what happened:

Here is a chart to try to help you understand it:

Google Updates: September - October 2012

The Panda algorithm update really throws everything off and makes things pretty confusing.

There is a lot of chatter and discussion around the Penguin update but I am not sure if webmasters can pinpoint it to Penguin or Panda here.

In any event, I hope you did better after all these updates.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, Cre8asite Forums and Google Webmaster Help.

Note: This story was scheduled to be posted on this day, but was written earlier.

Previous story: Jim Boykin Also Bought Cre8asite Forums


Mike Kalil

10/08/2012 01:00 pm

Was it ever confirmed that he actually said the next Penguin update would be "jarring and jolting?" I thought it was that upcoming updates wouldn't be just mere refreshes as SEO hope.


10/08/2012 01:21 pm

Well I removed almost all of my bad links and this was represented in my Majestic SEO score been greatly improved so after this Penguin refresh I found ……………….. NO IMPROVEMENT AT All! I was hoping that is was still rolling out but if Barry is right and its all done I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do?


10/08/2012 01:51 pm

Have the links that you removed gone from "Links to Your Site" within Webmaster Tools?


10/08/2012 02:09 pm

"Well, Matt Cutts of Google said we should expect something jarring and jolting but I guess that never happened." I considered the September 29th update to be very jarring and very jolting. I had assumed that must have been what Matt was referring to.


10/08/2012 02:17 pm

Glad to see you finally mentioned something about the penguin days later...


10/08/2012 02:27 pm

And why improvement should be ? You just removed links, that were devalued anyway. Now earn links to see improvement.


10/08/2012 03:34 pm

The links were not just devalued, the site was penalised so you would expect some improvement of the current keyword positions/site traffic when the links are removed and the penalty is lifted. I agree, removing links isn't going to restore a site to its previous state and new links need to be added, but removing the bad links should help and show an improvement. If it is just the links causing the problem.


10/08/2012 03:35 pm

I think that Google is going to have to catch-up with all of our changes before we see true increase or decrease and it could require a very, very, very long time. The Webmaster Tools still indicate links which were removed almost two years ago, when the first Panda hit. I'm seeing this in the 'site linked from' option, and not just once, rather numerous times as the months have clicked by. We've been told by the higher-ups at Google that it could take time to recover, that starting a new website might be a better option. Remember that? Now I'm understanding why; either it takes them a long time to register all of the changes and make the updates and clear out their old caches (that are registering almost 2 years old in WT) or they may be pinging off of cached pages that are ancient(?) for search results. Even when pages get deleted by the site, there shouldn't be a need for a robot.txt file. A search engine should be smart enough to register those changes. The robot.txt files could get HUGE on sites that are HUGE. Sites do experience down time, but after three passes or so, if the page isn't there, then wax it. Of course, Google is known for saving every dumpling. It's also hard to wrap the brain around the fact that Google Search and Google Adsense are two different animals (sorry for the pun). Even if they provide a rep for Adsense, it isn't going to assist with search ranking. And in my experience (and as voiced by others) the AS advice at times goes totally against what GS requires. As to using ads to gain traffic, if the site doesn't have a product to sell, it's a huge hit in the pocketbook. People aren't going to click on an ad, then go to a website and click on another ad. And maybe if they did that, Google has something in place to disqualify that click. Also, Barry thank you for having this space for discussion. You can't please all of the people all of the time. If you get too aggressive with Google, you could be severed.


10/08/2012 04:06 pm

Why penalty (if it took place) should be lifted ? The website violated Google's rules and was caught on fraudulent activity. It's still the website, that was caught on rules violation, even after the links removal. Now penalty, that still exists, should be covered by more trustworthy signals. How about this scenario ? What would you do, if somebody would constantly attack your algo with false signals, trying to cheat you ?


10/08/2012 05:14 pm

Only reason it was not Jarring and Jolting is that most people are all jolted from the last 2 updates and have nothing left to Jar about........

Jaan Kanellis

10/08/2012 05:15 pm

I wonder why Google has been releasing updates on Friday for the past few years. Doesn't seem smart to me.


10/08/2012 05:24 pm

Mr Anti-SEO I have no doubt you are a Google Employee paid to write in this forum.


10/08/2012 05:46 pm

I did build better quality links represented in a Majestic SEO score much better than anyone in the top 200 results (for which my website does still not appear). I also got a manual penalty from Google removed for unnatural links, so Google themselves have approved the site is now within the guidelines. Anti-SEO I understand your position against SEO but are you suggesting that if someone previously made mistakes and is now trying to correct them they should for ever more be cast aside?


