Penguin 3.0 And Everflux: Moving Toward Continuous Updates
Penguin 3.0 rolled out in October 2014 and was a significant data refresh that continued to target websites with low-quality link profiles. The Everflux, on the other hand, pertains to the shift from spontaneous updates to continuous ones for the algorithm.
What’s It For
The Penguin filter was first launched in April 2012 to work with Panda in reducing the number of low-quality content in the SERPs. While the latter targeted sites with thin content, Penguin’s focus was on domains that used black hat techniques to manipulate their way to the top spots in the results pages.
The previous update, Penguin 2.1, improved on the algorithm’s ability to detect websites with low-quality links such as those from link farms, article directories, and comment spam. It identified the links associated with a page and evaluated the quality of those connections whether they’re from authoritative sources or not.
Penguin 3.0 and Everflux were primarily data refreshes. Both continued the work that its predecessors started in fighting against webspam by targeting low-quality backlinks.
What Were Its Effects
No new signals were introduced for Penguin 3.0. Nonetheless, it was still a significant update; entailing a slow rollout worldwide. It still had an effect on less than one percent for English searches while having a more significant impact in other languages where spam is more prevalent.
The announcement of Everflux implied that algorithmic changes would no longer be processed offline. Before the update, Google would sift through data offline and publish it at a specified time along with new information for the indexed pages. With Everflux, the process will be done in real-time which may mean that penalties and recoveries may be instantaneous.
Several websites that were hit during the previous algorithm updates and took action to clean up their link profiles recovered with Penguin 3.0. Link cleanup involves eliminating unnatural links and disavowing the spammy ones.
A significant issue for link cleanup was when low-quality links replicate, particularly across spammy directories. The process is automated, so site owners have to check and clean their link profile regularly to make sure that there aren’t any new ones.
What It Means for You
One essential practice you should have for your website is to check your link profile regularly. It’s crucial that you clean it up so that you won’t have to reap the repercussions of a Penguin penalty. Monitoring the sources of your inbound links is a valuable defense against negative SEO and auto-replicating unnatural links.
Here are two tools you can use to track your backlinks:
Go to Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools has a feature that allows you to download the latest links for your website. You can find it in the “Search Traffic” part of the left sidebar under “Links to Your Site.” In the “More” section, click on “Who Links the Most” and see the top 100 domains that are sources of your backlinks.
At the beginning of the report, there are three buttons; one of which is “Download Latest Links.” Once you have the spreadsheet, you can sort the links according to the date that Google first discovered them. With the information provided, you can then assess if you’ve been a victim of negative SEO or replicating low-quality links.
Analyze Your Profile with the Ahrefs Link Analysis Tool
You can also use Ahrefs to analyze new backlinks. You’ll get a report on the latest inbound links you received for your domain. Moreover, you can study the data in-depth since the tool allows you to select a pre-determined timeframe or customize the dates to see precisely when the problem began.
There’s also a graph report for an overview of the number of links your website gained and how many were lost over a two-month period. Ahrefs’ report includes information such as the backlink source, its page title, number of external and internal links, social shares count, and anchor text, among others.
It is recommended that you check your site for new backlinks every month. This way, you can prevent the problem before it worsens and you get hit by a penalty from the Penguin algorithm. It can take months or even years to recover if you let the issue get out of hand.
Nowadays, your business can’t afford to lose the traffic volume it receives from Google because those are potential customers waiting to learn more about your products and services. It’s better to invest a little time and effort in ensuring that your link profile is spotless rather than ruin your reputation as well as waste the years you spent in building up people’s trust in your brand all because you didn’t monitor backlinks sources.