KEO Marketing

Be in the Know.

SEO: Continued Roller Coaster Ride from Penguin 3.0

Roller Coaster Ride from Penguin 3.0 For some businesses, Black Friday was an exciting time this year for reasons that had nothing to do with sales or frenzied crowds. Many companies and online businesses reported seeing sudden and seemingly unexplained positive changes in their search rankings. In some cases, these improvements were quite significant.

The businesses weren’t complaining, of course, but they were shocked, puzzled and perhaps even a bit anxious about what exactly might have caused these sudden changes.

Once some SEO experts started investigating, they seemed to have found the explanation. It seems Google had released an update to Penguin 3.0, which only launched about six weeks ago. This new refresh, dubbed Penguin 3.1, was first detected around Thanksgiving. Google said this isn’t a separate event, but just a continuation of the initial rollout, which is still in progress. The good news for marketers was that this latest refresh of Penguin seemed to be a total reversal from the impact of the initial 3.0 rollout. In that case, most of the impact (for those sites affected) was negative, with some reporting quite a hit.

In this recent refresh, on the other hand, the effects mostly seemed to be very positive. Some businesses viewed these upward movements as delayed recoveries from the initial Penguin 3.0 hit they took.

Unfortunately, it seems for many websites, these recoveries proved to be short-lived, with their newly-inflated rankings soon starting to fall again. This likely indicates that Google is continuing to tinker with the latest Penguin rollout. Naturally, the folks at Google are tight-lipped about the whole phenomenon and haven’t offered much insight about exactly what happened or what marketers can expect in the near future.

Unfortunately, the main takeaway from this for businesses is that when it comes to search engine optimization, so much is out of our control and often unpredictable. Since Google rarely divulges much information about updates or changes (sometimes refusing to even confirm they actually happened after the fact), it is nearly impossible to be prepared or formulate a strategy. That can certainly be frustrating, but really this just reinforces the importance of practicing a smart SEO strategy in general, and staying informed about the very latest changes in that area, so you can react quickly and best adjust to avoid, or at least minimize, potential fallout.

It can be a challenge to keep up with the many constant changes in SEO, which is why it can help to let professionals like our team at KEO Marketing handle your search engine optimization needs.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.