10/08/2012 05:51 pm

Some of them are still there even though they have been removed for 3 months. Once Webmaster Tools actually does a proper update hopefully that might have an effect, but even if that is the case I’ll probably have to wait for another Penguin refresh. I got a manual penalty removed 2 months ago for unnatural links so I was hoping this refresh would have some effect.


10/08/2012 06:26 pm

If a site violates the guidelines, Google will impose a penalty. If you rectify the problem that violated the guidelines the site should be free of the penalty, once it has run its course. if the site continues to break the rules the penalty is extended. May be sites do have to be whiter then white once penalised but they cant be punished forever.


10/08/2012 06:57 pm

Aren't you selling links right on your homepage Barry? Sponsored links Jerry West - SEO TestingConvonix SEOSEOSEO IndiaSearch Engine OptimizationOptimum7 MarketingBrandfluent Digital SEOSEOSEO Agency


10/08/2012 07:47 pm

this is not an "update" its a data refresh.


10/08/2012 08:30 pm

Yes he is and he is proud of it. Not everyone does what Google says.


10/08/2012 08:32 pm

And you believe what Google says? You really shouldn't be in this business.


10/08/2012 08:35 pm

Chris the best strategy for Penguin bashed sites is to start again! Start a new site with new content and then 6 months down the track move the content from old site over and remove the old site.


10/08/2012 08:38 pm

I think we should ask ourselves whether most of the link profile consisted of those removed links? For this reason maybe those links were helping you rank and when they were devalued, they started preventing you from ranking. So even when you remove them, the effect is the same as when they are devalued. You still need high quality links to rank and removing links won't give you a boost IMO. I think the explanation of how Penguin works is misleading and this is why people think they will rank by removing links. The penalty thing IMO is a myth since from my understanding, there is no solid proof of this being true. Maybe I am wrong...


10/08/2012 08:40 pm

No offense but there are a lot more non-recovery stories than recovery stories from this Panda update. I think Donna is using some creative license to generate some clients. Unless I see proof I won't believe her


10/08/2012 08:47 pm

Yes, Google did say this. But don't forget that if he moves content from the old site, he might get hit by Panda. I don't know how long Google stores information in their database. So say he first deleted the old site and then moved the content to the new site, would that be hit by Panda for duplicate content? Would Google still have a record of that content? Are other sites scraping that content? If they are, they may be considered the successor of the content (by they original site no longer existing). Also it will be hard ranking a new site since it won't be trusted for a while.


10/09/2012 12:14 am

Just been noticing massive changes in SERPs. Seems as if Google gave keyword search/matching domain names top spot, despite other factors. What do you do when you have cultivated a brand for 16 years, built a massive content rich website and suddenly a newbie that is only 9 months old, resides in another country, small site, few inbound links - gets top spot as if no other ranking factor ever mattered? Google doesn't feel as if how long you have been in business, the amount of info contained on your site is a factor for it's audience? You simply need the right domain name, slap a few keyword rich pages together and you shoot to the top? Flabergasted and shocked. BTW: They are also PR1 and rank above my PR4 site.

Jaimie Sirovich

10/09/2012 04:10 am

Most likely Google just uses a time function to reduce the effect of a penalty as time goes forward. The penalty will disappear asymptotically. Why? Because that's the most obvious and requires the least amount of work. Look at it from a management perspective.


10/09/2012 05:53 am

I agree, I would like to see some proof. A ton of people got rid of links and never recovered. If it was that easy we would be seeing recoveries all over the forums. That is not the case...


10/09/2012 06:27 am

Hi, please say something more about this.


10/09/2012 07:11 am

Well, this update seems to have pulled the rug out from underneath me!!! My very new site (set up just a couple of months ago) had managed to earn a PR2 rating. I had a few inbound links from reputable websites. But everything is gone in the Google database. It's as if Google purged my site. But why? I now have PR0 with 0 inbound links; although the inbound links still exist (I verified this by going to the websites). I have tried to ensure that I follow the webmaster rules. I do not use cloaking. I have never paid for a link and avoid link farms. I regularly check the HTML Improvements report to ensure I haven't accidentally done something stupid. Just a bit frustrating to have no idea why this sudden change occurred.

