Hey, I've seen a lot posted about Penguin 3 the past week and I wanted to share the details of 5 sites that either survived or jumped up during the update. I will tell you as much as I can about the sites along with supporting screenshots of Analytics/RankTracker where possible. Site 1 ? IT Software This site is for a big international IT software company. This is a particularly strange example because the site has took a hit across some lower traffic terms while high traffic target terms have jumped. At this stage it is hard to say if this is directly related to Penguin but it certainly correlates with the update. Site 1 Details Here are all of the dirty details of the site- Age Of Site: Created Feb 2002 (12 years old) ? no drops # Indexed Pages: 172,000 Hosting: Dedicated Whois Protection: No Using Google WMT: Yes Using Google Analytics: Yes Content Added: Weekly Type Of Content: Sales & info pages for products & regular blog posts Link Building Strategy: White hat out reach & PR Site 1 Ranking Here is a screenshot of the rankings- Site 1 Traffic Here you can see how the update affected traffic- Site 2 ? Kids Clothing & Toys E-Commerce This is a unique site that sells a range of clothing & toys for children online. Looking at rankings you can see they have had great increases during the Penguin 3 update with traffic growing steadily. Interestingly they made the swap to HTTPS 2 weeks ago which results in a fluctuation in the number of indexed pages as Google replaces the HTTP version with the HTTPS version of the site. Site 2 Details Here are all of the dirty details of the site- Age Of Site: Created 1994, acquired by current company in 2013 # Indexed Pages: 652,000 Hosting: Dedicated Whois Protection: No Using Google WMT: Yes Using Google Analytics: Yes Content Added: Daily Type Of Content: New products with unique content are added daily along with the occasional blog post Link Building Strategy: White hat out reach & PR bolstered by a few exclusive private blog networks Site 2 Ranking Here is a screenshot of the rankings- Site 2 Traffic Here you can see how the update affected traffic- Site 3 ? Dieting/Nutrition This site focuses on dieting and nutrition which has quickly dominated the entire niche. As the site has been ranked with private blog networks it has delivered consistently good quality content seeing over 400,000 Facebook fans which in turn earns a lot of natural links. It has remained steady since April and throughout the Penguin 3 update ranking for some big terms including 27100, 90500, 110000 & 555000 monthly volume keywords. Previously the site owner had been wiped out by Penguin and started this site while 301â€²ing the old Penguin penalised site to this new one. Site 3 Details Here are all of the dirty details of the site- Age Of Site: October 2013 # Indexed Pages: 2,100 Hosting: Shared Whois Protection: Yes Using Google WMT: No Using Google Analytics: No Content Added: Weekly Type Of Content: Recipes & diet information Link Building Strategy: Pure private blog network strategy but now earns tons of natural links due to niche dominance Site 3 Ranking Here is a screenshot of the rankings- Site 4 ? Pet Products This is an Australian site with a spammy link history and got hit with Penguin previously. It is an exact match .com.au domain and solely targets Australian SERPs. Site 4 Details Here are all of the dirty details of the site- Age Of Site: Created 2009, acquired by current owner in 2012 # Indexed Pages: 2,840 Hosting: Dedicated Whois Protection: No Using Google WMT: Yes Using Google Analytics: Yes Content Added: Rarely Type Of Content: Product pages with unique content, no blog or content marketing Link Building Strategy: Pure private blog network Site 4 Ranking Here is a screenshot of the rankings for the Penguin 3 update- And here you can see a longer term look at the rankings- Site 4 SEMRush Unfortunately I don?t have the long long term data available but this screenshot from SEMRush shows their organic search growth since 2011 and shows when they hit with a previous Penguin update in October 2013. Site 5 ? Playground Manufacturer This company manufactures and sells children?s playgrounds and have been working with them since June. When they first started they had absolutely zero search visibility. Site 5 Details Here are all of the dirty details of the site- Age Of Site: Created 1998, acquired by current owner in 2011 # Indexed Pages: 505 Hosting: Dedicated Whois Protection: No Using Google WMT: Yes Using Google Analytics: Yes Content Added: Rarely Type Of Content: Product & info pages about the business with a few blog posts Link Building Strategy: Pure private blog network with a couple of 301â€²s Site 5 Ranking Here is a screenshot of the rankings- Site 5 Traffic Here you can see how the update affected traffic- So What Has Changed With Penguin 3? Well not a lot really ? this is just a data refresh and because of that we already know what doesn?t work and what does. Many people have evolved their link building tactics since the last Penguin update by using much more varied anchor texts surrounded by relevant content, while others haven?t. So here is a guide of what you should be avoiding and what is working as of now based on my own sites/knowledge- Things To Avoid Irrelevant spammy links Over optimised anchor text Unnatural spikes in link velocity Single links ? eg no surrounding content just the link Things That Work Truly private blog/site networks built right (there is a clue in the wording) Relevant links with relevant content Spun content Mixing up your anchor texts & using branded/generic terms Traditional outreach, broken link building, PR (not press releases) Strong social followings/engagement I also think you should spend some time thinking about Scrittys predications ? bear in mind they are nothing more than opinion, but that is opinion rooted with years of hands on experience. Always think to the future with your link building. Experienced SEO?s that have ridden the waves of the past few years have great insights on what could come next and are worth you spare thoughts. Even so ? despite all of the updates my link building still lives and dies by 2 simple rules. 2 Simple Link Building Rules I have 2 simple link building rules one is defining the holy grail of links as a relevant link surrounded by relevant content from an authoritative domain. You can not get a better quality link than that and that is exactly the type of link we can create with truly private blog/site networks and have full control of. Nothing has changed in that regard. The other link building rule I live by is simply ?If it?s good enough to be in Google?s index, it?s good enough to link to my site?. Spun content is still indexing well for me and as such it is good enough to point to my sites. The same is true if a domain is indexed in Google, a link from that domain is good enough for my site as long as its surrounded by relevant content with a relevant link. This has remained true throughout all of the updates and if you combine the simplistic approach of both you end up with a diverse profile in terms of relevancy and authority. That's my 2 cents anyway!