After more than a year, Google has officially come up with a streamlined version of the Penguin algorithm which is being referred to as the Penguin 3.0 Update. The Google Penguin Algorithm was initially announced in April 2012. It was basically a deterrent mechanism for webmasters who indulged in Black Hat SEO techniques. These include but not limited to, deviously increasing the ranking of a web page by manipulating the number of links pointing to it. These tactics are commonly called link schemes which are in violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Google penalizes such websites by lowering their ranking and blacklisting them so that genuine websites have a fair chance of ranking higher on the search engine.
In order to prove that your website is clean in the eyes of the Penguin, take special care to see to it that your links are all genuine. Black Hat specialists realized long back that if you have links from an authoritative site then your site is also ranked highly in the search engine. Hence they started buying links on a big scale and started creating link farms wherein you could choose which links you want to be associated with, for your website. Soon Google got a whiff of it and it started taking stringent actions. Thus, the Penguin algorithm was born.
Penguin 3.0 is more of a re-write of the original Penguin algorithm than just being a refreshed version. So you need to be extra cautious in order to pass muster as far as Penguin 3.0 is concerned. Beware of paid links or text ads that pass PageRank since it is a clear violation of Google guidelines. Get rid of poor quality backlinks. Do not use the same optimized anchor text on too many links since Google thinks you are confusing the user and hence you will not be ranked higher.
Penguin is a filter algorithm that sits on top of the search algorithm in order to check for fraudulent links and penalize the websites indulging in it. Penguin is not too concerned about the content on your website but is more interested in the links that point to your website. So webmasters need to abandon all Black Hat techniques in their quest for higher search engine rankings now.
The best way to find out whether your site has been affected by the Penguin algorithm is to check the traffic to your website on the day Google launches a major update. The most effective way to do this is using the Penguin Penalty Checker Tool. That way you can take note if Google is penalizing you for some issues related to links pointing to your website. If in case you are being penalized then you need to rectify it at the earliest. If your website does not show any changes in the traffic on the day a major update is launched then you probably might be safe. But confirm it by getting an audit done for your website and find out if there are any objectionable issues with regards to your website that might cause your site to drop in the search engine results page.
If unfortunately you have been hit by Penguin 3.0 and whatever you do does not seem to alleviate the matter then you will have to wait until the next Penguin update or release to authenticate what you have done is according to Google's diktats. If you feel that some obnoxious website is trying to spam you by linking to your website in order to lower your PageRank then you can tell Google to ignore such websites by using the Disavow Links Tool.
Quality content is always the most important aspect of your website to attract links from reputable sources. Never pay for links since that could make you vulnerable to getting blacklisted by Google. Always build your site with the end-user in mind. Consider it a given that the users are seeking using a smooth interface to navigate effortlessly on your website. That way you are bound to get a good ranking on Google search.
Connect with Google Certified Professionals to find out what this updates means to your website.