Ingo Scheuermann

10/09/2012 07:23 am

So I can just go ahead, play the game by my own rules, screw all my opponents over by cheating the system obviously and then say "oh sorry" and it's all ok? BTW: A penalty is not checked on every day. There are strict timelines to penalties. So if u are unlucky ur penalty will last for a few more months before it will be revised. Just saying. Has nothing to do with u removing links and sending a reconsideration request or any Penguin updates.


10/09/2012 08:15 am

buy jolting and jarring I think Matt meant the whole 2 weeks not just Panda. I know he said it in relation to penguin. However this last 2 weeks has definitely been jolting and jarring!

James Barker

10/09/2012 09:59 am

"But why?" ... impossible to say without looking at your site. It may / may not be related to these changes, but a complete delisting could be a server problem, malware, copied content etc. Have you checked Webmaster Tools?


10/09/2012 01:04 pm

the jarring and jolting did happen - on the 28th when the unannounced update affected directory sites like hubpages, etc.


10/09/2012 03:31 pm

My graphs look very different than the one you posted and show a very steep downhill from the 29th of September until around the 3rd of October when it stayed pretty much constant but at a fraction of the traffic. Does that mean I was hit by both Panda and EMD?

Codex Meridian

10/09/2012 04:59 pm

Yet Barry traffic is unaffected, special treatment? calling the attention of Mr. Cutts.

Donna D. Fontenot

10/09/2012 07:25 pm

The last thing I want is penguin clients, Alan. I've been moving out of this industry for a while now. I'd much rather sell my suspense novel than take on seo related work. I didn't shout out this recovery info to the world, via blog posts, etc. I only shared it with my friends at the forum that I've been hanging at for years, in case the info could help them. That tweet in fact was also to a member of the same forum. It never even occurred to me that there wouldn't be tons of recovery stories. So, it really doesn't matter to me if anyone believes me. Those who know me, know I wouldn't steer my industry friends in the wrong direction. (Oh, and it was a PENGUIN update, not a PANDA update that my client recovered from btw).

Donna D. Fontenot

10/09/2012 07:26 pm

I have no idea why more didn't see recoveries. I don't feel like I did anything special. Just identified a bunch of links and had them deleted. Seriously, I wish more people would have recovered.


10/09/2012 08:13 pm

Google is just a corporation with monopoly doing what such a company does. Increasing their revenues. I am not buying that stuff about better search results etc. etc. It's all about profit. The harder it will be for sites to get organic ranking, the more ads will they sell. That's the world we live in. Give it up or fight! I used to have one site for 5+ years with quality content. Then got hit a year ago by panda (because of php bug presenting duplicate pages) and never recovered. Later I had 5 sites slapped by penguin. None recovered yet. All with original content and some solid links. I would say that a chance that a site would recovered is lower than 10%. With all the Google updates I would say that chance that new built site will hit top results is over 10%. So there is very little reason to stay with old projects. Yes this means many lower quality sites as a result of desperate webmasters to make their living. Is that what Google wanted? Who cares as long as the profit and market share increases.

Barry Schwartz

10/10/2012 12:32 am

My traffic is affected, who says it isn't?


10/10/2012 02:02 am

My website is Yes I check the Webmaster Tools. That's how I know Google dumped the links and site info. It also indicates that nothing is wrong. No HTML Improvements, never had malware. Seems strange if Google is going to dump me that they are crawling the site several times a day! Hopefully that is a good sign.


10/10/2012 03:18 am

Yeah you seem to be good at fiction!

Donna D. Fontenot

10/10/2012 03:21 am

I tell you what Alan. Feel free to tell the world to NOT be a client of mine. That would be fine with me. But yes, thank you, I think I am rather good at fiction. You should check out my novel sometime. :)

Kaloyan Banev

10/10/2012 04:59 am

Actually I've saw major changes in top 10 rankings and some of my direct competitors completely disappear from search results.


10/10/2012 08:23 am

Recent Algo updates / refreshes - any sites listed with Google Shopping affected?? Just wondering if any eCommerce sites operating within Google Shopping are being affected by these latest algo shifts, or any previous ones for that matter. I have 3 eCommerce sites that have been obliterated by the recent shifts - they are nowhere to be seen and were each ranking in the top ten for a couple of keyword phrases. Admittedly there is duplicated content - each site sells the same product lines and product descriptions etc are exactly the same on each site albeit some sites have additional products to others but the 'core' product line is the same on each. No doubt this is the reason I have been whacked. Just wondering if there may be leniency for sites in Google Shopping given that it is now a paid service??? Anyone have any examples one way or the other? In respect to my situation - I intend to painstakingly re-write product descriptions for each site so that they are worded differently - will this help my sites get reinstated in SERP's ??. I wonder how it affects affiliates where their site content (at least in part) will be exactly the same as that of the Vendor ?


10/10/2012 09:49 am

Please Help me.Last week my site on 11th Position and now it has been shifted to 470 position.I did only few submission like 3-4 links in day and use pure content for submission.I don't how my site goes down.Please help me

John Brown

10/10/2012 10:22 am

this was really Jarring and Jolting 3 updates. Now google have completely broken serp and lot of webmasters start thinking where to find offline work. Nice work - google knowledge spammers team, more and more peoples go away from google.

John Brown

10/10/2012 10:27 am

google not care, google spammers knowledge team working hard only to make more money for google inc, but it will not for long time.

John Brown

10/10/2012 10:29 am

sure and it correct. that monster for 'possibility' to get some traffic make for us dragonic conditions (no ads, no aff, no sitewide links, etc) - so we even not feel as complete website owners.

John Brown

10/10/2012 10:31 am

sure, that is money updates clearly. but to keep good face it have names emd/penguin and panda.

John Brown

10/10/2012 10:34 am

submit reconsideration request, and some indian will respond you via your comments form such as - all your articles created only to make money (it was for site with articles created in 1999 before even google was known). or common - no manual penalties, only our very clever, god made AI automatic algorithms may be penalized your site. or alternatively write super quality content (some study which can be accepted by high level science magazines) and google will ban it instantly or little bit later when that high level magazine will add link to your site, or when some peoples will naturally share your link. Just google broken now, and no any logic except google want all money.

John Brown

10/10/2012 10:49 am

google even promised disavow tool, but where is it? Disavow tool not will launched by google because it not in their interests right now. Now their idea is - few only informational sites (with adsense, like wikipedia/webmd/youtube) in organic search results and lot of misleading ads above fold in google search results. Everything else in top10+. Even adult results was affected. Search for any adult phrase and you will see wikipedia page and latest news from media companies on this topic. Really funny move, but everything for big $$$$. new uncle Sam is born!

John Brown

10/10/2012 10:52 am

not forget about time of penalties (summarized). but you will never know what the role of new updates in your site ranking/tanking.

John Brown

10/10/2012 10:54 am

google rules is virtual, it just unclear. Or you can go legal if you follow all rules but not traffic/ranking??? Also google violate with their own guidelines just everywhere, on all their websites. In the net it was very discussed topic before.

John Brown

10/10/2012 10:57 am

it updates site trust counter, add penalty time and negative rank, and update coefficients for that site.

John Brown

10/10/2012 11:01 am

that cheat happens because google ranking system totally wrong. Links cannot be real factor for ranking (as social votes), it very easy to cheat. Their webmaster guidelines tell what peoples will share links on your website, but it not so easy and here is lot of sites where it just not possibly (commercial sites for example). So their rules of game just totally wrong, this system was created with knowledge of that fact.

John Brown

10/10/2012 11:02 am

no, i think it just a troll.

John Brown

10/10/2012 11:03 am

until next penguin/emd/panda. just looks we need to looking for other traffic sources than google.


10/12/2012 10:46 am

I suggest everyone who is offended by google's practices to type "" or "" everytime you want to "google" something, I think google will notice ;)


10/12/2012 10:48 am

Of course, type this into google search box!, then follow the link ;)

Rig seo

10/18/2012 11:19 am

I am agree with Hustler, Google making seo tougher for revenue.

pars g

10/22/2012 07:48 am

Hi If for example the domain get penalized by Google Panda Or Penguin and its rank fell down or its visit from Google become less than usual, if the administrator of the site change the Domain of his site in Google Webmaster Tools and make it is it possible that the penalty transfer to new domain or not? Is it a good way to cheat Google Panda or Penguin? Is it possible for any changes which administrator of the site make to be infected by penalties for the prior ones? Regards

Miami real estate

10/25/2012 01:59 am

yes it is being hard to work on SEO.


12/26/2012 03:04 pm

now google has backed with new update.


10/06/2013 11:35 am

It doesn't change anything. Cuz by changing the name of the domain, you don't alter its backlinks. So sorry, not the right idea.

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